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Miniatures of the Month


Tell me the truth, have you all kept up with your New Year's Resolutions? This is the time when the gym sessions go out the window…but that just means more time at home to build and paint models! This year was a leap year, so that means our bloggers had a whole extra day in which to paint their models. Therefore we should be in for a real treat this month, let's see what they have for us.

Dain Ironfoot (MESBG) by Ross Coulbeck

Ok, I’ll confess, technically this is half a submission. The box you buy Dain in has him on foot and on his boar (the pig used for filming in the Hobbit films name was Pikelet by the way), however I’m spacing out painting both models around some other things so you’ll just have to wait for the final part.

I was actually pretty daunted going into painting this model. Most of what I paint is fantasy or sci-fi without specific paint schemes, so you have more leeway in what colours you can use and more freedom to experiment. While Dain is still fantasy, he has a very definitive look and I’d class it as a more medieval setting, so I had to make it ‘fit’, even if it wasn’t exactly like the standard paint scheme. First, as usual, I started with my white scar spray. Always useful as a base to work off because it’s light. From there I felt like it was the shaggy cloak which was one of the main focal points, so I started off with Doombull brown, a great brown colour in my opinion. Following up with a very light drybrush of grey seer to highlight some edges, finishing it off with an Agrax Earthshade wash. But I also needed something to contrast with the brown, which turned out to be the hair. I used Vallejo Bright Orange then shaded it with Reikland Fleshshade, which really made the hair pop. After messing around with some Kislev flesh and the aforementioned Fleshshade for the face, I had some good central colours for the model. The rest was mostly armour, leathers, rocks and highlights, but still essential. For classic metal armour I went for Leadbelcher with washes, with the trim being Blood Angels Red, one of my favourite contrasts. Some red also highlighted the hammer which turned out really well. There are some gold highlights on the armour and the helmet, and then the rocks are mostly Bascilicum Grey, with some more brown on the base for the muddy areas. For a model I was worried about painting, I’m really happy with how it turned out. Now I just need to do it again…plus a boar…

Gaint Rat

Giant Rats by Neil Parker

I’m building up a collection of ordinary fantasy monsters as well as adventurers and these giant rats are ideal additions. It is very handy to have a few of these to add flavour to an encounter when playing fantasy themed roleplay games, whether the characters are in the sewers or any number of possible locations. With these miniatures I mostly used Citadel paints, shades of brown with Agrellan Earth or Ushabti Bone for the claws and teeth. I also used inkwash which was Agrax Earthshade by Citadel. The main theme with the painting was to convey the fur depth, but adding different layers of brown, with an inkwash for the detail and then layers of highlights with lighter shades of brown. For the claws, teeth, teeth and ears I used lighter colours. To finish, I then added red eyes to give a monstrous look. I did pay extra attention to the highlights for these. I revisited them a few times to add more, lighter highlights or to ensure the tail was quite distinct with its clearly marked sections. Although I painted five such giant rats, my approach to painting each one wasn’t completely uniform, although you probably can’t tell much from the photo, but it did mean my interest level was kept up by trying to make each rat just slightly different.

Fallout Wastelander (Fallout the Board Game) by Northern Invasion Stu

With my miniature of the month deadline for February only a day away I really had to think fast in order to get something finished in time. Enter the Wastelander from Fallout the board game. I will be honest from the beginning and admit that this is one of those instances of hobby tax. You know the ones where you have a board game to play or you want to introduce somebody to a game, but they’re not really painters themselves - I have recently been playing Fallout with my significant other, and the Wastelander is her character of choice. The Fallout models are single-piece sculpts made of hard plastic with minimal cleanup required. Fantasy Flight Games have really advanced with the quality of their miniatures over the past few years and the Fallout models are a great example of this. There is a good variety of textures on the model to think about including flesh, cloth, wood and metal, and there is enough detail that the finished model looks interesting. I just wanted to get the model finished quickly and on time so I focused more on colour choices than technique or detailing. Glancing at my colour wheel, I decided to go with desert yellow and oranges primarily with a contrasting turquoise head scarf to pop as a spot colour. I primed the model using Army Painter coloured spray and then blocked out my other base colours. I applied a few highlight layers to the boots, gloves and skin to make sure there was a good variety of tones and depth for those areas. After that, I applied my magic Army Painter soft tone ink (buy some) and quickly finished the base with some citadel Astro Granite Debris technical paint, some Middenland Tufts and a quick wash of Agrax Earthshade. The whole model was finished in around an hour and a half whilst I watched a playthrough video of Nemesis on YouTube. Overall a great way to spend a spare hour or two on a Sunday evening.

Borg (Star Trek: Away Missions) by Sam de Smith

February was a very productive month for me, at least in terms of quantity if not quality. One of my major goals this year is to paint up board game miniatures rather than buying new ones, and so I've set about getting my Star Trek Away Missions goodies (and baddies) done. I'm particularly fond of the Borg: I wasn't initially convinced by the slightly bobble-headed, derpy sculpts but strangely it really works in game. However, the borg are themselves quite similar so I really felt they needed to be painted distinctly. From a black primer, they were drybrushed lightly with Vallejo Dark Grey. The skin was then blocked in with Dark Grey, highlighted with Wolf Grey then washed GW Druchi Violet, before a final Deck Tan highlight. The "metal" areas were drybrushed Wolf Grey, then Ghost Grey, and a little white used to pick out edge highlights, before a GW Nightshade wash. Lights were picked out variously in Ultramarine Blue, Gore Red, Flame Orange and Livery Green, with some light drybrushing round the edges to add glow (the bases likewise had the Livery Green treatment) and a spot of white at the center.

VampireTeam (Blood Bowl) by Sam de Smith

Continuing the undead theme, I also put together a Vampire Blood Bowl team for my eldest: I'm determined, after 30+ years away from the game, to get back to the gridiron! These were done in a very different way to the borg, but with similar paints: starting with a Grey Seer primer and then washing thinned Nuln Oil into the grey cloth; this was then brought back up with Wolf grey and Ghost grey, and finally Deck Tan. The skin (living or undead) was first washed Druchi Violet over the primer, and then built up: I started with Pale flesh for the vampires and Cadmium Skin for the thralls, then highlighted the vampires with deck tan and the thralls with pale flesh. The browns (leathers, hair, wood, bats) were done with Model Air Mahogany over the primer - very thin but with good pigment depth, almost like using a speed paint or contrast, but a bit easier to control - and then a little deck tan wet blended into it (painted on as highlights whilst still wet) to differing degrees; similarly, for the black areas, this was done with Model Air Black over primer, and a tiny bit of Deck Tan for highlighting. Honestly, if you buy one thing for your mini hobby this month, invest in a bottle of Vallejo Deck Tan. It's an absolute unsung hero, every bit as essential in the hobby arsenal as Nuln Oil. Finally, the reds were done with Gore Red, Scarlet Red and finished with a little Cadmium Flesh - flesh tones are great for highlighting red as they prevent "pinking" without going too orange either.

Tech-Priest Enginseer (40k) by Thomas Gorner

I have recently bolstered my Imperial Guard forces with the addition of a mighty Rogal Dorn tank, so of course, it was only natural to include a Tech-Priest Enginseer. The Tech-Priest is an invaluable asset to any Guard army, since their ability to maintain and protect mechanical behemoths throughout battle is vital for success. This model was very fun to paint, thanks to the mechanical, steampunk aesthetic. I started off by basing most of the metal areas in trusty Leadbelcher, with various bits of trim being based with Balthasar Gold for a darker, more bronzed look. The hooded cape was done with a layer of Khorne Red, then being washed with Carroburg Crimson, to add depth and darkness to the recesses while also giving a more purple hue to the red. The favourite part was the shading of the metal elements of the model. I have Reikland Fleshshade gloss which is ideal for elements such as this, as the gloss gives the metal a nice shine, while also giving it a dirty, rusty look. This really made the model pop in my opinion. Finally, I finished the smaller details, using Skeleton Horde for the servo-skull and a nice bright Moot Green for the screen on the wrist-mounted device. I’m really pleased with how this model turned out and having had the chance to field him, I can see why they are so vital to a Guard army. They provide healing to tanks, making them far more devastating. Of course, should your opponent destroy a tank in the Tech-Priest’s vicinity, he will become enraged, bolstering the attack characteristic of his axe. The addition of the Enginseer ability is also very handy, meaning he gains Lone Operative if within 3” of a vehicle. All in all, the Regimental Enginseer is a core part of my Guard army now and I look forward to building and painting more of them to add even more support for my tanks!