Terrain, Movement Trays, and Miniature Basing Material

Beach Sand ready for paint
Beach Sand ready for paint

So although I got a very late start to the day, it appears at least one Golden Daemon winning or aspiring painter is following my blog. I don’t really run in that circle, I’m not a bad painter, I can do better, but I paint my army or my toy soldiers to use in games. People are often surprised I don’t enter more painting competitions, I just don’t need more stress in my life. Painting 28mm miniatures can be stressful enough without flying to a contest and having them subjected to incredible scrutiny. I just try to do the best I can, on the models I need to paint to play, in the time I have available.

What did I paint today upon learning that expert level miniature painters are paying attention to my little tips, techniques, and travails? I drybrushed sand! That’s right boring old beach sand, drybrushed a series of browns, that is what I needed to do to get the second movement tray finished for the Neatherworldly Mathematicians. Since I knew I had to do this anyway I got out two entrenchments that have been off on the side of my painting desk for a month or more.  They needed some sand and drybrushing too.

Before Drybrushing
Before Drybrushing

After drybrushing sand, I painted wood and drybrushed that too. Then I painted sandbags and drybrushed them as well. I was running out of dry brushes. That is the thing about drybrushing, you really do need a dry brush. I painted the other details on my hand built entrenchment and the green growth on the Snap Dragon one and called them done. Not before I mixed up a custom rust wash and applied it to the metal plate and the pick axe.

More Basing Materials
More Basing Materials

Remember my other big goal for the week, basing 54 Night Goblins?  Well here is the material I bought years ago when I was considering strongly doing a Warhammer Ancients army.  Amazingly I’m tired of drybrushing mud, so I decided my next army, my first new army in decades, would be based with something other than drybrushed sand. I opted for a fall scheme, now all I needed was to choose a brown.

The Chosen Brown
The Chosen Brown

When I started the Trench Table project I went to Deserres and stocked up on browns. I picked four I liked best and upon inspecting the alsorans, I opted to use the one I labeled W2. It is an in-stock Delta Ceramcoat Golden Brown.

Base looks like peanut butter
Base looks like peanut butter

Last night while not sleeping, I remember I had two spare Night Goblin archers painted in my miniature case in colour schemes I discarded years ago when I did up some greenskins to play Mordheim. My greenskins were deemed such a success and so old school pressure was put on to paint the other 150 and have an army of them. Now about 8 years later I’m very close to having a playable Warhammer 8th Edition army of goblins. Loyal readers will know I opted to use Nurgle Daemons in the Mighty Empires campaign at Strategies as it was even less work getting them legal for 8th Edition, however in an unexpected campaign twist it is mandatory mercenaries week, so some of the Night Goblins must get based in time for Sunday’s game.

Base looks like crunchy peanut butter
Base looks like crunchy peanut butter

I tried the Golden Brown on the base of one of these unneeded but still painted Night Goblin archers, it looked like peanut butter. I put the ballast on, it looked like crunchy peanut butter. I’m not sure I need any more jokes about this, impatiently I put some of this weird red flock, or what I thought was flock on. It seems to be really fine foam-like material, you kinda have to squish it down with the end of a brush say to get it behave a bit more. I wasn’t crazy over how it looked or the colour, but it certainly was different.

The final material I bought at Imperial Hobbies years ago, was lichen in Autumnal colours. I reached for a tiny sprig of a non-red one and I thought it looked much better on the base than the weird red foamy stuff…  My plan is still to go ahead with basing the 54 Night Goblins and their movement tray I have to now make, peanut butter brown, add the crunchy bits and the some twigs of lichen. Then after all that is dry add very little red stuff. I also thought of mixing the red stuff and ballast together so I can apply it in one go…

One down, many to go...
One down, many to go…

That might just make a big headache inducing mess.  The finished model looks OK, hopefully it looks fine with my purple and blue flamed Night Goblins, the Nefarious Fire Tribe. I’ve even named all the units now. The one getting based is of course Ickybob’s Boyz still to come are the Prickly Posse and the Blue Bootie Brigade. My ork unit which isn’t assembled or painted will be called Snaggletooth’s Snappers and will be lead by Ol’ Snaggletooth himself. The Battle Standard Bearer and the Warboss who lead the other two goblin units might have had names last night while I couldn’t sleep, or perhaps they did not.

After dinner and a fresh round of applying for jobs, I’ll start work on making my custom magnetic movement tray for the 54 (55 with Hero) strong unit of Night Goblin archers, ranked up in five rows of 11.

Autumn Test Goblin

Test Models Inspect Entrenchments

3 Finished Plaguebearers

Three painted Plaguebearers
Three painted Plaguebearers

Today was actually the best day for painting we’ve had in a long time in Vancouver. There is a breeze, my hands didn’t sweat, I don’t have to OD on water. Too bad my sleep schedule is so messed up I slept away most of the day. I’m up now and paint is drying as I’m almost done Fleshy, Drabby, and Knarly. I’ve finished the eyes which are oranges and yellows. I think I need a bit more yellow but yellow notoriously doesn’t cover well, even over orange and white.

I did the handles of the swords brown even using my Reaper Master Series Terracotta on them. I did the champs tongue purple. I did my new dark purple system of GW’s Liche Purple then the Foundry Royal Purple Triad. For fun I blended on the Wet Palette, which is behaving more today in the milder weather, the inbetween shades. Alas I still haven’t gotten the handle on the wet palette and may have rushed things too much. I did a very thinned down old GW Purple Wash too. Now like a lot of other things it is drying.

My Putrid Green Paint Pot
My Putrid Green Paint Pot

I’m painting the glob on Knarly’s sword an old GW Jade Green which I plan to highlight with an old GW Putrid Green.

I painted the nipple ring on Fleshy a P3 Blighted Gold colour which is a great Nurgle colour even if it does suffer from some separation issues, it is still workable.

The bases will be drybrushed with three GW browns: Scorched Earth, Snakebite Leather, and Bubonic. They already got a fresh coat of Delta Ceramcoat black which is nice and flat and covers well. I reach for it a lot to save my Chaos Black for finer detail work, now.

That’s about it, when everything is reasonably dry I snapped the pics then they are off to the box to get Matte Varnished. I plan to go with Purity Seal even though I hear horror stories about it frosting models every now and then. When I get a job and lessen my debt load I’ll hopefully have used it up and switch to Testors.

I think after all these years I’ve finally gotten good at drybrushing. I come from the old school where we drybrushed with old brushes. This can be really hit and miss which is a way to describe drybrushing itself. Over the years I’ve acquired some makeup style brushes and on my last trip to Deserres I bought the smallest one yet. This is much superior to the old worn out Tamiya brush I was using. It was actually a joy to drybrush up the dirt with my new brush. Maybe I’ll have to try drybrushing something else besides dirt and skulls… Of course you still need to get just the right amount of paint on your brush, this is more important than the kind of brush you use.

In case you didn’t notice the Putrid Green turned out to be a boulder. Shows you how often I use it. So the green glob on Knarly’s sword is GW Jade Green and one of the oldest pots in my collection, GW Bilious Green from the Monster Paint Set I believe. I blended the colours together, oh yeah the midtone was, a not quite as old, GW Striking Scorpion Green. Anyway I mixed various midtones over a very solid two or three coats of Jade Green base. I then put too much old GW Green Glaze on the model, but it worked out fine, I built back up my highlights even better using the wet palette and then I put some pure Bilious Green on and modicum of GW Yellow Glaze and voila slime! I may use some other tricks to keep it nice and slimy.

So which is your favourite one? All three are great sculpts which is probably why Nurgle lesser daemons are the only metal ones left in GW’s catalog. Drabby was the least work, but he has the nice exposed bones. Fleshy I like though his skintone could have had a lot more depth to it, but it is a unique colour. And Knarly I really gave the P3 Wet Palette a bit of a workout blending various mid-shades and I also used four different new GW Washes as well as some of my own custom thinned washes, so basically 15 years worth of Nurgle painting experience went into these models, hopefully they’ll result in a glorious victory on Sunday, now I just need to re-base the Beasts of Nurgle and make a 40 strong movement tray to replace my old puny 16 one.

Drabby the Plaguebearer

Fleshy the Plaguebearer

Knarly the Plaguebearer

The Drabby photo is a bit soft, I took four or five and this was the best one I got with my iPhone today.  Oh well you get the idea.

Make Mine Nurgle

Almost Finished Plaguebearers

So since my sleep schedule is totally screwed up due to loud neighbours and being unemployed, I put quite a lot of work into these Nurgle daemons today, probably should have gone to the gym or something. Tomorrow I will go to the gym and of course look for a job. I also will likely finish these three plaguebearers tomorrow which when varnished will give me 40 painted, enough for my full rank bonus horde for the Warhammer 8th Edition Mighty Empires Campaign at Strategies starting Sunday.

Highlighted Knarloc Green Skin
Highlighted Knarloc Green Skin

The first thing I did after taking water out of my wet palette was finish the Knarloc Green Plaguebearer and his little Nurgling buddy. I used GW’s Knarloc Green, and three Vallejo greens: Sick, Goblin, and Green Grey. I blended the paint on the wet palette and highlighted. I had a problem with Sick being too much of a step but with some blending and fighting the constant tendency of the model to go ‘minty’ I eventually put enough little dibs and dabs so that he looked like someone whom extra time had been taken painting. I also used a little tiny bit of Gryphonne Sepia wash at the very end to blend it to dark again.

With that complete I decided to do the bones next. I decided on the bones that if some red gets on the bones it is OK, but if some bone gets on the guts you have to repaint it. There are a couple of exposed bones on one plaguebearer and of course the one big horn on each model. I change it up now and again, but basically I paint bones Snakebite Leather. Bleached Bone or Vallejo Beige doesn’t cover black that great unless you gob it on, and you don’t want to do that. So after painting the bones and skulls and horns Snakebite Leather I reached for the Vallejo Beige and put some of that on the wet palette.  I also got some GW Scorched Brown out too. I used the dark brown to darken and to add little stripes or striations to the horns. Then I put a very thin amount of beige on the horns.

Painting bone colour
Painting bone colour

Next I got out my newly discovered Reaper Master Series Clotted Red. This was added to the wet palette. I’d started a new piece of parchment and with considerably less water in the container, basically just a damp sponge. I had all types of problems in Vancouver’s heat with the parchment drying out. I still have a long way to go until I get the wet palette just right. Anyway I put a fairly think layer of Clotted Red on all the things I wanted red. Then I mixed up a bone wash, this is a fairly standard recipe for me of water and old GW Rust Brown Ink. Some times I add a dab of red ink into the mix. I paint this pretty much all over the bone color, though obviously you can leave some of the bone unwashed.

When that was all dry I painted more Vallejo Beige onto the bones in something of a drybrush but not totally, kinda half and half. I did drybrush white onto the bones, but I also painted white on the tips and in thin lines. I don’t like to drybrush but one thing that looks good if you’re careful is drybrushing bones, horns, and skulls. Sometimes I don’t use white on my bones at all, this time since I’d invested so much time in the models I did.

Beginning Guts and Gore
Beginning Guts and Gore

Next I got out my new pot of GW Blood Red and painted it on the ‘guts’ as a highlight. I’d used Beige and White to get reasonably exposed bones going. Then I mixed up another custom wash, this one is two drops of water, two brushes of old GW Shadow Black Ink and two brushes worth of old GW Plasma Red Ink. These like the Rust Brown Ink are in round pots with Citadel logos and black lids.

This takes a bit of time to dry so I likely took a break or touched up things. Eventually I touched up some of the unpainted bits black and painted one eyeball white. I fixed up the skull on the medallion with a little black ink at some point. I had to touch up the green skin too as it rubbed off in one or two raised points. They’re looking pretty good and my hands are sweating from typing all this out on my MacBook Pro. Tomorrow they should get finished, I’ve dubbed them: Fleshy, Drabby, and Knarly.

3 Mostly painted Plaguebearers
3 Mostly painted Plaguebearers

Knarloc Green Plaguebearer

Flesh painted Knarloc Green
Flesh painted Knarloc Green

So after taking some water out of my P3 Wet Palette I went to get some Knarloc Green paint. It is a relatively new colour to me, but it was pretty thick and gooey on one side of the pot, so I jabbed my brush in and attempted to mix it. This appears to have damaged one of the brushes I’ve been using the most lately and the end result was more Knarloc Green paint than I needed on the palette so I decided to paint a Nurgling and alter my plan slightly.

Although most people out there seem to have moved to a drown your model in wash or even straight up dipping their models in miracle goop, you can actually paint lowlights with wash or even just with paint. So after base-coating the flesh with Knarloc Green I got out the Badab Black Wash and painted it into the recesses. You don’t have to be super neat as the next step is to paint Knarloc Green highlights back onto the model.

Flesh shaded with Badab Black Wash
Flesh shaded with Badab Black Wash

Then after it was highlighted and the paint was dry, I got out the Devlan Mud Wash and painted it into the shadows too. It was about then that I noticed I hadn’t painted the pointing hand of the Plaguebearer so I backtracked and caught that hand up to the rest of the model.

After the second wash had dried I painted yet more Knarloc Green on as a highlight.  Hopefully you can start to see the results.  Those two dark washes really help shade the model, but it isn’t a harsh but a more gradual transition. You also get a kinda muddy look which is good for Nurgle. After the fourth coat of Knarloc Green was dry I planned to paint the new Green Wash into the shadows some.

It had gotten quite hot and my hands were sweating I noticed my carefully applied rust was being re-wetted. This is one of the risks of using pigments and why you should leave them till last. I did them when I did so I could write something of a tutorial on how I currently use them in my rust technique.

Added highlights with Knarloc Green
Added highlights with Knarloc Green

I’ve since put the Ork Flesh Wash on, it isn’t my favourite green wash, but I decided to give it a go. It sometimes, especially if you put a lot of it on, tints your green. I can see one or two spots where this occurred on these models. This is not what I’m looking for, but is easily fixed with yet more Knarloc Green.

After all this Knarloc Green I finally plan to switch to another green or two and start doing a little blending to try and get some edge highlights going on the model. I was going to paint him a brighter green, but instead he’ll be my first Knarloc Green plaguebearer and with the medallion and pointing hand should stand out fine as the champion.

Now with this post complete it is dinner time.

 

Flesh shaded with Devlan Mud Wash

 

Another highlight of Knarloc Green
Another highlight of Knarloc Green

Plaguebearer Progress

Today hasn’t been a very productive day, I stayed up too late last night working on the plaguebearers flesh and slept in way too much this morning. You can do this when you’re still unemployed, but tomorrow I’m setting an alarm.

Almost painted plaguebearer flesh
Almost painted plaguebearer flesh

I couldn’t resist fiddling with the models, especially after the turn towards orange that the flesh of one plaguebearer took. I used some more Foundry Flesh 5C and some GW Ogryn Flesh wash to rescue it, but I’m still not happy doubly so due to all the effort involved. The other model came out much better, but I tested some of those techniques on a Nurgling previously. It was a base of GW Graveyard Earth, no less than three thin coats. Then some Foundry Drab 12B then eventually 12C. I used GW Devlan Mud and Gryphonne Sepia wash on it.

Now I’m going to do the metallics on all three plaguebearers. The unit champion has some chainmail and a pendant. So I’m going to give them the rusted metal treatment before doing the flesh of the third model. I’ve learned my lesson I’ll be using a Foundation paint or paint straight from the pot to get the basecoat done on the champion. He’ll be a flashy sickly green in order to standout. After that it is bones and blood and the plaguebearers are basically done. They are rather fun to paint, which is probably why I’ve acquired 40 painted ones when I get these three finished.

Painted plaguebearer flesh tones
Painted plaguebearer flesh tones

In 2nd Edition Warhammer 40,000 they used to be better than a Genestealer in hand to hand combat. That was a long time ago, now Plaguebearers can’t even be fielded in the same army as Plaguemarines. Hopefully GW fixes that again someday. In the mean time I’ll rank them up and try a horde of them in Warhammer Fantasy Battle 8th Edition and continue to work on non-Diseased Sons models for 40K.

Work in Progress Nurgle Plaguebearers

Plaguebearers with one coat of paint
Plaguebearers with one coat of paint

So as mentioned earlier after realizing just how soon the 25th was, I changed gears and started work on some more Nurgle Plaguebearers this evening. I sprayed them black, then used Delta Ceramcoat black (which actually dries a nice flat black), then two or three more touch up of Chaos black. After all this I reached for Foundry Triad Dusky Flesh pot 6C. Some people online like this triad but it is the least useful of all I’ve purchased. I thought at least it would provide a base to built up from…

I put it on the P3 Wet Palette and it didn’t cover much at all. I new I was going to have to do another coat. So I looked around for a similar color and chose GW’s Graveyard Earth. I put it on the wet palette and it didn’t cover much better. I don’t know if I’m using the wet palette too wet, or if I shouldn’t use it at all until I got the basecoats down?

Plaguebearers with two coats of paint
Plaguebearers with two coats of paint

After putting a second coat of each paint on, again using the wet palette things looked better, but I figured why not do a third coat? So I have three coats of paint on the model, all the same colour, time to start building up the highlights. I decide to just go straight to Foundry Flesh Triad and grab pot 5A. It gets put on the wet palette and it covers quite well, so maybe the A colours have more pigment or something. I make sure it is good and thin and though it looks a bit different I push on. I figured when I put a wash over top it would blend together pretty well.

For the other model, the more upright one, I chose Foundry Drab Triad number 12. I was going to go straight to the C, but once it was on the wet palette I knew it was too light so I got out the B and put that on thinly as a first highlight. Now the models were starting to look a bit different and a bit like I’d spent some time on them.

Plaguebearers with three coats of paint
Plaguebearers with three coats of paint

As part of my flesh, I decided to use GW’s old flesh wash. This has never worked out very good for me, no matter how much I shake it or stir it, the pink pigment always separates leaving a light brown was. I shaked it every few minutes and I’ve been rotating it regularly so having read online how some people actually miss it, I decided I’d put some on my other palette, in one of the little cups. I actually got some pink pigment in it.  I thinned it with a drop of water, stirred everything really good, and put some on the model.

I’d previously done a pretty heavy wash of Devlan Mud on the one I’d used the Drab triad on, so I put the same amount of wash on the Flesh triad one, it looked orange, I pushed on, it really was orange. I don’t know how it got orange, no orange paint or inks were involved. Maybe I should have tried to wash the stuff right off, instead I put it on much thinner and tried to remove the excess from in the recesses.

Both models are drying while I type this, but I’m sure you’ll agree when you see it now, the flesh plaguebearer is definitely tinted orange. It is quite a weird colour, doesn’t look like I’ve spent all evening trying to achieve it. The Drab plaguebearer on the other hand looks very evil. I’m pretty tired so I think they’ll stay as is until tomorrow, but both need a lot of work, maybe I should have done them all green or pale blue, colours I’ve actually tried before. I tend to use my plaguebearers to expirement on, but I’m on a deadline so perhaps I shouldn’t have this time. Hopefully with some decent highlights and maybe another wash they’ll come out alright. I plan to try Ogryn Flesh Wash on the flesh coloured now orange one and Gryphonne Sepia on the Drab one after building the highlights back up.

Plaguebearers before washes