Oh the joys of painting!

What’s more fun than painting 48 black pupils in a row on Zombicide Wolfz? Working outside while you wait for the first coat of vanish to dry and then realising as you spray the second coat… that you only have propellant coming out of the can!

Recent changes in my work mean I have much more free time than usual. Given this fact and my aim to paint more figures this year than last year, and playing  a lot of Z:BP over the last two weekends – I decided it was time to paint my 24 Zombicide Black Plague Wolfz, before going back to Star Wars figures. This nearly double the number of figures I’ve painted for 2017.

The weather this afternoon has been great. I finished painting and got the figures all outside to dry. I spent time “gardening”, and had plenty of time for two coats of spray varnish. I’m happy that I had a spare can of clear acrylic. I’m really not sure if the first can ran out before or during my first coat, so I’ll give them another coat tomorrow morning regardless and hope tomorrows showers hold off long enough for me to sit the wolves outside to dry for an hour.

Assuming everything goes well, I’ll take photo’s of the completed minis tomorrow and post again.

Painting for Gamma World

I finished the last of this group last weekend, but only got around to photographing them today. We had been using most of these figures for some time, but unpainted.

 

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So here’s the group from left to right:

Red Desert (Green Folk, Cacti), Hack (Pure Strain Human), Ambo (Altered Human), Bitcoin (Live Metal), Ironbark (Green Folk, Tree) and Where (New Animal, Feline).

I didn’t paint the humanoid feline – that’s actually a D&D pre-painted mini that I specifically bought for the campaign. I may have to rework it, since the game character is male but the figure turned out to be female. There is a second D&D catfolk figure that I thought was female – I’ve seen more images now, that make me think that one is actually male, but rather effeminate looking.

Three of these figures are from my West End Games Star Wars figures – two from the Bounty Hunters set, and one from the Rebel Characters set. The two bounty hunters appeared in “The Empire Strikes Back”.

 

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Dengar, Female Gambler and IG-88: I didn’t want to copy the colours from the movie for my Dengar/Hack. That has a pale grey/white under-suit and dark rusty brown armour. My armour is more a dark grey/gunmetal, with silver edges and the occasional brownish patch. IG-88 in the movie looks shiny silver and/or dark brown rust, depending on the shot/image. I started with a dark grey, then gunmetal. Touches of silver, antique copper and antique gold add some variety. The Bitcoin character is an android – he looks human at first glance, but has glowing red eyes. Using a distinct robot figure makes the figure stand out on the table and helps remind me that he’s ‘live metal”. At some point I may find another human-looking figure and paint him up “correctly”, maybe with silver showing under wounds or something. The ‘Rebel Characters’ set aren’t based on specific movie characters so I just went with colours I felt comfortable with.

 

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The two plants in the group were mostly scratch built. I got some plastic trees in a $2 tube of plastic dinosaurs! Most of one of these was trimmed slightly, glued into a base and given a full repaint over the former green plastic. I’ve been doing garage roof repairs recently and kept a bunch of thin silicon “bits” with this in mind. The tree roots are glued silicon (trimmed where necessary) and with moulding paste to fill the gaps and blend the edges together before painting. A bit more glue and some sand helped texture the bases.

 

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“Ironbark” was my first plant; I then went on to making a cactus. My first attempt at this looks like a mutant Christmas tree (no picture) and the second is the one on the right. Paddle pop sticks cut to make a cross-shaped stalk and then foam-core board carved to shape and glued on top. Plastic tree “leaves” made great spines once stuck into pin holes. My wife (who plays Red Desert) said she’d been thinking of a mexican-style cactus, so after collecting some more cacti images (Saguaro cacti) I collected small sticks/branches from the garden and produced the figure on the left. I was hesitant to break the “arm” branches and glue them to the more upright shape that the Saguaro actually has. I may try that with another branch and see if I can get it to the right shape without making it too fragile and do yet another cactus. I’d like to do a more realistic tree and a bush too, but I’ll need to go model shopping – I could do with some flock for leaves. I’ve got wire, so some green-stuff wouldn’t hurt for this type of work either!

 

Star Wars – Painting Stormtroopers

Star Wars 40307 “Stormtroopers” (Lucasfilm, West End Games)

10 Stormtroopers SW61 – SW70.

 

When my Gamma World game got going this year, I dug out my Star Wars minatures thinking that they would be of more use than most of my fantasy figures, since most of these figures held guns! The Stormtrooper set has been particularly useful, since we’ve been playing GW1 “The Legion of Gold”. They have been perfect to represent the many golden-armored warriors that are fought in groups of generally five or more.

They were unpainted in the first session I used them, then got a spray white undercoat soon after. I’ve spent the last week finishing the set as well as the main Rebels/Bounty Hunter figures that I’d picked out to represent the player characters. (The PC’s should be my next post.)

A squad of ready Stormtroopers!

The best part about this ten piece set of one-piece metal figures is that each one is unique. While a couple have similar poses, this variety isn’t common now unless you buy a large set of multi-part figures.

Nearly all the Star Wars figures I purchased at this time (3 sets back about 1989) have been well produced figures, nicely posed, well detailed, not much flash to clean up, and few mold lines. I’m quite sure they came in a neat cardboard box at the time. I’ve still got the insert sheet with names, images and film/RPG detail that came with each set.

I decided to try something different with my last lot of painting: These got an extra spray of white undercoat, then a very good coat of black ink. It really picked out the detail and while looking more grey than the typical bright white, they looked good. I put them all onto 25mm round bases, and started going over each one with more white paint. Black for the “body-glove” and on helmets, black and gun metal on weapons. I’d painted the bases with a mid/dark grey then realized I needed more contrast, so went over them with a blotchy coat of black, then gun-metal. It can vary slightly with lighting, but the bases now appear to be black with a shiny silvery sheen.

These troopers don’t look like they just walked out of the clone factory! I could have gone back over them with another coat of white paint, but I like current appearance. They aren’t bright and shiny – they look like they actually been out and wearing the armor for some time.

 

Z:BP The Abominotaur!

I finished this figure last weekend, which is much too long after I started it. I could have finished it to a better standard, but after all this time I just wanted it done!

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Originally, I base coated the figure with burnt sienna, but that looked rather more orange than mid brown. After putting some different colour on various parts (mouth, horns, claws, etc) I went over the skin with a better brown, did a bit of highlighting to claws, horns and the tumors/lumps on his back and arm. I inked it next to get some dark shading in skin folds, etc, but it didn’t work as planned – the overall brown darkened more than I’d expected and I ended up with very little ink sitting where I wanted it.

This meant a lot more highlighting to lighten raised skin/ridges. Then I did more detail/highlighting, particularly on the swollen arm. Finally teeth, eyes, some touch ups to claws and hooves, and copper on the chain belt. Gun metal on the metal/armour plates and a little black ink on most of those. Some darker brown in grooves or behind other pieces that stuck out to hide bits of the base coat that hadn’t been covered, etc. Fluoro yellow in the eye sockets and some bright red on the eyes over that.

Abominotaur – left side

Abominotaur – right side

The weather was good today, so he got spray varnished this morning and left out to dry. I’ll probably give him another quick spray coat tomorrow.

There’s nice detail on the figure and it wasn’t a hard paint… just time consuming when my ideas didn’t match what actually happened during painting. I’m very pleased to have finally finished all my Zombicide Abominations now!

 

Zombicide BP: The Abominalpha

I finished painting the Abominalpha about three weeks ago and had hoped to finish the minotaur as well and post both of them. The minotaur is nearly done, but light was good this morning so I finally got some pics of the Alpha! The photos came up really well and show the colour and detail as I see the figure, with the only exception being that the claws are slightly darker (and flecked with black) in RL.

A long, hot and humid summer in Melbourne meant I really didn’t feel like painting for most of Feb/March and only got back to the last two Abominations in April. I really like the Alpha figure – good sculpting and lots of detail. It wasn’t until I started painting and paying a lot of attention to the box pamphlet image that I realised he’s wearing human skin – there’s two feet hanging down at the front!

 

Abominalpha – front

I started with a mid grey base coat, rather like my Wolf Abominations, and a dark blue-grey on the arms and back of the head with the longer ‘fur’. A little dark brown ink (or black – I can’t remember now) for shading. A mix of yellows and light browns for the skins, and some brown ink for detail. Then lots of white dry brushing all over – I like the white fur of the original image – and over the grey I feel the shading/highlight has worked really well. I wanted a dark constrast with the horns and thought black wouldn’t show the detail there, and tried red over the gray base-coat. This looked good and got some black paint that sits in most of the grooves. I’d had a few ideas for the claws that didn’t seem to work and after the way the horns worked, decided to do all the claws the same way.

 

Abominalpha – rear

I could have done some more work on the skins, but I’m happy with the look I have. I would have liked to do more with the shrunken heads, but anything better is beyond my current ability. Look at this site to see what someone has produced – I don’t know if their heads had better detail, or they have steadier hands to create the detail and better painting skills! (Probably the latter from looking at the claws.)

I might take him out this afternoon for another coat of spray varnish while the weather’s nice!

 

2016: The Year of Zombicide!

Looking back over 2016, I note that I painted from scratch about half as many figures as the year before (27 compared to 60). But it’s easy to see what I did spend a lot of time on – Zombicide: Black Plague! I spent more time playing Zombicide than any of my usual RPGs, or any other game. My game review of Z:BP was my most seen post, with 771 views (8 times as popular as the 2nd place comer) Of the figures I did paint – 12 were from Zombicide.

On New Year’s Eve, I ran my third playtest of Gamma World 4.5 (my d20 rule set is pretty much complete now) and played two games of Zombicide!

2016 was a pretty good year for the blog. Compared to 2015, I tripled my number of visitors (3041 views, 2045 visitors from 67 countries!) I had a lot of fun – revisiting old game systems that I hadn’t looked at for a decade or more (MERP, Gamma World), finishing a major part of the D&D campaign I run, and starting a Greyhawk/Pathfinder project for Hero Lab.

This year has started off with me enjoying my annual leave break (but I go back to work tomorrow) and I’ve spent a lot of it playing World of Warcraft, some more Zombicide, and a lot of sleeping in. I’ve been reading through the “Sword of Truth” series by Terry Goodking (in book four now) and had a couple of sessions of Pathfinder.

 

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Yesterday I finished my first miniature painting of the year – the Abominatroll from Zombicide: Black Plague.

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He was enjoyable to paint. Mostly a dark green base coat, some brown paint and dark tone ink for give some depth and shading, then a lighter “field grey” (more dull green than any grey) for highlighting. Touches of yellow, pink, red, white etc for various detail. Mostly flesh and white, then brown ink for finger & toe nails, with a distict “light olive” for the lumps. It’s a bit brighter in colour than the images make it look.

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I still have the minotaur and wolf alpha to go – then I hope to get onto painting heroes/survivors!

 

Zombicide: Black Plague – Painting Necromancers

I have two of the standard Necromancers, plus four specials (two of which are also player survivors). That’s six figures done and they were fun to paint and look good on the board – in particular it’s great having the standard necromancers stand out from the regular zombies. I’ve followed the standard images as a colour guide with small variations for all but one figure.

Standard Necromancers – front

Back when I painted my dark elves (Drow), I’d been reading about how black doesn’t always come out well when painting figures – its hard to shade and highlight to pick out detail. The necromancer cloaks are painted with black mixed with some grey, making a very dark grey. Red for the cloak sash and arm bandages. Silver over the dark grey with the armoured legs and boots, brown then copper for chains, brown rods, dagger hilt and beards. Straps/bindings on the bottles and raised skull proved a nuisance – I need a new brush for fine lines. Some ink to shade the face, skulls and bandages, and a then white highlighting on skulls.

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Necromancers – rear

I may come back to these later. They could do with a little more shading and highlighting on back on the cloaks.

Now the special necromancers – Evil Troy, Grin, Ostokar the Pale and Queen Medea.

 

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Evil Troy – front

Evil Troy – better known to many as “Evil Ash” (Bruce Campbell) from Army of Darkness. The figure wears a breastplate (rather than armour banding over his shirt as shown on the card and in the movie) so I went a dull gun-metal with silvered edging. I choose a red cloak to match the movie rather than blue-black on the card. I don’t believe the eye sockets are well formed on the figure and were very difficult to paint. My final result is mostly black with a bright orange pupil in the middle – which hadn’t come out in the image above. Light reflection makes the skull helmet look silver rather than the white it actually is. Gameplay: When killed, put him back in his spawn zone, unless killed with a 3 damage attack/Dragon Fire.

 

Evil Troy – rear

Grin – or more commonly known as a medieval “Joker”, from the Batman comics. I pretty much ignored the card colours. The Joker usually wears a purple jacket and pants, yellow vest and green shirt – so this became the basis for the clothes on the figure. I liked the blood effect across the chin on the Z:BP image, rather than just red lips, so kept that. I don’t like the jawbone on the end of the staff – at some time in the future I may cut of the end and replace it with a standard human skull (with red mouth?). Gameplay: When he moves, he moves up to two zones instead of one.

 

Grin – front

 

Grin – rear

Ostokar the Pale – a “Naiade” special guest figure from french artist Xavier Gueniffey Durin. You can look at more of his stuff here. Originally I was planning on grey rags that got darker with each lower “layer”, and ended up with a bit of both green and brown over the grey and shaded that. Mostly gun-metal on the chains with some silver highlight and various colours to detail belts, sheath, straps, etc. Gameplay: Each time he gets an extra activation, all zombies in his zone also get an extra activation.

 

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Ostokar – front

Ostokar has been used as a survivor in one of our games so far (I enjoyed using Zombie-link), but not as a necromancer. I like the look of the figure and there’s some flexibility in the chains, which means they are less likely to break through handling or being packed in with other minis.

 

Ostokar – rear

Queen Medea – or “Queen Ravenna” (Charlize Theron) from the movies Snow White and the Huntsman and The Huntsman: Winter’s War. There’s some debate that CMON should have used the pose on the card rather than the final sculpt (dagger held in front not over the head) and I agree – although it’s still a nice figure. The red lips look a bit too bold in the image here, but don’t stand out so much on the actual figure. I found an online image where someone painted her in dark blue (rather than the black from card/movie) and liked the shading to almost black in the dress folds. I’ve used a lighter blue for the bodice than the image I saw, and managed a better effect with shading/highlighting than I usually try for or achieve. Gameplay: Cannot be eliminated if there are other zombies in her zone except with Dragon Fire.

 

Queen Medea – front

 

Queen Medea – rear

That’s all for now… I’ve got wolfz and abominations I can start on, but I might spend a week on something else before I come back to Zombicide. I hope you enjoy the pictures and have fun if your playing Zombicide!