Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Cowboy Posse - Pictures Tomorrow

Well, the Cowboy Posse -the cowboys on foot and the mounted versions (sans mounts)- are finished. All they need now is for me to finish the horses. No pictures tonight for the simple reason that I started my working day late and have just finished -so no natural light for taking photos. We'll have them up tomorrow.

The horses should only take me an hour or two tomorrow morning. I love painting horses. I keep saying that, but it's true.

I now have bases for the Hawkwood Noble Armada ships so the fleet should be finished in the next few days as well. I'm looking forward to finally being able to post a "group" photograph of these miniatures rather than posting photographs that are four or five times larger than the miniatures themselves.

Basing and Prep:
Painting cowboys wasn't all I did today. I have a section of 20mm modern British to be painted in Temperate DPM (we know that temperate DPM is being phased out already, but that's not going to be a problem) which we've cleaned and based today. As well as those we have prepped two Impetus bases worth of Early Imperial Roman archer auxiliaries. I expect to start proper painting work on these two sets once the Noble Armada fleet is finished.

Anyway, early start tomorrow. Off to bed.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Thank You Table Top Gaming News

Tabletop Gaming News have been kind enough to mention us in today's gaming news article. TGN is a fantastic site that does exactly what the name suggests. It's a great way to keep in touch with events throughout the wargaming community. If you haven't already book-marked this site, please do.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

This is More Like It: This Weeks Mini's Re-Shot.

Right, now that we've sorted out issues with the lighting, here's a quick re post of the finished miniatures featured in the blog since we activated the new website.

First up is a much better image of the Norman Warlord for Saga, minus all the shine from the last photograph. Still no sign of the decals for the banner arriving, but as it's a Saturday that's no great surprise.

 Next up is the Games Workshop Ogryn figure painted up for W40K skirmish gaming. This particular figure is going to be part of an Inquisitor's retinue. Specifically, it's his job to keep a beady little cybernetic eye on this figure......

...the Astropath, a Reaper miniature released three or four years back. Seeing as this figure is an Astropath, she's been soul-bound and is now effectively blind as a bat -At least as far as the "In the Emperor's Name" rules are concerned. According to the official 40K fluff, her warp-sight would normally allow her to function as though she were still sighted. In ItEN, that's not the case. In that game system, the big guy in the picture above isn't just her bodyguard, he also has to carry her around the battlefield as well (so she doesn't fall over random bits of junk and dead figures).

I like to think of the older guy in these two pictures almost as a sort of Rutgur Haur type with a 'tache. He's supposed to represent an old Interrogator (apprentice Inquisitor) who's never quite been able to make the grade and now serves loyally as a sort of squire, helping his boss keep the younger Interrogators in line.

The figure is an Privateer Press Adventurer pressed into service for 40K. Interestingly, a lot of Steam Punk and Post Apocalyptic miniatures seem to fit into the 40K universe quite well. There's no way that GW retail staff would ever let you use them in store, but if you're able to game elsewhere, other companies often provide a far cheaper source of genre-appropriate mini's.

Last up, we have another Throne Agent. This one is supposed to be just another piece of down-hive Scum: a Hive Ganger recruited by the Inquisitor as his local guide and agent. This is another Privateer Press figured press-ganged into service. Warmachine fans should feel free to groan at this awful reference to Privateer Press' tournament staff. I assure you, I'm groaning myself.

Finally, every damn course the Army ever sent me on ended with a group photo. So, in keeping with that fine tradition: here's another one.

Painting Diary - Saga Norman Warlord Base and Hawkwood Fleet Update

(Nearly) Finished Saga Warlord Base
We're still having lighting trouble even with the light box. Some of the colours (particularly the blue on the Warlord base) look shiny in the photographs. There's even a patch of white shine on the Warlord base that has appeared out of no-where.. I need to sort that out. It's annoying, though I have no idea why it's happening. After all, our gallery photographs look great, don't they?

First off, here's the Norman Warlord base for Saga. Normally in Saga, you'd be using round bases for your miniatures but these Normans are also used in games of Warhammer Ancient Battles and Impetus. With the square base, it's possible to simply incorporate these figures into a normal infantry unit as command group. There was some discussion about adding a second standard bearer or a musician to the base but the consensus was this might make it look "too busy". Personally, I think that another standard bearer on there would look cracking.

Two things you're probably wondering. 1: Why isn't the banner painted and 2: Why on earth would you want to have a Norman Warlord on foot? The banner is plain black because I'm waiting on decals. The Warlord is on foot because, in Saga, the hardest units to activate in the Norman Army are it's missile troops- they're the best missile troops in the game by a long shot (groan). Knights nearly always activate in any given turn without any problems so they can happily go tearing off across the tabletop without the Warlord.. Norman archers on the other hand, need a Warlord nearby to ensure they're able to fire when you need them most.

Next up we have a few shots of the Hawkwood fleet for Noble Armada. I'm finally happy with the look of these ships now that I've tweaked a few things a little (though I'd be happier in the photographs were showing up more of the detail).  I still have a batch of these to go - two destroyers, six frigates, four bombers and four fighters- but we'll be done well ahead of schedule. Alas, still no sign of the flight bases arriving but hopefully we'll have them soon so I can mount the finished models properly.

Alas, even with the new photo box we're still having problems with photo quality. That being said, close ups of ship models this small probably aren't the best idea. The close-ups show imperfections that aren't even visible to the naked eye. We paint to tabletop quality after all, meaning we're painting so that they look good from about a foot away rather than when held up close. But until we receive those flight bases, these close-ups will have to do.

Noble Armada Hawkwood Destroyer (finished)
One of the finished Hawkwood Galliots

Finally, the cowboys are still drying after the Quick shade (I always leave the quick shade to dry for at least two days on those odd occasions when I actually use the stuff) and the horses are sitting in their undercoat ready to go. So more on them (and the first pictures) in a few days or so. I'm also about half way through another W40K skirmish figure. Expect to see him tomorrow (or possibly Sunday since tomorrow is supposedly my day off this week.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Painting Diary- Finished 40K Skirmish Models and WIP Fleet

Our second (and slightly late) daily painting round-up on the new site.

First off, here's today's completed miniatures: the WIP Ogryn from yesterday and a fourth 40K Skirmish figure I like to think of as Rutger: a Warmachine RPG figure with an added Foundry Desert Eagle (stub pistol) and 40K Cadian Lasgun. On a related note, the last of the "40K" skirmish figures arrived this morning: a very nice resin piece from Ramshackle Games.
Once again the picture quality isn't that great, but the new light box has arrived so hopefully future photo's do the paint-work a lot more justice. The lighting has drowned out two layers of highlights.

In other news, the cowboy posse has been base-coated and subjected to a wash of Quick Shade. Which, of course, means they look awful right now. So no pictures of them until after they've dried and been given a nice coat of matt varnish to reduce the shine. After that, they'll receive a few highlight layers and then they'll be good to go. Or rather, they'll be good to go provided I've finished the horses by then. No quickshade for the dobbins. Just oil based paints to give them nice shiny coats.

Finally, I did some work on the Hawkwood fleet commission for Noble Armada. I wasn't happy with the original light grey base coat. It didn't work for shading in the later stages at all. So I've resprayed the fleet with Vellejo Air Intermediate Blue for the undercoat and began working from there. As you can see from the semi-base coated cruiser in the photograph, I'm going for slightly different shades of white/light grey for different hull panels. At the moment, the colour gradient is pretty stark but this is just the first stage after all. With a few more layers of paint, the effect will be much more subtle.

That's to say: the effect will be much more like hull panels and far less like a chessboard. In case you're wondering, I still have a lot to do on the blue as well. That's also just the first stage that's shown in the photo. There's at least two more layers to go for the blue as well. I haven't even started on the bare metal bits yet.

The plan for tomorrow is to do a lot more work on the Hawkwood Fleet, start another one (or possibly two) 40K skirmish figures and begin work on a 28mm Norman warlord base/diorama for Saga. Depending on how things go, I might be able to finish off those Mantic Ghouls I was talking about yesterday, but as they're intended for Ebay rather than commisioned items, I'm not really in any rush to finish them.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Welcome to the Painting Diary

Hello and welcome to the first painting diary of the new Lead Legion website. As you can see, very little in the way of painting took place today. It was more or less an admin day, with several meetings in the morning plus some basic accountancy work taking up most of today's painting time.

Warhammer 40K Skirmish Miniatures:
First up, we have a work in progress shot of three members of a W40K Inquisitor's retinue, painted for a skirmish game set in the 40K Universe. The female figure on the left is a Reaper figure painted as an Astropath while the one on the right is a Warmachine Merc painted as a Hive Ganger. The big lad in the middle is an Ogryn bodyguard for the Astropath. Both the female figures just need a final layer of varnish and they're ready for play. As always, the painting diary pictures are just quick snapshots, without the photo quality of our gallery shots. I'm fairly certain that you'll be missing a lot of the finer detail in this shot. At least it gives you, the customer, a general idea of how things are progressing.

Even so, I really need to invest in a macro lens.

 The Ogryn is still very much a work in progress at this point, though he's about fifty percent finished. I tend to concentrate on just two or three colours at a time, completing the final highlights on one colour before moving on to another. I find this a much more satisfying process than simply base coating the whole model before starting any highlights or shading. You can already see how the finished Ogryn is going to look in terms of the painting quality. But a base coat on it's own, without shading, just looks horrible. Which I why I use quickshade as little as possible (even though I still use several layers of highlighting after washing a model with quickshade, it still takes all the fun out of painting).

I love making scenery and, as I need it as much for taking gallery stills at work as I do for gaming, I tend not to feel guilty about taking a few hours out of my working day to expand my collection. As you can see, this is very much another work in progress shot: Two storage tanks made from blister packaging and three static-caravan style worker's barracks for 15mm science fiction gaming. Part of me hopes I'll have time to start painting this stuff this week. The other half hopes I'll be too busy.
Whats on the Table for Tomorrow?
The Hawkwood fleet I've been commissioned to paint for a fellow gamer at Glasgow Gaming Group is now fully-prepped and ready to go. I expect to spend much of the day working on that and finishing off both the Ogre and another W40K Skirmish single figure. If time allows, I also have a batch of 20 Mantic Ghouls awaiting final highlights and basing before they can be posted on Ebay. Might as well take advantage of my quiet periods to rid myself of some plastic that's been taking up storage room and never been used.

On the Radar for the Rest of the Week:
I have another dozen or so Wh40K skirmish figures to finish, though some of the figures that I'm expecting for that project have yet to arrive in the post. I also have a batch of very old Cowboy figures needing attention. Two versions (foot and mounted) or six different miniatures, although one is already painted and needs to be used as a rough guide to the look of the others. It's been a while since I last painted any horses (I love painting horses) so I'm really looking forward to this one.