Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Modellin' and a Paintin' : Recent Endeavours...

So what has old Orlygg been up to lately then? Well, apart from blogging, I have been slaving away at the painting table trying to get miniatures finished. Time is now a premium, what with two children and a wife, so every available second I can grab I am at my desk painting away...

I have had a few models on my desk for some time and I challenged myself to get the models finished before I moved on to anything else. Lets have a look then...

A Chaos Marauder from 1985. A Perry sculpt I think. I started this model quite some time ago as an exercise in painting black. After a few botched attempts at using grey to fine-line the edges of the armour, I gave up... It was boring to be truthful and I'd have rather worked on other things. I was reading on old 'Eavy Metal article which discussed ho Nick Bibby used a red crayon of all things to highlight the edges of his Dark Angel marines. This got me thinking about using alternative colours to highlight black. As I wanted this particular Marauder to be a Khorne follower I opted for red. I was quite pleased with the outcome really. I matched this shade with a orange hairdo and a nice rusty mace.

Second up, Morbius from the Skeleton War Machines set. I have wanted him for a general in my Undead Army for a while (hopefully mounted on the back of the chariot if I ever get the thing finished) and he'd sat undercoated for months while I wondered about a colour scheme. In the end, in a pique of inspiration, I painted him in just under two hours using a rather faded purple theme. It was one of those paint jobs that go on so easily and everything just worked out perfectly. A joy to paint!

Finally, Skrag the Slaughterer. One of Jes Goodwin's many excellent ogre models. I have seen many classic paint jobs over the years (many of them painted in the old fantasy miniatures books) and have always wanted to have a go myself. This particular model has a little piece of history behind it for me... It was an absolute steal. I bought a bunch of plastic ogre maneaters from 99p (sold them on for £4) and old Skrag was just lying among them..! This was another easy paint job. The armour was just mithril silver with a series of dark blue, black and brown washes, drybrushed over again with chainmail and mithril silver before some silver highlights. I found a particularly nice flesh tone my mixing three colours; red gore, bestial brown and flesh.

I have also had a little go at scenery making. You may remember I posted about making table top scenery some weeks ago and I must admit I have finally pulled my finger out and had a go at making some homemade trees and hedgerows.

Let's have a look...

Not much is left of this fence is there? Though the little clump of hedge might provide a little valuable cover for a character model one day. The base is cut down foam board with a layer of sand. The fence balsa wood and the hedge an old scouring pad with some flock stuck on to the top.

This hedge if just a scouring pad (bought from Tescos for £1) cut into quarters and stuck together. A little PVA glue goes a long way, so I painted it on and them sprinkled flock back over the top. Again, the base is foam board covered with sand.

A large tree... Made out of an old bottle brush (the type you use to wash out baby's bottles), some green stuff and a pile of flock. I even modelled on some roots...

A second, smaller tree... This one was made in exactly the same way, only I spent longer shaping the bristles of the brush into a neater shape. I also used a lighter shade of flock.

Let me show you how I made the trees...

STEP ONE: Get yourself a nice, sturdy base. I use these large square Citadel ones for ease but you could easily use anything that supports the brush adequately. At this point you may want to snip down the bristles and shape the branches with some sharp scissors.

STEP TWO: Knead up some green stuff and twist it firmly around the wire handle of the brush. Make sure that all of the handle is covered by the putty. If you want to add roots this is a good time to model those on too. Wait for the GS to go leather hard (about 30mins of curing) before moving on to the next stage.

STEP THREE: Use a sculpting tool to add bark like detail to the tree trunk. I used quick, hard streaking down through the putty to achieve this. Be careful not to create balls of GS by pushing too hard. At this stage it would be very easy to add little model branches or fungus if you are feeling adventurous.

STEP FOUR: Once the greenstuff has dried. Sand the base but be careful to to obscure the detail.

 STEP FIVE: Undercoat the tree in black and wait for the base to dry. Drybrush over the whole of the brush with a nice dark brown colour. Add depth to the trunk with a few dark brown ink washes. Once these are dry and you are happy with the shading, drybrush over with flesh or bleach bone to highlight the bark.

STEP SIX: Finally, give the brush a good covering with PVA before sprinkling the head over with plenty of flock. I found it useful to fill a tube with flock first and rotate the tree inside it to get a good covering. If you want to add further layers of flock, to add depth or improve the shape, wait for the flock to dry (put your tree in the airing cupboard to speed this process up).

Decorate the base in your usual style and place on the battle field.

Job done!

I got a little carried away with the tree making and my wife ending up telling me off as the process is very messy. What is impressive, however, is the price. These two trees cost me a grand total of £1 to make. The putty, the flock and the bases were all already packed away in large amounts in my cupboard. I am sure that all painters out there have stacks of this stuff lying around so it is possible to build a vast forest for you gaming table for really very little money.



  1. Most impressive scenery skills Mr Orlygg. I'm always slightly in awe of those who make their own trees as I'm a lazy blighter and simply buy mine. Good to see some more lead painted, too! Skrag is a stone-cold classic and you've done a wonderful job on him (and the others, for that matter).

  2. That tree is AWESOME! Great tactic, excellent top-notch effect on the final piece.

  3. Some lovely paint jobs there mate...but the ogre....dddrrrrooollll! Fantastic! The armor came out very nive indeed.

  4. Skrag is so pretty! Good work! And nice to see a Stillmania type tree again after so many years... so sad GW have gone all mass-produced-plastic-terrain on us. Keep up the good work!