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Category Archives: work in progress

Make the Dead Glorious Again (9) – Undead Horseman finished (give or take)

Fourwaycross ‘shimmer’

I’ve finished the undead horseman; though some aspects don’t look quite the way I want them to, so I may adjust these at a later date – but taking a break by working on something else often helps, as it grants you a bit more objectivity.

As it is, however:

To be honest, this was a real pain to paint; and I’m glad to put it aside.

I will begin painting the Arabian horsewoman now; though I haven’t planned it out fully yet. Hopefully it will prove a bit less arduous than the undead horseman did, though.

Make The Dead Glorious Again (6)

Built To Spill ‘carry the zero’ 

Just a work-in-progress update, really.

The folds on the steed’s caparison made a freehand design look too disordered – so I decided to make an ethereal glow effect, instead:

It’s maybe too faint, but until the rest of the figure has been painted it’s a bit difficult to tell:

I used these paints for the OSL – and found a gel-based glaze medium helpful, as the undulations of the plastic can make thin paint run uncontrollably:


Worth a look:

Painting metal armour (AlmostPerftec)

Making a forest backdrop (GardensOfHecate)

Using plastic sprues to create scenery (Weemen)

Making scenic bases (ColouredDust)


Make The Dead Glorious Again (1)

Sleater-Kinney  ‘Start Together’

I’m a bit wary about introducing political themes into miniature-painting – partly because politics can prove deeply divisive; but also due to the question of taste.

However, I usually paint models in order to escape from the more unpleasant aspects of life – and these are in no short supply at present; but some things which are happening maybe shouldn’t be overlooked.

There have been proper artists who’ve used miniatures to explore serious themes – such as Jake and Dinos Chapman‘s various depictions of hell; Banksy’s Dismaland model of a crowded refugee boat; or street artists, creating comparatively light-hearted social commentaries.

This isn’t quite what I have in mind. I don’t really want to use Warhammer models allegorically; just to allude at a broader issue, in order to enhance a diorama. I figure that as long as the theme remains understated, then it shouldn’t be a problem. Plus, rather than model a duel where violence is the central subject, I thought I would make a representation of courage, instead.

So, one model is an undead horseman, with a distinctive head of unnatural hair; aiming to make the land of the dead glorious once more:


The other is going to be an Arabian woman:


Araby remains under-represented among Warhammer projects – but I prefer the ambiguous artwork depictions Games Workshop produced, to the Dogs of War/Warmaster models; which tended to be a bit Disney-esque. I don’t want the finished model to resemble the more obnoxious, long-standing stereotypes surrounding Arabs and Muslims; but equally, not to be overly romantic, either. While the motifs of femininity and Islamic culture have obvious points of resonance at present, this is still meant to be a Warhammer project.

The Golden Magus in Dreadfleet is a good example to draw upon here – as he was both on the side of the Grand Alliance; but also a character with mysterious intentions. Less esoteric, perhaps, are Kay Nielsen’s illustrations of 1001 Arabian Nights; which were fantastical and ornate:


I haven’t quite figured-out a base for this duel yet. A desert wasteland-theme seems the most fitting; but we will see.

Night Goblin Shaman (3) – work in progress

PJ Harvey ‘Cat on the wall’

Just a work in progress, post. I’ve finished the base, barring the possible need to tweak it once the goblin is finished:




The spiders were painted using the same basic colours as the Necromunda plague zombies from last year. I may adjust the largest green orbs slightly, as they’re not quite looking right; but we’ll see.



Mountaineer – Work In Progress (2): making a snow base

Medicine ‘Fried Awake’

Odd as it may seem, before making a snow base it’s important to decide what type of snow you want to represent – whether pristine, powdery snowdrifts; or slushy ice and snow, which is thawing. I chose to make this look like the snow had melted slightly:


Materials used – still water, on the left, which is smooth and clear; and the gel-like version, which can be used to create texture, on the right:


Crushed glass, on the left – this isn’t strictly necessary, and it’s quite dangerous; so it’s purely optional, but it does add a nice sparkle. On the right, snow flock:


Pre-made icicles: 010

You make these by cutting small slivers of transparent plastic – such as the kind you get on blister packs – then painting them with successive layers of still water-effect. There is a short tutorial about this on SproketSmallWorld.

If you want snow to look white, rather than transparent, add some white paint to the water effect when mixing it with flock. I wanted it to have an icy appearance; so left the paint out of the mix.

Anyway, first attach the icicles using water effect as an adhesive – water effect shrinks slightly when it has cured, and so can change the angle of the icicles. To keep them vertical, I just use a bit of blue-tack to hold them in place:


Building successive layers of snow is more effective than daubing-on one heavy application of the snow-mix. So, the first layer was stippled on using an old paintbrush:



You can see how the snow becomes more opaque with additional layers:


I dotted some onto the bridge, and the rails – a cocktail stick is helpful here:


Finish by placing water effect in places where the snow looks heaviest, and sprinkling pure snow flock over these areas.

Finally, paint a thin layer of satin varnish over the snow:





Mountaineer – Work In Progress (1)

The High Violets ‘Sun Baby’

The beginning of a Blanchitsu-themed figure:


Along with a skull-hopper:


I had originally conceived of this figure and its companion as Scavvies, but they didn’t sit right with the rest of the models I made for the Necromunda diorama. Instead, they looked more like a pair of itinerant wanderers; plus, the gas-mask reminded me of a painting by the German artist, Otto Dix:


Dix had fought in the First World War; and made a number of paintings depicting the brutality of the conflict. Probably his most famous one is ‘Trench Warfare’:


So, I decided to characterize this model as a wounded veteran, of sorts. I didn’t want to make a direct replica of a WW1 battlefield; but I thought maybe some of the motifs – such as duckboards and tangled wire – would hint at it: 004

Also, I kind of want to make a wintry base – partly because I haven’t made one for years; but I think it would make a suitably bleak setting as well. I may change this, though – as I quite like the steampunk aesthetic; and a gloomy backdrop might be better – but we’ll see.