Sunday, 27 April 2014

Painting something different: Exploring different ranges

As many of you will know, I am primarily a chaos man. Old school Citadel from about '85 to about '90 being my preferred models to paint. That was until I actually painted up an army. As anyone who paints armies to a high standard, and by that I mean a high standard personally, things can get a bit relentless. Last year, I created a Khorne Army where every model was different but I still felt the strain of painting models in similar styles and colour schemes. 

It wasn't until I started my Warhammer Bestiary project did I realise how much more stimulating and exciting painting a far wider range of models actually is. Especially if you begin work on models that you have never attempted before or even considered painting at all! 

Yesterday, I was clearing through some old boxes when I found this model. He came from a trade that went wrong as he arrived in my possession very damaged by the postal service. The axe was bent and the arm snapped off. So, I had discarded him as he was not a figure I expected to need any time soon (or indeed ever). But something about him stirred my creative spirit so with the help of a little brass rod and a bit of greenstuff I repaired him. Blasting him for an hour or so under the lamp saw the greenstuff cured sufficiently for me to begin work. 

And here he is...


The model reminds me of Conan. By this I mean the proper one, written by Robert E Howard and illustrated by Frank Frazetta. That archetype was undoubtably in the mind of whoever sculpted this model back in the 1980s. He also made me think of the old Heroquest barbarian with whom I had had so many adventures as a youngster. Inspired by these thoughts, and the paint schemes from the Heroquest era, I set about doing him a good service with the hairy wand. I was keen to work on flesh painting and the blending required to get the look right. So after some consultation of Mike McVey's old '80s work, I set off and after a couple of pleasant hours he was finished and based. 


Though the belt was slightly miscast and obviously supposed to be leather, I painted its as a golden girdle complete with gigantic emerald jewel. The size of this model makes me think he represents a barbarian of considerable prowess so would be entitled to a precious stone or two. 


No doubt, this barbarian chap could easily dispatch multiple enemies with that repaired axe without even breaking out in a sweat. So I depicted him battling a number of skeletons when I was taking the pictures of the completed model. Proper old school don't you think?


But in reflection, I realised that if it wasn't for a whim I would probably never painted this model or enjoyed the process quite so much. After a quick rummage in the collection, I discovered enough models to do a small sized raiding party of barbarians that would prove quite useful for the narrative games that I enjoy. 

So my challenge for you in the coming days is thus. Go back to the leadpile, pluck forth a miniature that you would never have considered painting before and get on with it. Try out colours that you wouldn't usually use, dabble with a techniques that you feel need work or that you want to show off and really enjoy the process of painting for its sake alone. 

Go on, try it! 

Orlygg

21 comments:

  1. That paintjob of yours was spot on! The highlights on the skin, in particular, bring out the best in the model.

    Joao

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    1. Thanks Joao. I must admit that skin was a real bugbear of mine. I could never get a result that I was happy with. In time, I realised that I was using to high a contrast between the darkest and lightest colour in the blend. Now, I keep this much more subtle but increase the number of layers.

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    2. Yes, me too; I'm more comfortable with goblin/orc skin these days, but human skin is one of my biggest nightmares - because if it lack "natural " tones, then it just looks like an object; and there goes the suspension of disbelief.

      I'm glad you found the right combination. Care to share the colour and blends you use for human flesh?

      Joao

      P.S. I liked your suggestion of picking up a model from the pile! Interesting challenge with unexpected - but pleasant - results.

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  2. By Crom that's a cracking paint job. Like the home of the Gods in the background as well :-)
    Top inspirational stuff as always.
    Blaxkleric
    http://fantorical.blogspot.com/

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    1. Yes, the Dark Lord Weeble Treehouse's lair lurks in the background. Thank you for the kind words and you've got some lovely 15mm stuff on that blog of yours.

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  3. Great idea for a challenge! I'm having a bit of a rest after something of a painting frenzy last month, but that could be just the ticket for getting me back into the game.

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    1. It is very refreshing to try something new. I find that I painted much more in the month if I just go with the flow rather than chugging on with a bigger unit.

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  4. Nice paint job. He looks very Conan like.
    And a wonderful idea with the challenge. I will see if I find the time to paint something.

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    1. Try a barbarian if you have one. A loin-cloth is a must! (:

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  5. It's already been said but you have nailed the skin on him. Sweet as a nut!

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    1. Thank you for that Mr Pest. It was quite easy to achieve really Flesh with a little chestnut ink washed in with it. Highlight up with white. Job done.

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  6. Beautiful pictures! I did the same thing a year back with a bunch of old pre-Warhammer Citadel miniatures from the early '80's. I stripped off the old enamel paint and refurbished them with the love and attention they deserved, giving a new lease on life to miniatures that had been languishing, forgotten in the basement, for more than thirty years.

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    1. I quite agree. Nothing gives quite the same sense of satisfaction as restoring some old battered mini and giving it new lease of life. It is, after all, what they were made for.

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  7. I absolutely love this model; great job!!

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    1. Yes, but what is the riddle of steel?

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  9. Nice work on the Barbarian. I also agree wholeheartedly with your sentiment - I've been doing the same over the last year and a bit - painting (or refurbishing) a random figure in between (or during) other projects. It's given me quite a few nice figures that wouldn't have been done otherwise as well as some actual units that can be wargamed with - that also would not be hitting the table otherwise!

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    1. Here here! As I have already said, you get a whole lot more done if you flit from one different project to another. I also find that the quality of my painting increases too!

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  10. Fantastic job on this guy, I have a bit of a thing for Barbarian miniatures and you did an outstanding job.

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  11. You have basically encapsulated my entire approach to collecting and painting when I first got into the hobby. My main criteria for buying a particular model was whether or not it looked cool (and could I afford it!) And my approach to painting was similar - I would grab something from the pile and set to painting it.

    This scattergun approach was far from efficient but it lead to what are still some of my favourite paint jobs

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