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Don't stop here! This is bat country.

Von Calyptra

Black Knight
Joined
Mar 3, 2011
Messages
382
#1

My original plan painting these models was that the dead are cold, and so in order to convey that, I decided to stick to cool, muted tones. I ended up with a strategy where I more or less grey-ed everything out, highlighting in almost all cases with white, and using gobs and gobs of GW's now discontinued Shadow Grey.

As always, I apologize for my sub-par photography.

Bat Swarms:



There's a lot of hate for these models. I had a lot of hate for these models, until I inherited some from a friend cleaning out his closet, and I realized how adorable they are. Also, they look like muppets. Adorable muppet bats. I'm still considering painting some up in bright primary colors.

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The well is made from green stuff modeled around a bottle cap. The doors are made from more green stuff, with bits of an old library card as an armature. The chain is made out of a piece of chain.

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The bat prophet here is made of zombie parts with a flagellant head. His hair, much of his hands, one pant leg, and book are all green stuff.










Fell Bats.














My Varghulf. I love this model. When I did this I was completely sick of the limited number of zombie heads, so I decided to try changing them up a bit by sculpting hair onto them. I'm pretty happy with the results. Various other parts of the corpses are also green stuff: one arm and shoulder, both feet, probably some other things I can't remember at the moment.

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And Lord Daetrin Vallow.








I really wish I had a Terrorgeist to post pictures of, because that would complete my "things with bat wings" theme nicely, but I don't. Not only can I not afford to buy one at the moment, but the thing scares the crap out of me, partly as a painting project, but mostly because I haven't the faintest idea how I'll store and transport it when I get it.
But I hope you like these! Let me know what you think. I'll keep trickling in more.
 
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Raizi

Vampire Thrall
Joined
Oct 16, 2011
Messages
987
#2
Excellent work, both in painting and photoing-wise. I think your Varghulf is one of the best I've seen and I really like how you build up your bases. :thumbsup:

I will be watching your progress closely.
 

Reaper

Wight King
Joined
Aug 30, 2011
Messages
487
#5
Nice scheme and great job! :thumbsup: Looking forward to see more of your work :) Btw. I think some OSL would look stunning in your dark, grey army ;)
 

Von Calyptra

Black Knight
Joined
Mar 3, 2011
Messages
382
#6
Thanks for the kind words!
The thing about source lighting on models is that it's scary and hard. I've messed around with it a little bit on some of my Warmachine models, but now I'm thinking about working it into an entire army. I'm far enough into my vampire counts that this is probably not that army. I want to rework my old Dark Eldar at some point, so maybe it'll be them.
My zombies and skeletons are patiently waiting for me to get around to painting their banners. My Dire Wolves are under the brush now, with only two left, so I'm hoping to get pictures of them up soon.

Here's a zombie that I probably spent too much time on:

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Mad 'At

Dumb enough to work
Staff member
True Blood
Joined
Apr 2, 2011
Messages
2,363
#7
Great zombie. And no, one cannot spend to much time on a zombie because it is great fun to build and paint them xD
 

Chaos_Born

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
2,078
#8
It doesn't count as too long if you give him CHECKED TROUSERS!!!!

That's just awesome Von Calyptra, I love those trousers more than I love my lungs right now.
 

robtion

Vampire Thrall
Joined
Aug 23, 2011
Messages
943
#9
@Von Cal: You are right, those bat swarm models really do have a lot of character, especially when they are painted as well as yours. Best use of those models I have ever seen :O

The Varghulf and vamp also look great, I really like the colours, and the painting is super smooth.

As for the Zombie he is great. He makes me laugh in a so pathetic it's funny kind of way :happy:
 

Santawraith

Master Liche
True Blood
Joined
Jun 6, 2010
Messages
7,483
#10
I love the checks on the zombies pant's but it looks a little to clean for my taste's wouldn't it have blood on it? Just a thought.
 

Von Calyptra

Black Knight
Joined
Mar 3, 2011
Messages
382
#11
There's an intentional lack of blood throughout the army. I'm more a Gray's Anatomy / Gunter Von Hagens / Mutter Museum kind of boy; I think that tissues and organs and bones are all quite beautiful when not obscured by a ton of semi clotted blood. In terms of color scheme, I wanted to paint these models in predominantly cold, muted tones, and a lot of red would be pretty much the opposite of that. But if you need a more concrete explanation for the lack of blood, here are some options:

*It was shipped off en masse for use in Bigcannon's army.
*I have to keep the wall wet. It changes color when it dries.
*Somebody drank it.

And now, classic Dire Wolves! They came out a little more blue than I'd intended, but I think they look pretty good nevertheless.







Doom Wolf:








When I inherited these models, one was missing a tail, so I attacked it with a dremel and putty. I'm pretty happy with how it came out.






I liked the bell idea so much I did it on another model, too. This way the birds will always know when they're coming.














GW has produced at least four different lines of wolf models, and as far as I know, none of them are howling. Which seems silly, because it's what wolves do.

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These models fit together when I converted them, but they've since warped for some reason, and now they have to be separate. I still haven't found the motivation to try to make them fit together again.

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Santawraith

Master Liche
True Blood
Joined
Jun 6, 2010
Messages
7,483
#12
Your right it is just preference is all. thanks for taking the time to explain why.

The wolves are not bat's sigh but they are very beautiful looking. My favorite is the chew toy they have found. Though I feel the guy would disagree.
 

Mad 'At

Dumb enough to work
Staff member
True Blood
Joined
Apr 2, 2011
Messages
2,363
#13
Great wolves!

They look so... lifelike... or something xD

Really like the howling one, how did you convert him? Just green stuff?
 

Von Calyptra

Black Knight
Joined
Mar 3, 2011
Messages
382
#14
Thanks!
To make the howling wolf I ground off the lower jaw and back portion of the head, in order to position it at an upward angle. That left a big gap in the chest, which I filled with green stuff, and I sculpted a new muzzle and lower jaw. I looked at a lot of pictures of howling wolves in order to try and keep it as accurate as possible. I think it came out well, though I feel like the muzzle is a tad bulky for a wolf. Honestly, the wolf was much easier than I thought it would be. Sculpting fur is pretty straightforward, and the muzzle is pretty simple shapes. I kept feeling like it needed to be more complicated somehow.
The body on the front of the base was much harder than I thought it would be, and there's some problems with the respective lengths of his thighs, as well as with the hand that I greenstuffed. The base itself, underneath a ton of greenstuff, bits of sprue, and chunks of modular movement tray, is just two bases stuck together. I spent a fair amount of time trying to delete the seam between them, and I'm really happy that it worked.
 

Von Calyptra

Black Knight
Joined
Mar 3, 2011
Messages
382
#15
It's been a little while since I posted here. I've been painting models at a steady trickle, though I've been distracted by gigs, and my girlfriend, and I picked up a dirt cheap copy of Dreadfleet and have been painting that, too. Nevertheless, I finally got around to painting the banner, so it seemed like time to photograph these guys.
So! Skeletons!

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I was sorely tempted to make the metals a lot rustier, but I was afraid of making the color scheme too warm with all that orange. (I let my zombies be super rusty instead.)
The banner is a reference to the Tarot major arcana The Tower, which seemed appropriate for what I think of as essentially a bunker unit. It's also a slightly different twist on the undead banner with a dark castle on it trope.
 
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Von Calyptra

Black Knight
Joined
Mar 3, 2011
Messages
382
#18
I never looked at them that way, but I see it now.
Man, skeletons in kilts with a piper musician would be a really awesome project that I'm absolutely not going to do anytime soon.

Here's the vampire BSB I converted from one of the Mordheim vampires:





Sculpting the breastplate wasn't nearly as hard as I feared it would be. I eventually gave up on giving him a shield in a logical and aesthetic fashion, and just hung the damn thing on the banner. My roommate maintains that his heavy cloak could count as a shield anyway, but if people are particular, there is a shield on the model.
 
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Mad 'At

Dumb enough to work
Staff member
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Messages
2,363
#19
Fabulous conversion :thumbsup:

Nice attention to detail, like the little skull at the end of his banner pole.
 
Joined
Sep 9, 2011
Messages
49
#20
I love your cold theme and that zombie is awesome. I've spent ridiculous amounts of time on some of my zombies, namely the one I wanted to look like a bog body and my Bretonnian "Zombie Champion". They are really nice canvases and were a great unit for me to start with. I think I'd like to try sculpting some shoulders like you did. If I had the time to I would sculpt all the zombies to have continuous shoulders (rather than the sort of weird disjoint you get with the ball/socket thing).

Also for your Vamp BSB you could always paint up a shield to match him and if someone gives you trouble you just stickytak it laying at his feet.

If you feel you want to do more to the metals on your skeletons you could always add a black based wash because metals tarnish.

I also just realized I put my skeleton standard bearers standard on backwards! :slapface:

The bats do look like muppets! Also, what kind of bats hover over the ground in that position? I want to question the person who sculpted them.
 

Von Calyptra

Black Knight
Joined
Mar 3, 2011
Messages
382
#21
While I don't think the GW zombies are great models, I do think they're a lot of fun to paint, and I love the variety you can get out of the kit. Mine are greenstuffed at the shoulders. I'll try to get photos of them up in the near future.

After painting the skeletons (and zombies, and some other models) I mixed a thin wash of black, brown, and red ink, and applied it in smudges and blotches to pretty much the whole model, sometimes adding more red or brown when I felt like it. It made the model look dirty, helped to break up the even tones in the shading, defined edges, and made the metals look tarnished and old.

If I ever make another skeleton unit, I intend to put the standard on backwards, so that it's not identical to the first standard.

The really old GW undead models used to annoy me for their cartoonishness, but I've really come to appreciate their character, as with the bats. If I had a whole army from that era, with their boxy skulls, slanted eye sockets, huge teeth, and giant hands, I would give them a Mardi Gras/Day of the Dead theme.
 
Joined
Sep 9, 2011
Messages
49
#22
Von Calyptra said:
While I don't think the GW zombies are great models, I do think they're a lot of fun to paint, and I love the variety you can get out of the kit. Mine are greenstuffed at the shoulders. I'll try to get photos of them up in the near future.

After painting the skeletons (and zombies, and some other models) I mixed a thin wash of black, brown, and red ink, and applied it in smudges and blotches to pretty much the whole model, sometimes adding more red or brown when I felt like it. It made the model look dirty, helped to break up the even tones in the shading, defined edges, and made the metals look tarnished and old.

If I ever make another skeleton unit, I intend to put the standard on backwards, so that it's not identical to the first standard.

The really old GW undead models used to annoy me for their cartoonishness, but I've really come to appreciate their character, as with the bats. If I had a whole army from that era, with their boxy skulls, slanted eye sockets, huge teeth, and giant hands, I would give them a Mardi Gras/Day of the Dead theme.
That would look awesome. I like most of the exaggeration the old models had but some of them I still can't appreciate. Isabella's original model or Nagash's are two that come to mind. The old ghouls were pretty cool. I have Neferata and can't wait to paint her up.

Edit: I just got a new laptop and when I went to check if you replied I realized I triple posted!
 

Von Calyptra

Black Knight
Joined
Mar 3, 2011
Messages
382
#23
Yeah, the original Isabella and Nagash are probably beyond help. Especially Nagash. Even with sugar skull designs on his head.

Here's my finished BSB:

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And here's my classic Lahmian (though I suppose the later Lahmians are now also "classic"):

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This model had to be reworked partway through. I initially tried for a translucent effect on her dress, which didn't work as well as I wanted to, and worse, was completely overpowered by the blue trim. Rather than changing the blue to another muted gray, I just dumped a lot of fine detail on her to even things out and called it a night. I'm satisfied with the result, even if it's not my original concept.
 
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