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Necromunda diorama revisited (1)

Leftfield ‘Melt’

I wasn’t entirely happy with the Necromunda bridge which I made last year. I had wanted it to look like a lifeless wasteland – but after thinking about it, derelict areas tend to be the opposite: overgrown, as nature reclaims ground which no longer receives much human activity.

It also looked very grey, and a bit sterile:

So, I’ve begun reworking it a bit, to look more colourful:

The water effect was given some more saturation by painting over it with Tamiya clear paints.

I watch a lot of (fairly bad) horror movies; and carnivorous plants feature quite often – so I thought some sinister looking vines would look effective:

And I’ve re-done the signs – I thought Spanish would look more fitting for a wild-west style showdown:

Plus, although I’m not overly keen on blood and gore, I figure if you’re going to apply it, you may as well be hyperbolic:

The rest is just a case of adding more detail:

A fair bit to go yet; but I hope to make a couple of short tutorials over the next few weeks.

Make Khemri Great Again

Orbital ‘Halcyon and on’

I’ve finally finished this diorama:

The colours have come out slightly better without the background:

I was going to paint the pyramid blocks as sandstone, but noticed that numerous Tomb Kings pictures depict the stone as a kind of dark, volcanic rock – and thought that this looked suitably sinister:

The hieroglyphic pendant was made from oven-bake clay –  it should read ‘Khemri’ in hieroglyphics:

I’m going to revisit some of my previous models, as I think they would benefit from minor alterations. After that, hopefully I will start working on an Inquisitor-based project.

Work In Progress (18) – making a display base.

Shelleyan Orphan ‘century flower’

I was going to mount the diorama just on a display board, but it looked a bit underwhelming – so I thought it would be worth experimenting with a more characterful base.

So, to make pyramid-esque stones – use a piece of insulation polystyrene (2.5 cm thick), and trace out a series of squares:

Begin to carve rock shapes:

I used a craft-knife for most of this work, along with a cocktail stick/sculpting tool here and there. The emery board was used to sand the polystyrene down where needed:

It’s best to turn the craft-knife blade sideways to make rough crevices:

Test-fitting:

When you’re happy with the polystyrene-carving, use a hot glue gun and attach it to the display board:

I also used pieces of wire to pin it, for extra stability – but this isn’t entirely necessary:

I shaped the foam slightly, to fit the shape of the desert-base:

Coat the polystyrene with either ready-mixed filler – or, as in this case, wood filler – which will give it a more realistic appearance, and make it harder-wearing; then add sand around the base of the rocks, using PVA:

 

If you intend to undercoat this with spray paint, then it’s important to give the polystyrene a wash with watery PVA; as the solvent in spray paint melts polystyrene. It’s also helpful to coat the sand likewise, as this makes it easier to paint:

Once undercoated:

I made a temporary mount, using some packaging foam/double-sided tape/masking tape to make it easier to hold while painting:

Basecoated – the red oxide paint was just dabbed in places which the sand hadn’t covered so well:

Ready to paint.

Work in progress (17)

Hooverphonic ‘Magenta’

I’ve pretty much finished the Arabian rider:

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I wanted the character to have a subtle Tzeentchian aspect – so painted the jewel to resemble an eye:

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I’m not entirely happy with the interior cloak, though – I tried various freehand designs, but they all looked crumby. For example:

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So, I ended up just painting tears in the fabric:

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It still looks a bit bare, but I can’t think of any decent design which would work. I will finish the display base now, though; and see if anything occurs in the meantime.

Make the dead glorious again (16)

Vashti Bunyan ‘Love Song’

It’s taken so long since the last update as I had a lengthy bout of painter’s-block. None of my original ideas for the freehand design on the cloak really worked-out, due to the heavy folds.

I had tried to make an arabesque pattern, which I didn’t really like:

Then went through the initial stages of various other designs; which didn’t look very effective, either:

So I decided to change approach slightly – instead of using an Arabian design, I used a Khemrian one instead; based on the Tomb Kings imagery:

 

I think it’s a shame that the Tomb Kings were discontinued by Games Workshop; so this serves a duel purpose, as a homage to the Khemrian monarchs. It also prompted me to change the name of the diorama to Make Khemri Great Again.

Step-by-step (give or take):

It’s not quite finished, but the rider shouldn’t take too long now. The display base needs some slight revisions; but hopefully the next update won’t take two months.

 

Make the dead glorious again (11) – painting dark female skin

‘Til Tuesday ‘Voices Carry’

It’s been a while since the last update, as I was ill for a couple of weeks. However, I’ve finished the majority of the Arabian rider – with just the freehand designs, flame, and an ornamental dagger remaining.

I thought it might be helpful to demonstrate how to paint dark female skin; as it can be a difficult effect to achieve. Dark skin is a challenge on miniatures, because if it’s too dark then it will lack definition – which is especially important when painting faces, as they are the focal point of the figure. If it’s too light though, then it defeats the purpose. Female skin is tricky in its own right, as it needs to be much smoother than the male variety, otherwise it looks too masculine.

These were the colours used:

Base – Cadian fleshtone + Mournfang brown (1:1)

Wash – i) smoke + black ii) smoke:

Unfortunately, I forgot to take photographs of the subsequent stages (I really was unwell); but to continue:

Layer i) – Cadian Fleshtone + Mournfang Brown (1:1)

Layer ii) Cadian Fleshtone + Earth (1:1)

Highlight by adding increased amounts of Ushabti bone to the above mix, over successive layers. Use pure Ushabti bone as a final highlight raised areas.

Glaze the whole skin area with smoke, which will unify and darken it slightly.

For eyeshadow use Cadian Fleshtone + Regal Blue around the eyes.

For the lips, basecoat them with a dark red; highlight by adding Cadian Fleshtone; then glaze with baal red.

The finished effect:

The skin required a bit of experimentation – and it’s still a bit paler than I hoped it would be; but I’m not too unhappy with the result. I had originally tried to paint the skin dark by using an ‘Eavy Metal guide – that is, rhinox hide, tau light ochre, and khaki – but it looked a bit ghastly:

I’m going to paint the cloak with a Mehndi design – but it needs planning out properly first.

Make The Dead Glorious Again (10) – work in progress: Arabian horse

Stretch Princess ‘J.W.B.A.’

I was going to paint the horse white, but thought that grey looked less Elven:

Horses can be tricky to paint, as they’re not really like any other models – having large areas which are smooth and curved; with a fairly unique type of skin. Heavy shading can make them look gaunt, rather than sleek; so it’s helpful not to use overly dark colours in the recessed parts.

With that in mind, the grey skin was basecoated with USA Olive Brown; then highlighted by applying successive layers of the brown + increased amounts of Dark Sea Grey:

The horse’s hair was painted similarly – but using rakarth flesh, instead of dark sea grey; and adding final highlights of white in select places to create a faint sheen.

To paint the nose/mouth area, create a basecoat of black + earth; then highlight by adding Cadian fleshtone to the mix. Finish by adding Kislev flesh to this mixture:


Finish by glazing the horse all over with several thin layers of USA olive brown.

I intend to paint the horse’s armour as turquoise marble; but I have a feeling it won’t look right, and may require a different design – we will see, however.