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The Lost Legion of Mekhet

Joined
Nov 13, 2013
Messages
927
#1
Hi everyone!


Gottacon 2015, my biggest tournament of the year, is coming up in just over a month's time. Though I attend other tournaments throughout the year with the gaming club I play most of my games with, this is the tournament that I travel to every year with the crew I've been gaming with for over a decade now. Bringing a fully painted army is a point of pride for us, and sadly I have fallen short of this goal two years in a row.

But this year it will change! Without further ado, I present to you

The Lost Legion of Mekhet for Gottacon 2015




....<ahem>...in its current stage of completion. Still lot's of work yet to go!

This is, of course, not my whole army. It has transitioned from being a full Tomb Kings army (progress on which you can find on my Warseer project log HERE.) to a Nehekharan-themed VC army, to a combined Undead Legions army. However Gottacon recently decided to eschew End Times content, and thus for Gottacon I will be bringing a vanilla VC list (though with Lore of Undeath support, if I have the time to build and paint the necessary models).


Little fiddly bits are still to be ironed out. However roughly speaking my army is to contain the following:

King Mekhet (Vampire Lord-General)
Queen Ahi (Vampire Lord)
13 Black Knights
40 skeletons
40 more skeletons (Flaming banner)
20 direwolves
2 spirit hosts (if they fit, Lore of Undeath otherwise)
2x4 Vargheists

Estimated time to completion: 100 hours.

Scheduled painting time: 139 hours

....gunna be tight!

First up, the Vampires.

King Mekhet

King Mekhet is coming along swimmingly. He’s got some touchup work to do around his waist, and I’m not really liking the spear tip on the butt of his axe...gotta find something to replace it with instead.

I’ve also been toying around with how to garnish his hood. Can’t really be a King without a Crown, now can he? I’ve tried my hand at sculpting a few snakehead crowns and none of them have turned out. I’ve also tried press-moulding the one off my metal tomb prince and it didn’t turn out well either. Snake bits I have from everywhere else are way too big.

The only other thing I’ve come up with is to use the rather boring crown off the warsphinx prince. I have the mangled remains of his head lying around somewhere after it was hacked up to be replaced for my old Hierophant conversion. I’m going to give that a shot and see how it turns out.

QUEEN AHI


Lady vampire in progress with her wings attached, and with her spear. The tip is Prince Apophas’ dagger, which was removed to convert him into my casket priest. The butt adornment is the pommel from a TG sword.

Attached to her base. I stupidly snipped her off the tab, and didn’t realize until after that this made it nearly impossible to attach her to the base. She’s pinned at present but her spindly little legs aren’t super fond of it and have broken on several occasions.

Here she is at present. I’ve sculpted her a new left shoulder, to fit a witch elf arm I got off a clubmate. She’s getting a round shield hoplite-style shield, just like her husband. I need to attach this to the arm first (and sculpt some straps, like with King Mekhet’s shield) before I reattach it to the shoulder. The GS was sculpted to fit so it’s just a matter of gluing.

Here’s a better view of her from behind, with her new hand. Again, from a witch elf. It’s a liiiiitle bit too big, but not super noticeable from any angle save this one. The WE arm wasn’t at the right angle and this arm is sculpted as part of the body, so I didn’t want to go through the trouble of hacking it apart. I might reassess once she’s got some paint on her.




Got a set of these as a Christmas present from my girlfriend. They're kind of like rubber-tipped paint brushes in various shapes, meant for pushing paint around on a canvas. Not sure how well they accomplish that, but as sculpting tools I can attest to how AMAZING these things perform.

You'll still want a metal tool to create the broad shapes...they're a bit too soft to be pushing around large amounts of material. However what these things excel at is the little details. First of all they leave no tool marks. Secondly, because of how soft they are you can really control how your sculpting medium is being pushed around and shaped. You can make tiny, incremental changes to where things are, letting you avoid the endless cycle of over-correcting back and forth that I find happens with metal tools.



This is my second attempt at using the colour shapers. The first was sculpting Lady Vampire's left shoulder, which turned out tremendously better than my previous attempts with my standard metal tools. I disliked how it looked like the only armour on her torso is those silly little nipple tassles, so I added a ridge to make it look like she's wearing a breast plate (tee hee!). Will probably be painted burnished bronze, to fit in with the rest of the army. Might be burnished gold instead...undecided.



Here's a closeup so you can see it better. See how smooth those lines are? Just blown away.



And with my little finger for scale, so that you can see just how fine of detail I'm talking about. These things are just head-and-shoulders above my previous tools. I really can't recommend them enough for anybody wanting to do some serious sculpting.

I think it was $50 for the set, roughly comparable to picking up a nice set of sablehair brushes (like Windsor & Newton series 7, which is what I use for painting).

Vargheists up next...
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2013
Messages
927
#2
Actually before we jump into the Vargheists, here's a peak into another little project I have going.

TERRORGHEIST:


Here's the work-in-progress of my Terrorgheist conversion. He's built from a terrorgheist torso/wings, a heavily converted zombie dragon skull, and a plasticard hood. His tail is part warsphinx, part necroknight.

Picked up a heatgun from Michaels to reshape the plasticard on his hood. The ribs shaped nicely along with the plasticard, and given the contours I’m now very glad that I sculpted these before I took the heatgun to it.

The wings have also been magnetized to the model for ease of transport.

Here he is from a different angle. You can see the fangs a little easier from this angle.


...and a closeup of the underside of the hood/head. It’s become quite apparent to me just how much work there is left to do on this model. Some sort of neck needs to be sculpted to blend the body into the hood (prob 2-4 hours). The head needs to be sculpted, including eye sockets (3-6 hours). I might sculpt a serpentine tongue into his mouth as well (2 hours). The inside of the hood needs to be cleaned up, along with all the joints - especially where the body meets the tail, and where the wings are magnetized to the body. Probably 2-3 hours there.

However the biggest project is going to be the rear of the hood. My plan is to insert hieroglyphic inscriptions, a la the rear of the necroknight snake hoods, and surround that with necrotic snake skin. I’ll probably press mould these off either the warsphinx legs or the necroknights. Either way...a lot of work.

Thus I’ve decided to postpone this project until after the rest of the army is painted, and make do with vargheists instead. Not optimal, but I want him to hit the table for the first time when he’s fully painted. The rest of my army has been seen by the scene in various stages of completion, and the “wow” factor will be spent by the time it’s done. The terrorgheist will hopefully be my way to win that back.

Thus this is sadly the last you’ll probably see of him until sometime at least April, if not June.
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2013
Messages
927
#3
Vargheists


First up is my test vargheist. I felt that the stock head was a little too “gothic”/”generic horror” plus they don’t have any metal bits on which I can do the signature “tarnished bronze” that is the unifying colour in my army’s paint scheme. I first considered giving them some semblance of the scale mail found on my Tomb Guard, but this turned out to be way too much work. Thus I endeavoured to do a head swap instead.

After some failed attempts I ultimately settled on the Sepulchral Stalker champion head. I really liked the contrast between the dynamic body and the otherworldly calm of the mask.

Problem though: you only get ONE of these heads per necroknight box, and I only have one of them having not gotten bits when I purchased my first three knights off a friend.

Solution: press molding. I use a product called “Instamold” to copy the face and crest of the heads. They’re not perfect, but as I plan on painting these bronze-with-verdigris anyways any imperfections can be covered up as oxidization damage.

More progress.

Here’s some progress on my test model. As you can see the mask is turning out well with the verdigris-ed bronze. You can’t see from the picture, but I’ve picked out the edges with gold and silver to make the features stand out a bit.

A bit more progress, and here with some work done on his hair. This is just black with a white drybrush. A clubmate of mine (who regularly wins best-painted armies with his utterly gorgeous WoC army) has recently gotten into drybrushing, and convinced me to give it another try.

Drybrushing is one of those “lower” techniques that experienced painters condescend towards, but done right it can actually create some really amazing effects. I’ve used a large P3 drybrush here with so little of the paint wiped off it that I had to do probably 50 passes to get to the point you see here. However the result is a slow buildup of white that creates a blend effect. I’m very happy with how it turns out. Beats doing a half-dozen layers on every single piece of hair, I’ll tell you.


Here’s some progress on the unit.

...and the Vargs on their fancy new magnetized movement tray.

A friend of a friend is an engineer with access to a laser cutter. He offered to create some laser-cut sheet metal strips for real cheap, and I went to town on that offer.

The sheet below the vargheists is measured to give the requisite ½ inch of space between them. I’ve also put a ½ inch border around the outside, the idea being that two trays touching will be the minimum 1” gap between my units. It will also allow me to blend the sand effect of the bases into my eventual display board.
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2013
Messages
927
#4
Black Knights

As always, a proof of concept to start.

I’ve been resisting doing black knights ever since I first picked up a VC book. Heavily armoured vampires is an anathema to the lightly-armoured TKtheme, and felt like I was going against my roots. I’ve also grown up playing around fluff gamers, who ruthlessly shame people for optimizing their lists. Thus even though my list is shamelessly tuned and optimized for competitive play, I still have a few holdbacks that I won’t move past.

End Times: Nagash is what finally made me break down, specifically Undead Legions. I’d been running my Tomb Guard as a counts-as Grave Guard unit to good effect, but their M4 was proving to be a little lacklustre. Undead Legions finally gave me a TK-themed cavalry option for running a bus in the form of light-armoured horsemen. 4+ instead of 2+, and T3 instead of T4, but I found that by running them 3-wide (Bretonnia style!) I could mitigate that downside by limiting the number of attacks that could be allocated against the unit. Then with the extra attacks I could finally squeeze in that second vampire model I’ve been dying to use. Go go gadget 50% lords!

For bodies I’m using the tomb guard riders from the warsphinx kit, heavily converted. Also some extra necroknight riders I had lying around. They’re anchored to standard TK skeletal steeds.


Next up the champion, because nothing gets me jazzed up like converting up champions. The idea for his head is shamelessly stolen from somebody on the Khemri forums, with a crest made from one of the skeleton warrior standards. I was going to give him the axe from the necroknight champion but it was in the wrong hand and I got fed up trying to convert it.

Here he is from a different angle.

And the unit as a whole, on their fancy new movement tray.

Basing them was surprisingly time-consuming for some reason. I’ve been creating a sand dune effect by carving ridges into drywall putty (left to dry for 48h), followed by a coat of Vallejo liquid plastic to protect it from chipping. Even after that it’s still quite fragile, but I haven’t found a better way to make them that incorporates the model into the basing. There are companies that produce pre-made resin sand dune bases, but the models just sit unnaturally ontop of the dunes...doesn’t really work for me.

Another angle


...and another.
 

The Sun King

Imperator
True Blood
Joined
Aug 22, 2012
Messages
3,838
#5
Sweet mother of christ you're talented! Gotta say that is some of the finest conversion work I've seen in a LONG time! I tip my hat at you good sir. Can't wait to see them all painted.
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2013
Messages
927
#6
MISC BITS AND BOBS

Possible crypt horror concept. Ushabti body, great weapon converted into a hand weapon, with a shield made form a press-molded TG banner top and plasticard. Not sure how I feel about this.


Zoooombiiiiies. 30 of them, from Mantic, to be fielded purely for Raise Dead purposes. I was actually pleasantly surprised at how easier these are to put together. Easier than the fething Wargames Factory Skeletons I'm using that's for sure, as good as they look.


Movement tray for the skeletons. Unlike the vargheists their tray is to be made up of 20mmx100mm strips, which will magnetize the skeletons in individual ranks (using fridge magnet strips on the bottoms of their bases), since skeletons tend to die in groups of 5. MUCH easier, both for removing models and for putting them back together at the end of the game.


Skeletons on their tray.


And both my skeleton units together. I painted the first 20 quite a while ago using Citadel seraphim sepia wash. Not a fan of how it turned out. I've since transitioned to devlan mud wash (still had a pot, as well as Army Painter Strong Tone and Vallejo ...something shade...both of which are almost identical). I probably won't repaint the sepia skeletons until after Gottacon.



Another picture of my Vargheists. Their wings are disattached to make painting easier. I'm thinking that the champions will get gold masks, to further differentiate them from the rank-and-file. They also have beards and a snake crown on their masks, which I couldn't reproduce with the press mold heads.



Direwolves, twenty of them.

I absolutely loathe these models. However I got the whole lot of them for $10 off my FLGS owner, so I really couldn't complain. After Gottacon I'll essentially toss these, and replace them with Mantic war panthers converted with manes to be "lion" constructs. Will probably paint them with a black or white marble effect (perhaps each different unit a slightly different colour). This will give me good practice for the warsphinx I will eventually add to the UL version of this list.

However in the mean time I'm using these crappy old direwolf models. They'll get the same treatment as the mantic zombies, namely standard basing (ugh) plus some sort of wash and drybrush. I'm thinking bone prime, mud wash, then a heavy brown drybrush followed by a lighter brown drybrush.
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2013
Messages
927
#7
Sweet mother of christ you're talented! Gotta say that is some of the finest conversion work I've seen in a LONG time! I tip my hat at you good sir. Can't wait to see them all painted.
Why thank you, good sir :) I'm really pleased with how this project is coming along...hopefully I manage to get it all finished in time for the tourney.

I have a pretty grueling schedule to try and get it all done. Plan for tonight is to finish the bases on those skeletons and the black knight champion (who had to get redone after a tumble coming home from club night the other week), so that I can get prime on them this weekend and start painting.

I'm actually really quite frustrated with myself for putting so many shields on the damned skeletons. It takes as long to paint a shield as the whole rest of the model (base included). However I paid $17 on Horde o' Bitz for 40 of them and figured I should put them to use. It also helps make the models a little more durable, since the arms on their own are very flimsy. Glueing the blades and arms to the edges of the shield, and the shield itself to the base, makes them much stronger. The only weak part is the head. Plastic glue could solve this, but sadly the plastic glue carried by my FLGS is fucking garbage and it's a long trek to the better hobby store in town.

Anyways thanks so much for the kind words! Having my fellow gamers admiring my work is my primary motivation for getting all of this done. I'll be trying to keep this blog updated with my progress over the next month.

Cheers!
 

Seneschal

Liche
True Blood
Joined
May 15, 2008
Messages
5,524
#9
I am not worthy. I am throwing away my own egyptian themed undead for my efforts will never equal yours.

All hail the Pirate of Death! :bowdown:
 

Count Vashra

Lord of Shadows
True Blood
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
1,570
#10
Great work so far. All hail King Mekhet and Queen Ahi! Eagerly looking forward to more. Good conversions, and I like the wings on Ahi. I'm guessing you'll be giving her Flying Horror?

A like from me!

Edit: Seneschal, don't! Just because his work is beyond us mortals (well, more mortal:vampire3:) doesn't give you a reason to waste what must have been years of work!
 

ObliviJohn

Vampire wood elf
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
187
#11
Really well done, I like Mehket the most. About his crown you could try and put a golden scarab on his forehead.
A quick google made it seem like most were un-ornamented but just golden striped.
http://vampirewarzone.yolasite.com/resources/yulbrinner.jpg
This guy has something just in the forehead =)

About the rubber brushes. I've seen those before on youtube, they seem awsome. Do you know where I can pick some up?

Great job, can't wait to see more.
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2013
Messages
927
#12
Thanks so much for the kind words, everyone.

@ObliviJohn: My girlfriend bought mine at Opus, which is an art suply store. I think it was $50 for the set? Around the price of a good set of sable brushes. You can probably pick them up at somewhere similar.
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2013
Messages
927
#15
Lovely conversions! What models did you use as base for Mekhet and Ahi?




I picked these two up off the Cool Mini or Not store. Mekhet is "Vardivin" from Enigma miniatures, while Ahi is Valeria from Tales of War. I'd been struggling to find some vampires who weren't all gothic and armoured in ridgy bat armour (or modern/victorian dress), and this was all I could really find.



Here's the stock Vardivin model as it came from the package. It was cast in a nice white metal that's kind of fragile but held its detail quite well. I was actually rather impressed with the sculpt and cast both. His little tail is a bit odd, but oh well.

Modifications I made:
1) added a greenstuff pharoah hood
2) swapped out his flail for a more Tomb Kingsy weapon. Unfortunately his hand didn't survive my attempt to drill a hole through it for the new weapon shaft.
3) added a press-molded greenstuff scalemail skirt/loincloth thingy.
4) scraped the raised skull print on his shoulderpad





Valeria I was no quite so impressed with. Firstly the metal she's cast from is really cheap and soft. The spear is so flimsy that it's essentially unusable. She's very clearly a display-only miniature, not one meant for the rigours of tabletop battles.

Moreover, her right arm was miscast. I emailed CMON about it and they told me to ship it back to them and they'd send me a new one. I was NOT impressed. I was going to email Tale of War to see if they would send me a new one but I forgot.

Modifications I made to her:
1) added wings
2) sculpted a new right shoulder to go with a GW witch elf arm
3) added a new left hand and spear
4) modified her breast plate to look more like armour, and less like this weird turtleneck thing she's got going on.





Here she is with the reaper wings and spear, straightened out. Not only was it flimsy but I also didn't like the adornments or head...so it was getting replaced either way.
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2013
Messages
927
#17
Well, always rewarding to put your own spin on the models.
I'm pretty sure there isn't a single model in my army that isn't converted in some shape or form. Even the skeletons have shield swaps. And the direwolves, I guess...

Oh and I missed your last question. Originally my plan was to run a SGK with flying horror, inspired by the Enigma model. I bought the lady vamp on a whim, since I was already paying the hefty tag for shipping.

However by the time the models arrived I'd grown thoroughly disenchanted with vampires on foot after my SGK got stepped on and skinked to death in two consecutive games. By the time the models arrived they'd become two vampires (lord and hero) on hellsteeds instead. I just mounted them on cavalry bases, basically. The hero vampire got dropped because they're pretty crap outside a points-denial BK bus deathstar build.

...then 50% Lords came along and suddenly two vampires is back in! Both on hellsteeds again, 'cuz why not.
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2013
Messages
927
#18
UPDATE: SKELETONS

Skeleton brick is almost done! Here’s some pictures of the progress.

Here’s a picture illustrating how I make the bases. Drywall putty has been spread over the base and allowed to cure for 48 hours (it flakes off in big chunks if you try and do it too early). I use a metal “scoop”-shaped sculpting tool to carve the sand dunes.

Note that the dust gets EVERYWHERE, so proper lung protection is very important. I didn’t use a mask the first time I did this and I was sneezing for days afterwards. The drywall dust is also a major skin irritant but I’ve found gloves get in my way while modelling. I just make sure to wash my hands very thoroughly after instead (though they still get red and a bit angry if I’ve been at it for a while).


Here’s the movement tray, sculpted and sealed. I ran out of Vallejo liquid plastic so switched to liquid greenstuff for a second coat. Not as big of a fan of this stuff, and the bottles of it dry out really quickly. Très unimpressed.



Progress on basing the unit. Dear god...so many skeletons.


Finally got them finished and primed! Used spray-on Army Painter Bone. I’ve found you need to be really careful with the armypainter sprays as they have a tendency to melt miniatures and glom on thick. Can’t beat them for range of colour though...I’d just stick with GW for black or white.


Primed unit from another angle.

The next step is painting accent colours prior to washing. I paint the shields, bandages, and any cloth bits in Ceramite White, while any wood/leather bits get undercoated Mournfang Brown. Then the entire unit gets splashed with a healthy coat of Devlan Mud (aka liquid gold)...


...which I just ran out of. OH, THE TRAVESTY!!!



Luckily I have a backup. Umber Shade to the rescue! Reaper product, I think? I also have Army Painter Strong Tone, which is also functionally identical. Can't remember what the vallejo product is, but I'm pretty sure they have one.

Not a fan of the new GW Agrax Earthshade. It's got a bit of a green tint, and most definitely does NOT match the old Devlan Mud. These products all have slightly different consistency, but are otherwise functionally identical.


Here’s the completed unit, after being doused in wash. 1 ½ of those ranks are Umber Shade while all the rest are Devlan Mud...see if you can tell the difference

Another picture with slighting different angle/lighting.


After washing I drybrush all the bone bits with Ushabti Bone. Then I undercoat the metal bits with Warplock Bronze.

Still to go:

METAL: drybrush the metal bits with Balthasar Gold, then wash with the Verdigris technical paint. After that I drybrush the metal with Gehanna's Gold, then edge any parts I want to specifically highlight with Mithril Silver.

SHIELDS/CLOTH: Just an easy highlight of watered-down white here. I say watered and not medium because I want a splotchy, streaky, uneven finish to make it look like faded cloth/paint. The texture also helps differentiate it from the bone (which is otherwise a very similar colour).

BASES: Undercoat zamasi desert. Then drybrush with ... crap one shade up from the ushabti bone drybrush, followed by an extreme highlight in ceramite white. I find it's too hard to use the praxetti white for extreme highlights because the paint dries out too quickly and it's hard to control the amount of pigment on the brush.

I'm actually really quite disenchanted with Citadel's line of drybrush paints. I like the colours they have, but the paints themselves are just complete garbage. They dry out really quickly, are hard to control, and just are all around not very pleasant to use. If someone has any tips for getting them to work I'd love to hear, since I have a good $30 worth of them that I'm strongly considering just throwing into the trash.


More angles on the skeletons:




 

Atrophus

Grave Guard
Joined
Feb 14, 2014
Messages
214
#19
Looking good :)
I especially like the vamps.
The head swap on the vargheists look cool aswell.
The skeleton unit looks awesome ranked up together :skull:
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2013
Messages
927
#20
UPDATE:




Skeletons are substantially completed. Splashed verdigris technical paint onto the metal to give it that tarnished bronze look, painted the shields with a heavily-watered white in several coats to get that streaky faded paint effect, then painted all the bases.

Just waiting for the weather to get a little dryer so that I can hit them with matte varnish, then highlight the metal a bit with a drybrushing of Gehannas' Gold. Will probably edge the swords in mithril silver as well.


Next up is my black knights. Movement tray has been shaped and sealed, and is ready for priming. Again...just waiting for the weather to turn a bit. It's been raining quite hard these past few days and the dampness messes with the spray undercoat. Looks like the sun will come out Wednesday, so until then I will probably finish off the sculpting work on my characters, carve the bases on my zombies and direwolves, and drill holes into the mantic square bases to magnetize the zombies to metal strips for ease of placement.
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2013
Messages
927
#21
UPDATE:


So an unfortunate setback the other day. Got a bit impatient and primed my black knights too soon after it stopped raining. Result: fuzzy black knights. <Sigh>. They're currently sitting in a bath of Simple Green. Very likely going to have to rebase them as well, as I suspect the drywall putty on the bases won't withstand soaking in the liquid. We shall see.

In the mean time I plotted out all the work I have left to do. It's going to be tight...

Characters:
1) finish conversions (King Mekhet has work left on his crown, weapon hand, and finishing touches on his scale mail around the belt. Queen Ahi needs her shield arm connected and touched up)
2) bases (set, but not carved)
3) painting (leaving them for last...they'll likely just get basecoated to bring them to 3-colour standard, rather than rush out the paintjob on my important characters)

Skeletons 1 - FINISHED

Skeletons 2
1) Movement Tray
2) some painting (some of the shields aren't done, a few misc bits, a few bases need painting, if I have time the bone needs repainting on some of the skeletons that I did with seraphim sepia before switching to a mud wash)

Direwolves
1) bases
2) undercoat
3) painting (thinking black->drybrush white for bone,

Vargheists 1:
1) Painting (already undercoated, basecoated, needs drybrushing on hair, metallics on faces, and blending on muscles)

Vargheists 2:
1) Finish greenstuffing neck on champ
2) Undercoat champ
3) Painting (otherwise same as vargheists1)

Zombies:
1) Undercoat
2) Paint


Goal for tonight is to get the direwolves based and magnetized, the movement tray for the skeletons finished, and finish the greenstuffing on the final vargheist. If I have time I'll do the finishing touches on the two Vampires, then get started on a yet-unmentioned mystery conversion (ooOOooo :tongue: ).

Weather is supposed to clear up early next week, so over the weekend I plan on getting all my conversions finished then start working on painting up the vargheists. I have a lot of work left but a lot of it should be easy (direwolves and zombies I have very minimal plans for), my other unit of skeletons is substantially finished, and I've mentioned how I'll cut corners on my characters if I run out of time.
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2013
Messages
927
#22
UPDATE:
Since the weather hasn't been cooperating with letting me prime some minis, I spent the remainder of last week pushing through the last few non-painting odds and ends.



First up, movement trays. My other unit of skeletons is substantially painted but has been languishing on temporary movement trays for quite some time now. Here they are set out on a piece of 0.6mm sheet of plasticard, which I've cut with a 1/2" border on all sides but the back.



Next step is to glue some balsa wood strips down around the minis to hold them in place. After this picture I glued down a second layer of balsa wood just to give the plasticard some extra structure (the drywall putty cracks if bent), then used an exacto knife to cut a slope down towards the edges of the tray.



I may have mentioned this before, but I've been using tubes of Drydex drywall putty to do the basing.



...as also mentioned before, this stuff is a skin irritant. Don't disrespect the warning label!



The stuff goes on purple then dries to white. It requires 48 hours before it cures hard enough to work with properly. Before then it's far too soft and crumbly.



20 direwolves and 25 zombies are now based, sealed, and ready to go. Whyyyyy did I commit to such an elaborate basing scheme in a friggin horde army.



At this point it's just characters and movement trays left to carve. You'll notice that I'm wearing gloves here as I finish off the base on Queen Ahi . Learned my lesson there.



Leftover material removed during the carving of those bases. You can see why wearing a mask is so important...




On a more positive note, Queen Ahi is now modelled and ready for paint! Rather pleased with how she turned out. Her shield arm is sliiiiiightly longer than the weapon arm, but I don't think it's super noticeable. Well...to anyone but me. We'll see how much it bothers me once she's painted I can always go back and replace that arm if necessary, and just use paint-on primer for that part of the model.




King Mekhet misbehaved by losing his head in a practice game the other day, so I thought I'd take my revenge out on his model. Desperate times call for desperate measures...



Kidding. Got sick and tired of trying and failing to sculpt him a proper crown so he's getting the one from a finecast tomb prince I had lying around (okay, that I bought specifically for this purpose. But shhhhh! Don't tell the girlfriend!)





Here's the (substantially) completed model, once I used GS to fix up the hood. There's a few little things I need to touch up (the right side of his hood is a bit rough, there's a few lumps in the back of it to be smoothed out, and his weapon hand needs some work), but otherwise he's good to go. Must say that I'm ridiculously pleased with how he turned out as well. His crown looks a little odd from the top-down view you currently get of him from the tabletop, but I figure I can fix that in the future by sticking him on a more scenic base that angles him upwards a little bit. However I'm waiting on some of my friends to get their sh## together so that we can do an order of some Hirstarts modular scenery pieces. I'm envisioning him standing on a partially-downed Egyptian-style column sticking up out of the sand.


Sun is finally out so I'm heading home now to get some primer on all this stuff. Plan is to churn out the direwolves and zombies today and tomorrow, then spend the rest of this week and next finishing off the direwolves, vargheists, and characters. Only 11 painting nights left!
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2013
Messages
927
#23


Zombies are finished.

Prime white -> Talarn Sand on skin -> mud wash -> tallarn sand drybrush on skin / watered white on clothes -> base -> white on eyes, grey on guts (which should have been done before the wash, but oh well)

Holy crap was that soul crushing. Zombies are so boring to paint. I do NOT understand how people can paint 150 of those, let alone more.

Speaking of soul crushing, tonight's project is my 20 direwolves, which are about 50% finished. No pics because they look like hot garbage before they're washed. Really hating on these models. Will definitely replace them with something prettier before this army is done.
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2013
Messages
927
#24
UPDATE:


Test direwolf completed. As much as I hate these models I'm relatively happy with how he turned out.

Tallarn sand on the skin (like with the mummies), stormvermin fur on the muscles, ushabti bone on the bone bits. Wash whole thing with devlan mud. Paint hair black then drybrush white. Base. Should probably go back over and highlight again but I can't be arsed. Too much to go still and not enough time left to do it.



Here's the whole lot of them. Sorry for the washed out photo: my phone camera was being cranky getting the lighting right. I'm going to try and borrow my dad's DSLR at some point to take some proper photos before I head out to Gottacon.




And here's my "done" pile. Missing a handful of skeletons and their movement tray, but otherwise these are all done.

120 models down, 25 to go. Unfortunately those are the 25 hardest....
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2013
Messages
927
#25
UPDATE:


Didn't have time to update last week as I frantically ground out hobby for my tournament.



Here's some progress on my mounted wight king conversion. He was a late addition to the list, so I'm a little concerned about getting him done in time. However in test games he was extraordinarily helpful to making the bus more durable, so I'm really hoping to get him done in time.

He's of course made from a finecast Tomb Prince with his skirt carved out to fit to a horse. He's magnetted onto his horse so that I can swap it out for a more fitting mount at a later date should I need to.



Vampires are primed! I didn't notice until afterwards but the primer went on a little heavy in a couple places and totally ruined the minis. They're both getting a bath of simplegreen as soon as I return from the tournament, but I don't have time to do that beforehand. They'll get enough paint on them to earn paint scores and that's it.

Unfortunate, but not the worst. Nothing a bit of simple green can't fix.



Speaking of Simple Green, here's my lovely lady friend helping me out by scrubbing paint off my black knights, who have been sitting in simple green for a couple days. She's been amazingly patient with me through marathon hobby sessions, though that patience did start to fray in the couple weeks leading up to the event (where I was up until 1:00am every night, and later on weekends).

"What can I do to make this end sooner?"

5 minutes later...

"This is actually oddly satisfying."

10 minutes later...

"Okay, so I know you said the rest of these models in here aren't for *this* army, but do you need them stripped *eventually*?"

Keeper right there.



Last of my movement trays done! Took a couple tries on these bad boys as I didn't put quite enough drywall putty on the first time, and sadly it doesn't adhere to itself very well when you try and add an additional layer. Which is odd, but oh well



Metallics on the vampire. Needs a highlight of mithril, but as I said he's getting stripped anyways so not overly concerned there.



Paint on the skin and hood. Thinking the blacks will need to be highlighted blue to make them pop. Not sure what to do with the crown, now that the hood has gold in it.



Of course the moment I get my black knights based again the window of gorgeous weather I'd been having closes and it starts to rain again. Bloody hell. I really need to pick myself up an airbrush.

You can see the primed vargheist in this picture as well. Other than characters these are the last models I need to paint before the event.



Washed and metallics done, and I decide to call it "good enough" on these guys. They need some mithril edging on the metallics to make them "pop" (kind of dull right now), as well as some white highlights on the bandages (which are also quite dull). Banner also needs more highlights to stand out.

I realize at this point that I am exactly one black knight short, who is still sitting in simple green. &*^%&*^%. Too late to change the list, so he's just going to get "forgotten on the painting table" for this one.



6:30 am the morning before the tournament and here's where we're sitting. Everything is "good enough" save the characters, who I'll have to finish painting in the hotel room. Vargheists wings aren't glued back on, but a clubmate is bringing some blue tack for me.

I double-check that I have everything (except the 1 missing black knight) for my list and carefully pack it all away. Then I hazily pack my bags, and start loading up the car as my friends arrive at my place.



From the other angle. 147 miniatures all told. I can see all the cut corners still, and places that need to be touched up, but damned if I'm not proud of this army.




Turned out a buddy of mine wasn't done his army either. So Friday night we check into the hotel and the convention, then retreat to our room for one last marathon hobby session. He finishes at about 11pm and I snap this picture of his completed army for the Whatsapp before he packs it all away and goes to bed.

I have hours of hobby left, and seeth with jealousy.



Progress on the wight king's cloak. I don't want him sticking to his horse, who he's attached to with magnets, so I use seran wrap as a barrier while I'm sculpting. It works surprisingly well.



Finished. Sculpted some hair to cover the area around the mask. GS was necessary also to fix the blade on his axe, which was basically hollow. ###### finecast.



1:00 am and he gets suspended above the hotel lamp to speed the curing of the greenstuff. Really should have planned ahead and done this before.



Here I am outside the fabulous Empress Hotel in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia...huddled in a little stairwell priming minis in the middle of the night. The things we do for hobby, eh?

Security guard caught up to me as I wandered around looking for a spot out of the wind to prime. "What are you doing with that spray can buddy." Didn't truly realize how sketchy / ridiculous I must look until right then haha. He calmed down as soon as he realized I was just some dork putting paint on my toy soldiers

Not pictured is the horse ontop of the mcdonalds cup, being primed while its rider cures.


2:00 am and the horse is painted, and the rider is ready for prime. Security guard waves at me as I pass by him again with another mini.


Final highlight in Mithril Silver. Yes...I still have some in the old pop top.

...just realizing now that I don't actually have "finished" pictures of the characters. Will take some when I get a chance.


Finished painting at 3:30 am. 4 1/2 hours of sleep, ate breakfast, then headed to the venue for game 1.

Link to my battle report thread to follow.
 
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