Exemplar Errants on the Painting Table (9 Weeks)

The Exemplar Errants have been on the painting table now for nine weeks. All of the miniatures have been based coated and the bases are nearly done. The shields are also nearly done. got the crossbows still to do.

Not picked up the paint brush this week, so one more week of my planned ten weeks to go. Still have some shading and highlighting to do and some tidying up.

Next its going to be the Daughters of the Flame and Nicia, Tear of Vengeance.

Still Painting Exemplar Errants (6 Weeks)

Yes I am still painting the Exemplar Errants, its been six weeks now and not painted anything else but Errants. The base coat on the bodies are almost done, then its onto the base, followed by shading and highlighting. Some how not looking forward to painting thirteen bases with my usual method.

To give myself a break and to stop me going mad, I have made a start on the shields over this weekend with a view to hopefully having these complete. Then next I need to concentrate on the crossbows. So with only four weeks remaining I think I can stick to my original plan and hopefully stay on target.

I did mention that Gravus would be next, however I think the Daughters of the Flame may be next. I have a week off work soon, so may keep Gravus for that week and to have the miniature as a back burner project. Therefore I can paint something different when going mad with my current painting project.

Errants on the Painting Table (4 Weeks)

The Exemplar Errants have been on the painting table now for four weeks. However over the last two weeks I have hardly picked up a paint brush. With six weeks remaining on my plan, I think I can just meet the target of ten weeks. Just need to get the turso’s painted which I am struggling with at the moment.

On another note I have decided that High Exemplar Gravus will be next on the painting table, followed by Daughters of the Flame and Nicia, Tear of Vengeance.

Errants on the Painting Table (2 Weeks)

The Exemplar Errants have been on the painting table now for two weeks. The picture show my progress. I usually paint all the same colours at once when batch painting a number of miniatures. However this time I decided to take a different approach.

This time I am painting an area of each miniature at once, before moving onto another area. I painted all the chain mail first, then the helmets and shoulder armour. Next moving onto the upper body. Having tired this method I have to say I much prefer this method of painting.

Next update in another two weeks!

Errants on the Painting Table

Eventually the Exemplar Errants have made it onto the Painting Table. I am painting all thirteen miniatures at once. Thats a full unit of a leader and nine grunts, the officer and standard bearer along with the Sceneschal.

I am giving myself ten weeks to complete all thirteen miniatures. I usually paint single figures, or a minimum size unit at once. But this time with the Errants I am tackling a full size unit.

Painting the Protectorate of Menoth

I have put together this painting schedule so to satisfy one of my final new year resolutions, that being to have a 35 point Warmachine army fully painted by the end of the year.  At the moment I am playing with bare metal and really prefer to play with painted miniatures.  It brings a new level of enjoyment and satisfaction to playing games.  Plus its an army which I can take to a few 35 point tournaments in the new year, which is something I am planning!

So onto the schedule.  October will be the Covenant, and Paladin only three miniatures and a book to paint.  November will see if I am successful or not with the Vassal, Choir (four miniatures) and the Reckoner all on the painting table.  December and the remaining unit of five Bastions.  December being a busy month with Christmas, etc I have decided on just leaving the Bastions to paint.

Will I be successful?  It will be great to play a few game with a fully painted 35 point Protectorate of Menoth army over Christmas!

My Next Army – Dark Elves

Over the past months I have been considering which army to collect and paint next.  My initial thoughts were either Vampire Counts, Wood Elves or a Khorne Daemon army.

I purchased the Dark Elves army book on the day of release back in 2008.  The army was going to be for my son, who wanted at the time to get back into Warhammer Fantasy.  But he lost interest shortly afterwards.

In November this year at the Immortal War tournament I won a box of Dark Elves Warriors for best painted army.  So my fate was sealed, with my Dark Elves army book and a box of Dark Elves Warriors it was going to be Dark Elves.

This army project will be purely a painting and basing miniatures project.  Although the Dark Elves are considered to be one of the best armies at the moment, the army list build will be based around the miniatures I would most like to paint not which units are better on the battlefield.

I will be collecting all the miniatures I want to paint first, then when I have all the miniatures only then will I commence building and painting.  I am not expecting to start building and painting until around April next year.  The Warriors of Chaos project will probably take me until March to complete anyway.

My target is to have a fully painted Dark Elves army by November next years for the Immortal War tournament, leaving me around eight months to complete.

Vallejo or Coat d’arms

I have been looking into re-stocking some of my paints. So a trip to my local GW to pick up some paints and found that I was paying almost £5 for 2 pots of 12ml paints.

At the time I thought that almost £5 for two pots of 12ml paints is ridicious.

Up to now I have always used Citadel, but the price of alternatives are very appealing.  Maelstrom sell Citadel paints for £1.96 and at GW its £2.20.  I would imagine that Maelstrom are still making a profit at £1.96.

At Maelstrom I can get …

Citadel 12ml for £1.96, thats 6 pence per ml
Vallejo 17ml for £1.35, thats 12 pence per ml
Coat d’arms 18ml for £1.53, thats 11 pence per ml

Citadel paints are double the price of Vallejo and Coat d’arms per ml, are they really that much better?

So I posted on The Warhammer Forum on the topic of Vallejo or Coat d’arms asking which of the alternatives Vallejo or Coat d’arms have you used and which do you prefer over Citadel?

The thread turned into a rather heated debate over the Vallejo range.   Here is my favorite reply to the post.

GW paints are the worst avaliable on the market today. They use solid, cheap pigment and poor quality carrier, so that they don’t cover well and they seperate. They are produced by the lowest bidder so don’t be surprised at the quality.

Valejo aren’t much better. They seperate because they are too thin; the carrier and the pigment aren’t good. The first warning should be that the stuff comes out of a dropper bottle.

Coat d’arms is produced by a company called HMG, Coat d’arms is their own brand. Same company produces Foundry and Privateer Press’ P3 ranges as well.  Foundry is the best avaliable on the market. P3 is as good but a much smaller range.  Coat d’arms is very good but not quite the spec of the other two.

All 3 use liquid pigment in large quantities, in good quality carriers, so that seperation isn’t an issue and so that when, even diluted to greater than 1:10, the amount of and quality of the pigment still gives strong, smooth coverage.

GW washes are alright, they are just paint and mixing medium pre-mixed, so good for consistency but again not good quality for the price.

GW foundation range is a cheap attempt at emulating the quality, high pigment paints produced by HMG (whom no longer supply GW due to GW asking HMG to compromise on quality of product to reduce cost to GW [not cost to consumer notice, cost to GW], GW’s reputation for good paint is built on the fact that HMG was the supplier when they first released paints, that stopped when the paint sold switched to the hard plastic pots with screw lids which were made in France. Today they are made in China. It’s fair to say the current product doesn’t live up to the reputation of the original).

GW metalics are run of the mill. Many people find them easier to use than other brands as they are weak and lacking in pigment in comparison. That does not make them good, it makes them easier to use than quality metalics which take getting used to.

GW’s old inks were decent (not the original inks, but the ones that came in the hard plastic pots with white screw lids, the French company behind those did good ink), but at the price were not any better than W&N.

Valejo ink isn’t bad.

P3 ink isn’t bad, but Foundry and CDA ink isn’t very good, sadly it’s the one thing HMG don’t do well.

Go to W&N for inks, it’s what they specialise in.

Anyone buying from Maelstrom should be looking at Coat d’arms and P3. They won’t look back.

So for my next big army painting project I am going to use the Coat d’arms range.

Washing Miniatures

Ever since I was a kid making Airfix and Tamiya kits I have washed my miniatures in warm soapy water before priming.  This is because a release agent similar to WD40 is applied to the mold which aids the frame/sprue to exit the mold easier, thats what my father told me.

However when giving this advice on forums I have always got slated by other members, saying that they have never washed a miniature and never had any problems.

Then today I find a post on the Games Workshop blog regarding a 40K gameboard.

I quote from the blog…

“All plastic models have a release agent applied to them during the casting process; this allows the frame to come out of the machine. The Gameboard is no different and Ray of the Warhammer World scenery team recommends washing the Gameboard sections with soapy water to get the residue off before painting.”

Thank you Games Workshop!  And to all those on various forums who have slated my advice in the past “I told you so…”

Army Painting Inspiration

I found the high level of quality painting at the recent Leicester Squiggle tournament to be inspiring.  All the armies nominated were excellently painted, putting my Ogre Kingdoms army to shame.

I will be trying to finish my Warriors of Chaos by the end of this year.  I have 5 Chaos Knights, 5 Marauder Horsemen, 10 Warhounds and a Daemon Prince to complete painting.  This will leave me with 2000 points of Warriors of Chaos and 2500 points of Ogre Kingdoms for gaming during 2010.

Then I will start a new army project in early 2010, the aim of the new army will be purely to improve my standard of painting.  I have drawn up two armies I find appealing…

All Khorne Daemons; With a Bloodthrister centre piece.  The whole army painted in various red, orange and gold tones.

Wood Elves;  Probably an autumnal theme with lots of oranges, yellows, reds and golds.  But the standard green theme is also very appealing.

I will be making three variances a 1999, a 2000 and a 2250 point army.  At the moment I can’t decide which army to choose.

But what I do know is that I will be spending a lot of hours, care and attention to detail on this army.  It will more than likely take a year to 18 months to complete, so I am not expecting this army to grace any gaming table fully painted until 2011.

Testors Dullcote Lacquer

I have been using the bottled Testors Dullcote Lacquer with great success. This stuff along with the spray can version is excellent. The finish is truly dead matt.

If you have smaller items for basing, etc then use the bottled Dullcote it goes on dead matt and dries within seconds. It also saves on the more expensive spray can version. Also use it to touch up the finish after spraying.

You can purchase Testors Dullcote in spray cans and bottles from Antenociti’s Workshop in the UK.

Fathers Days 2009

My kids, with the help from my wife bought me some new brushes for Fathers day.

I had hinted that I quite liked the look of some Pure Kolinsky Sable brushes, from a company I found on the web Rosemary & Co Quality Artist Brushes.

Snippet taken from their website on these Pure Kolinsky Sable brushes

This is the top grade of hair for holding capacity due to the perfect ‘belly’, excellent snap and spring. Selected and made by hand enabling the brushmaker to ‘feel’ the belly and thus form a brush head which is symmetrical and tapered to perfection. The high cost of the hair being the only major drawback (usually weight for weight three times the price of gold). Once used however the difference compared to others is well worth the difference in price. Consider Kolinsky Sable a long term investment. Personally as a brushmaker this is my absolute favourite hair to work with, indeed a privilege.

I will be using these brushes on my next project, which is probably going to be the Chaos Lord on Juggernaut, or some Chaos Knights.

These brushes look and feel excellent, I will post a review once I have used these.

I found these 5 video painting tutorial episodes on the web from Tracy Brady of The last episode was posted November 12th, 2007. Its a real shame there arn’t any more episodes posted, these are really informative and helpful.

The tutorials are hosted here, or click on the episode links.

Episode 1 – Priming A Miniature
Episode 2 – Attack Of The Colors
Episode 3 – Pinning
Episode 4 – Base Coating Metallics
Episode 5 – 35mm Face Painting

Tracy Brady has a more recent blog here, the episodes can also be found on this site.

Testors Dull Cote

Since Games Workshop stopped selling a Matt Varnish, which was excellent. I have struggled to find a comparable product. I did try Humbrol Matt Cote, but found that for metal miniatures this left a sticky residue which remained on the miniature for many weeks. I even had to strip and re-paint my Ogre Kingdoms Tyrant, because the sticky residue which was still on the miniature for weeks after being applied.

Eventually found a UK supplier of Testors Matt Varnish in cans and bottles Antenociti’s Workshop.

This stuff is excellent even better than the Matt Varnish from Games Workshop. The matt finish is brilliant. I will from now on varnish all my miniatures with the Games Workshop gloss varnish first and then spray on a coat of Testors Dull Cote and it really does matt the gloss finish down very nicely.

All of my Ogres are finished using this method.

Antenociti’s Workshop

I found this company on the internet whilst searching for some matt varnish. They sell a massive range of scratch building, brushes, flock and other basing products. The website says 1123 products and counting.

At the moment only purchased some cans of Testors Dull Cote. The service was excellent. I will be using this company a lot more in the future.

Link to website