Category Archives: figure

Artel W Miniatures: Red Angel Bust

This is my first ever bust. Normally I am wary of these things because skin tones are not something I have experience with, and this thing costs a lot of money. But it actually depicts Angron in a way I really like (not just some foam-in-the-mouth berserker), so I bought it. (They have a small Angron, too, if you are interested.)

The package is pretty cool – you do feel you have a premium model in your hand. Black box with foam packed parts – now I finished the model I really do not know what to do with it, because it would be a shame to discard it.

I painted and built the bust over three years; I just never had the fortitude to get on with it. (I was afraid to fail.) The assembly is simple, and the model fits well (apart from a seamline on the back, which I will cover with a piece of chain. If you paint after assembly it can be easily filled with putty. The head fits in wonderfully: the bottom is rounded, and fits into its “socket” in one way only without the use of locating pins or pegs; I found it pretty neat.

Anyhow, I painted the base of the armor using Vallejo’s gold, then gave it depth using several layers of AK Interactive’s true metal gold, old bronze and copper.

Most of the other colors were achieved with oil paints (with some acrylic help when I needed a strong coverage). Overall I am pretty pleased with the results. Absolutely recommended; this bust will most definitely stand out on any model collection… Now I just need to get a stand for this guy.

Heresy Lab: Lord of Decay, Rage Lords

It is great to be a mini painter these days -even an amateur one, like myself. We have options now, and options are good for us. In this case we have yet another option for Mortarion, Primarch of the Death guard, this time from Heresy Labs. (There are also two options from Mystic Wargames, should you be interested. I know I am; they are on the bucket list, among a thousand other items. Perhaps I was not as close to Nirvana as I thought I was.)

I wrote a review about the figure on Modelgeek if interested; here is the painted product.

The good thing about the Death Guard is that “messy” and “dirty” are part and parcel of the whole thing. Easy to paint for armor painters…

Forgeworld: Magnus the Red

Finally it seems like the curse has been broken, and I managed to find inspiration to finish Magnus.

As I mentioned the white cape did not turn out well; I repainted the whole thing in French blue (AK Interactive), and did some shading using wet blending methods (so I do not use oils only). I found some of the parchment strips hanging from his coat (I have been with this figure since two years ago, and it has moved countries with me half-painted). I painted the details using water-soluble oils, though – they give a nice, transparent effect.

I tried to give some of the iridescent effect to the feathers; I think they turned out OK. I also played with the skin-tones: I did some shades using purple. I have read a long time ago someone mentioning this -and surprisingly it works.

Anyhow, it is finished, and took its place in my cabinet. Off to finishing off the big E, and the other running projects. God, help me find strength not to start new ones until I do.

Artel W Miniatures: Angron, the Red Angel

Well the last one finish first, I guess. (The Emperor is getting ready, and I have trouble with Magnus‘ cape.)

I worked on his face and arms for a little bit more and decided he was finished. (My approach of painting skin tones is to start with dark, and layer on increasingly lightened skin tones, wash, start over, and keep doing it until something approaches acceptable comes out.)

A bit chaotic method, but it is mine.

I know it is not a Golden Demon contender, but I am really pleased how the armor came out, and I even like the skin on this guy. The mini itself is simply great; it is well-cast, has great detail, easy to assemble, and more importantly: it captures Angron’s rage while does not simply paint him as a monster. You can see his pain behind the rage – unlike in the Forgeworld version where he looks more like Gene Simmons with an alternative facepaint. (The book Betrayer is a great one about his character.)

Artel W Miniatures: Angron, the Red Angel, WIP

I normally do not do WIPs for figures because a.) I am not a great painter b.) they are not the main focus of this blog.

But since I have been working on a few since, well, for a while now, I decided to do three WIPs. This is the third: Angron, the Primarch of the World Eaters by Artel W Miniatures. Who did plently of wrong but he never really had a chance. I like his character because he actually had a reason to rebel, and did not just get a lame “touch a daemon possessed sword- boom, you are corrupted” treatment.

I much better like Artel W’s interpretation of him than Forgeworld’s

It just does not look as good

…not to mention the pose is the exact same one as Kharn’s… They both look like they are in a hurry to reach the end of a queue.

The armor was a combination of AK’s True Metal paints in several layers, with washes and oil paints. The leather was done using different browns, and the skin is left to be painted. (I tried oils on there as well, but they did not stick.) I added some chains to the chain-axes (as a gladiator he chained his weapon to his wrist, a custom that was followed by his Legion -and Sigismud, of all people.)

I just need to finish his skin, and I am all set. (I also have Artel W’s bust of him… back when I had more disposable income :D)

This guy will be featured here for sure. One day.

Forgeworld: Magnus the Red WIP

I normally do not do WIPs for figures because a.) I am not a great painter b.) they are not the main focus of this blog.

But since I have been working on a few since, well, for a while now, I decided to do three WIPs. This is the first: Magnus the Red. Who did nothing wrong. (And I stand by this statement.) This is the pre-heresy form of him; not yet a broken daemon thing with boob-horn-armor.

I left out the whole swirling rubble-thing from the kit because I do not find them convincing; essentially he is done. His knee horn got missing over the years (I started him in the UK a long, long while back), and he has “only” his coat left to paint. Which is going to be challenging, as it has iridescent feathers, and I am not very good with coats anyhow.

I am experimenting with oils for blending.

The armor was a combination of AK’s True Metal paints in several layers, with washes and oil paints.

I quite like how the dark, broken, iridescent glass turned out to be -again, oils dabbed on.

Games Workshop Abaddon… old-school

So I like Abaddon, and have several figures of him. (More coming up later.) It’s not like I have a problem or anything…

Anyhow, since the new Games Workshop figure is coming out, the original, the real figure suddenly appeared on the market for much lower prices than before. This is THE figure of Abaddon- the one spawning memes and ridicules: Abaddon the Armless, Failbaddon and the rest.

I had to have this figure, and for a small sum of five Euros I did get him (from Greece, of all places.)

This is the ebay photo that made me fall in love with him… This is what a five Euro deal looks like…

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I basecoated it with Vallejo German Grey primer, and started working on the details. The dark grey primer is dark enough to be black; however the Heavy Metal style of painting demands highlights everywhere… something I did not look forward to.

So I did the best I can. (Obviously.) In this case I went with the flaming sword look, since the previous Abaddon had a bluish-purplish daemon sword.

Grim Skull Miniatures – Master Of Crusade (Abaddon the Despoiler)

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There is a cottage industry providing models for tabletop games; they look similar to the original characters, but not too similar (or have different names) so that copyright law is not breached. I personally applaud these companies; they provide models and conversions that are unavailable for a more reasonable price. (The new Abaddon miniature by Games Workshop is over 40 GBP… a small sprue for the price you can buy a 1500+ part plastic model.)

Competition is good is what I’m trying to say here.

Abaddon is the one character that has not been treated well by Games Workshop and Forgeworld. There is one old figure which is both ugly and tends to lose his arms, resulting in the “No Arms” meme. And pretty much that’s it; since the early 90s Abaddon was essentially deserted by GW; only now are they issuing a new model.  There is a Heresy-era figure of him as the First Captain of the Sons of Horus by Forgeworld, but it is not yet Abaddon the Despoiler, just an angry guy in a terminator armor with a top knot. There is also a heavily OOP version of him, which can be bought for about 1200GBP, so I think we can safely ignore that. (If you see this model featured here you will know I won the lottery.)

The name itself of the character is full of meaning; Ezekyle (Ezekiel) and Abaddon are both important characters in the Bible.

Since I’ve read The Talon of Horus by Dembinsky-Bowden I actually wanted to have a decent Abaddon figure. The book does a really, really good job describing him as an interesting, three dimensional, complex character you can actually relate to, so obviously I wanted to have a miniature of him. He also seems like a swell guy, just like that other one. What makes him compelling is that he is the ideal Astrates: charismatic, ruthless, master strategist, fearless -it’s just he fights against the Imperium. I think he become this ideal after he followed his primarch into his rebellion and then took up a bit of soul-searching. It took him a lot to grow up into this person, and not many loyalists have the opportunity to do so. I think the space marines who rebelled and survived (without falling to one or the other chaos entity) actually walk the same path as a person growing up from childhood, and hence they do become much more mature, nuanced beings than their “for the Emperor!” buddies. Failure, disappointment in your idols, choice, the will and ability to determine your fate -these things are needed for you to become a well-rounded personality. (Unless, of course, you get possessed by a daemon and grow penises and horns on your face.)

 

Enter Grim Skull Miniatures. They first came out with a 28mm model who is not Abaddon, of course, but fits the archetypical Abaddon image with the Talon -the power claw of his father, Horus-, the daemon sword Drachn’yen, and his usual topknot that he is known for. A 54mm version of the miniature features a Mohawk instead of a topknot, and it is substantially larger… had it been issued when I bought “my” Abaddon, it I probably would have bought that instead of the original version simply because of the amazing detail comes out better in the larger figure. (It is on my wishlist, but I’ll probably have to pass on it; after all I just had a daughter. The days of spending on hobbies are behind me.) I’m not sure why this Abaddon features this hipster haircut. It is possible that Grim Skull realised something  about topknots writers and artist should have at Black Library long time ago: you can’t shave the skull and have a large topknot, as Abaddon supposed to be doing. All that hair has to come from somewhere; and unless he has exceptionally dense hair, it is not a realistic option to have the rest of his head shaved.

 

The power armor is incredibly well detailed, and only someone with much better skills than mine can bring out the maximum out of it. The ornamentation is well done, the armor has a lot of cracks and battle damage…It perfectly re-creates the various artworks of him as the Second (and true) Warmaster. The facial expression is pretty good, too; he looks “changed”, he looks intimidating, but not totally twisted; his features retained enough of his humanity not to make him look like a simple screaming monster.

The daemon sword looks very much like the pictures of the weapon on various artworks; painting it to look good is not an easy exercise in layers upon layers of glazes.

He has a loincloth for whatever reason, which is an incredibly impractical thing to have on an armor (alongside the tabards various Astrates chapters prefer). Besides getting caught in, well, everything, it gets dirty very fast, and it will also get destroyed in the first few seconds of action. (I tend to leave it off in my figures for this reason.) Replacing it must be a constant choir, but I’m not going to judge his fashion sense.

The trophy racks on his back sport skulls (but no helmets); all in all, the figure is an excellent rendition of the Abaddon we see on the paintings.

Painting black armor can be a challenge, since an uniformly black surface is not exactly interesting to the eye. I used Abaddon black (surprise) as a base, with a black ink coat after; the edges were carefully highlighted with midnight blue, and very bright blue in smaller amount. (Yes, highlights are everywhere.) Abaddon’s skin was painted with a rotten flesh base with a couple of light brown filters; the flesh on his head was done using red and brown glazes. I added a few patches of necrotic skin using Vallejo Engine Oil…

The eyes were painted gold (since his eyes were supposed to be bleached gold for staring into the Emperor’s light), but this does not really show well on a figure; the skin is too light for that, and the eyes are too small -there is not enough contrast. It would look better on the larger figure. The bronze edges were done using AK Interactive’s True Metal gold.

The sword was painted using various shades of purple and blue in thin glazes. The trimmings on the armor were painted in various shades of gold and bronze. I positioned the sword in a slightly different angle – it makes the pose look a bit more natural than if he held all his weapons at a chest height.

All in all this is an excellent miniature.

And finally: Eisenhorn facing down a bunch of heretics:

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Artel W Miniatures – The Captive Unleashed (Cherubael)

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Since the Eisenhorn trilogy is one of my favorite WH40K books, when I saw this miniature coming out, I obviously bought it.  I was already trying to think of ways to modify some minis to looks like a daemonhost, but Artel W made my life much easier. (I bought these guys to serve as a basis.)
Cherubael is one of the main characters of the book – the nemesis, later servant, and even later the last remaining ally of the titular Inquisitor; he is just as a fascinating character as Eisenhorn himself.
The pose of the figure is especially good: the demon caught in a human body trying to break free of the chains -and spells- binding him. The fact that the figure is actually floating (kept upright by the chains) is an especially great touch.

The miniature is 28mm, and has an incredible level of detail- much better than my skills can give it justice for. Regardless I did try. (What is especially galling that the mini looks actually OK by eye. I thought I did the blending on the skin quite well until I saw the photos.)

Now Eisenhorn will have a friend to play with finally.

(The company has been issuing different characters from the Eisenhorn stories; lately the chair-bound Ravernor was released.)

Artel W Miniatures – Witcher

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The sadly out of production 28mm Witcher figure from Artel W miniatures. If you haven’t yet played the Witcher games, you really should – incredible stories in an interactive form.

Assembly is about two minutes, painting is probably six hours… such is the life of a figure painter. I have always struggled with faces and skin tones, so I was real happy to achieve a realistic tone at all, but Gerard is an albino, so his skin should be much paler. I did manage to replicate his signature scar over his left eye with a 00 brush. His armor was painted in multiple shades of brown (since most of it is leather) with a black oil wash to bring out the fine details, and the metal parts were painted with True Metal Steel, and washed with Nuln Oil.

I put him on a round base, and he was finished.