Another unit to add to the ever expanding hordes of Castle Ravenstein. Still working on the army fluff for this regiment. I went for a uniform look to the unit and whizzed through them in a week in my spare time. I like the way they came out but I will try a different style when I build hexwraiths for my next cavalry block, more ethereal and less rusty'n'dusty (which is my overall army aesthetic).
The only little conversion was on the Hell Knights steed - he has some devilish horns to set him apart from the other mounts.
Here's the next member of the Ravenstein household, well under way now and hopefully finished some time this week (aside from the mountain of other projects on the go, I need this mini for a local campaign..)
A few conversions here and there and he has a magic sword (won a free treasure: Initiative 10 item in last months campaign..not really useful for a vamp but hey ho, beggars can't be choosers!)
Well, a very busy gaming weekend indeed! Huge adventuring night with close friends and some of Sodapops Super Dungeon Explore (I almost took the party out this week, only that @#*$%£ Riftling Rogue and her cursed Teleporting shenanigans! Foiled again! but great fun had by all )
So, in other gaming/painting related news, the main painting group on facebook that I admin ran into some IP ambiguities recently, regarding the group name 'Really 'Eavy Metal'. This group was one I inherited for admin duties and was not named by me at it's inception. However recent events and emails made it clear that using GW trademarks on 3rd party site titles was confusing for people, flew in the face of GW legal and tbh completely understandable. As a result, and to just end the ongoing debates and nonsense surrounding the whole thing, the group name is now 'Art of War - Painting Group'.
If you follow this blog but have not joined go and apply now! It is a great place to share ideas and efforts with other painters and modellers. The group is non commercial so please bear in mind that posts that advertise services or products blatantly will be removed and membership reviewed.
The Varghulf skull is now pretty much complete at the skull sculpting stage.
The feet claws are also working out and almost ready. After all these stages reach finalization I can begin work on the fur texturing and in the process create a simple tutorial to follow if you wish to use the same technique.
Exciting times ahead as plans to start a local gaming guild are now starting to reach fruition.
A venue has been allocated (keys in hand!) and some prospective members have been given a walkaround the modest venue location. First impressions were great from the guys and the place has toilets, a place to store tables and scenery, and it is also well lit and the shop window can easily be draped to offer members some privacy during gaming nights. It is situated @ Attika in Abbey Road, Torbay, right next to Carters and the cinema. There will be no official 'closing time' on gaming nights and extra nights can be booked for local gamers that cannot make it on the usual club night.
Flexibility is the key I believe as not everyone can always make it on a regular weekly night, so the option to use the venue on other evenings and also weekends is fantastic! Over the course of the next week tables and gaming boards will be resourced and hopefully the guild can start doing what we do best - gaming - in the very near future.
The club will be Gaming Club Network registered, with all committee members CRB checked and cleared in advance of any club membership allocations. This also means that Games Workshop can officially help support the club at the local GW store and help gather more members, even help provide terrain and tables for wargaming.
Had a stab at carving the lower jaw from resin and also started on the dental work for the Varghulf. There will be more skin/tendons on the skull at a later date but for now the fangs need to settle solidly into the jawbones, which gives me an opportunity to work on the other end of the model, the feet/claws.
Hope to get some of the footwork done later tonight.
Work slowly progressing on the Varghulf custom sculpt/build. At this stage I refer to lots of imagery online, and my doodle sketches of ideas before the project began becoming 3D. It's still not into definiton stages yet but more fleshing out done, working on pose, balance, basing and starting to create the upper head. Lower jaw will be sculpted seperately then added and blended in. There is still fur to add (a good opportunity to do that tutorial at the same time!)
Here are a few development shots so far: The right foot stump is magnetised as is the branch, the left foot has a long pin for locating the tree perch lug.. This makes for a very delicate looking but extremely strong mounting for the model - still with enough 'give' to allow the model some flex if knocked by accident and not shear from it's mounting.The model therefore has small contact points to it's 50mm stand adding to the sense of balance and weight when the armature is placed into the tree stand. Both legs are obviously reinforced with steel and also some simple paper tissue/cyanoacrylate 'fibreglass' at this stage. it's rock solid and very strong stuff.
One of the local gamers in my area needed some assistance stripping down a Stormraven gunship he got in a trade. It had a few coats of streaky thick paint on it and every time he put it on the gaming table he looked dejected. As I was about to strip down a few models I had recently got in a trade I offered to help the lad out. It can be a problem if you have never stripped a model before but it really is not that difficult, you simply need some everyday items from the local store.
You will need
A pair of rubber gloves. If you have ever got a chemical burn in a hobby cut on your finger before, you will understand. Plus, the solution will sting normal skin and is an irritant, so protect your hands. You need them for painting and rolling dice.
A nail brush or similar short stiff bristle brushes. A toothbrush is useful for regular infantry size models and awkward recesses but if you are stripping down a large vehicle I use a larger brush.
A big water proof container, preferably with a lid. Those plastic stacking household boxes used for storage are ideal for this! High sides are also good - you can scrub the model without flicking gunky mess everywhere.
A good paint stripping solution. I personally use Fairy Power Spray. This stuff is fantastic at stripping paint from plastic - without damaging the plastic of course, and it costs a couple of quid a bottle, so it is fairly cheap stuff too and won't eat into your hobby budget much. (Or pinch your mums/girlfriends/wifes bottle in an emergency lol)
How to do it
Step 1: Put your gloves on. Shake your spray really well - it reacts better when mixed inside the spray bottle first! Coat the model you want to strip down in Power Spray (Simple Green in the USA). Really drench it, the gel from the spray sticks and expands in foamy gel all over the model. when it looks like a slimy bubbly mess put it to stand in the container for an hour.
Step 2. Get scrubbing! Take the model and start to brush the surface rigorously. This will break down the first layers of paint on the surface. At this point you may already be able to get the model back to a workable level if it wasn't too clogged in paint! However, if it has multiple layers of old paint you now rinse the model off completely and let it stand for a few minutes to dry off.
Step 3. Simply Repeat step 1. Fresh Power Spray all over the dry model again. It will start eating into the already weakening under layers of paint better if the model is dry again before application: water on the surface will dilute the gel/foams strength a little.
Step 4. Allow it again to sit a while and let the chemicals work the surfaces and recesses once more.
Step 5. Again, scrub the model rigorously and remove all the gel, gunk and slime from the surfaces. Rinse it thoroughly with clean running warm water. Keep scrubbing it under the tap - you want to remove any possible spray/dissolved paint. Use the toothbrush for the hard to reach spots, or use a hobby sculpy tool (not a sharp object or you will scar the plastic) to dig out the claggy mess in the deep corners.
At this point you should have a pretty clean model. If it is still not stripped down to your liking you need to go one stage further...
A soak bath will also remove a lot of undercoat spray that bonds with the plastic, but it will also dissolve the glue sometimes. Be prepared to rebuild the model kit if you soak it.
You can make a soaking bath and leave the model in there submerged for days if required. After the initial paint stripping you may still wish to remove the very first bonded undercoat on plastics. Simply add more water to the tub, Dettol or powerspray to the water, Spray the model again, leave it to stand for an hour then drop it in. Each day remove the model, scrub it clean, repeat and put back in the soak solution until you are satisfied. I have yet to find any messed up Orky paint job this does not remove!!!
Just be careful when using all these chemical solutions, wear gloves and don't flick it towards you when scrubbing, or rub your eyes obviously.
So now a before and after shot!
That is what a Stormraven Gunship looks like after being put through the basic stripping stages - 3 layers of paint were removed down to the undercoat. In the tub is also 2 Rhino APC's, A dreadnought Drop Pod and a Storm Talon I recently got in a hobby swap with a local friend and fellow gamer. This was after a day in the soak bath. the kits came apart beautifully in stages each day in the soak.
Aaaand I did a basic airbrushed paintjob on the Gunship for the lad as he has trouble getting even, brush mark free layers on his larger models. I also magnetised the weapon systems so if he wants to swap n change for missions its easy to do. I left off any chapter markings etc so he can decide where he wants them himself.
So, there ye go. Pretty simple to do, just takes time and a little effort and of course know how.
And now you know how!
Hope this helps some fellow hobbyists restore old kits and saves you a fortune in new models from the process.
Here is a few snaps of a mini I had fun painting up. Manufactured by Statuesque Miniatures. She has the coolest pose!
I chose the colour scheme of course to suit the figurine - I think she looks very similar to Natasha Romanoff from the Avengers! So.. I hope to use her in some games, perhaps shooting zombies in the head or fighting gangers in the Underhive, or maybe as a bounty hunter/merc for Infinity.
Here is a Warhammer monster I banged out in a night for my good friend who is manager at the local GW store. Lots of fun, was allowed to go colour crazy and only did one lil conversion, added the horns on the middle dragon head....because you can never have enough spikey bits on a chaos critter!
It's gaming standard paintwork for the current store battle campaign. I hope he likes it!
Well, he's starting to reach completion at the final sculpt stages, just a few little tweaks to make here and there. He now has 4 toed feet/claws and the first armband/torc. I'm still waiting on extra bits I need to arrive. I think he's a got a lot character, stood atop the lair rocks sniffing the breeze for prey..
More work in progress shots of his pack brothers soon!
Last one of the Crypt Horror Werewolf conversions. This is the champion crypt haunter, Skorzeny .
All the werewolves are being left to cure for a few days, then the final work of sculpting the accessories and accouterments will commence. I am deciding on placement of basing options/environmental details and checking out some different 'warrior' type armbands and torcs, amulets etc online for inspiration. I will most likely incorporate the wolf skulls from the space wolf range (ditching any nordic runes.. these are old Sylvanian lycanthropes, not the were-beasts of the northern realms.)
I really wanted a 'crinos' form similar to Forgeworld Skinwolves. The Skinwolves are meh..okay models but they look too Doberman. It would have been cheaper and easier to just go for the FW stuff (wow never thought I would say that LOL), these conversions are not cheap to do, working out at a basic £44 for the components before adding cost of putty and other materials. On the flip side, these are pretty solid, rugged models.
I hope they are as solid and rugged on the battlefields..
Next one for the pack is Talbot. He's done very bad things.
Again this is the basic fur done to hide the seams, some repositioning here and there. Very fun models to work with. Finer details like the musculature definition, toe claws will be done when the fur has cured completely, some ornamental bits, jewellery/totemic items etc.
I have been resculping crypt horror/vargeist kits this weekend to give me Werewolves/Lycans for my Sylvanian army. I used Fenrisian wolf heads, crypt horror arms and vargeist backs. Still lots more to do but I'm happy with the fur so far. The bases will be a bone strewn rocky lair.
I will get photos of the other 2 when they reach this stage of resculpt, but they are almost ready for the tiny details..This first one is called 'Kessler'.
I have yet to add arm torcs and other accessories. Colour scheme will most likely match my direwolf pack, but that is a long way off.
Started on more details, more glazing and got some base building done.
I am trying to create a wild jungle clearing vibe, with a deadfall log the TAG is stepping over cautiously, creeper vines across the leaf littered jungle floor and a few exotic plants to add to the atmosphere.
I will have a chat with my friend and work out what (if any) lettering, names, numbers or other malarky he wants on it.
I kinda think 'BOOMSLANG' on it somewhere would look cool. It's the name of a jungle snake.
Something a little different today to blog about but exciting nonetheless to die-hard 40k fanatics (and fellow old school miniature collectors) especially those interested in Pre-Heresy re-enactments...
I was fortunate enough to stumble across and purchase one of the vintage Citadel RTB04 Rhino troop transports box sets. The God-Emperor indeed smiles upon me!
There is next to no plastic flash or any miscast pieces so they should be a breeze to construct.
The sprues look to be in mint condition, missing only one smoke launcher, the tip of one exhaust, and 3 of the headlamps (easily replaced by taking Instant Molds from the other sprues).
Suprisingly, the notoriously fragile and delicate hand rails are ALL intact!
Unfortunately, the schematics poster and Imperial Vehicle Decal Sheet is absent.
The box itself is worn and battered with age, the kit having been released 25 years ago.. gosh this makes me feel old! I recall seeing the adverts in the latest White Dwarf as a child and wishing I earned more from my pocket money chores. I guess all good things (sometimes) come to those who wait!
This will be a splendid addition to my 'old knights of the Imperium' aesthetic for my steadily expanding Black Templar crusade (see my previous posts for photos).
My motor pool has just increased significantly.. now I must find time to lavish attention on these fantastic old model kits.
I wanted something different for my standard bearer icon in the skeleton warrior core unit, something that would be unique, eyecatching but also narrative for my army.
I decided to go for a carrion bird skull, after all, Ravenstein is my Vampire Bloodline name.
There's a connection there - plus I really like the skull shapes. A good friend of mine also painted a fantastic picture a while ago with a character having an oversize crow/raven skull for a head (wearing a top hat) and I think the imagery has stuck in my mind. Well, maybe not the top hat.. but the skull is something I wanted to have a go at one day.
So after a deliberation over bits to use I decided to just go ahead and sculpt my own. I wanted something sturdy and I really prefer carving solid resin than making greenstuff bits all the time for minis. Resin carving is very easy to do and (thanks to forgeworlds generosity) I have plenty of chunks of useless resin laying around to experiment with.
It's very fast, I only need 3 tools: A scalpel blade, a pinvice hobby drill and a small emery board for sanding (although most smoothing can be done with the edge of a scalpel scraping gently.) I decided to go a little oversize so as I carved it down I still had plenty to play with. I also wanted the skull to stand out visually so I decided on measurements and then using a pair of chunky snips I tore off a chunk of resin to begin the process.
Next I just roughly chopped it to bird skully shape.. No need for precision just yet.
Next step was to drill out some guide holes for eye socket carving.
I went right through the side of the skull so I can better judge either side and socket positions were equal.. in theory!
I used the scalpel to start to define the main skull structure lines and contours.
Having a picture for reference here helps, so I borwsed many different photos of carrion bird skulls for inspiration and direction whilst carving away gently at the resin.
Next step was to work on the nasal cavity. Using a pinvice drill I again went through the skull at the rear/back of the beak on the top either side.
These little guide holes were then widened lengthwise along the ridge of the beak.
More scraping, shaping and definition added at this stage.
Starting to polish the shapes and tidy up.
Working on the symmetry..getting there almost..
Very fine polishing work and final definitions.
As this is a fiddly little piece I decided to magnetise it so it can be easily removed from the banner if required.. Totally unnecessary but I know some clumsy gamers and would rather it didn't need gluing on every time it gets sent across the battlefield by errant sleeves etc.
So this is the beaky icon..
And magnetised to the banner bearer..
It's simple and I hope effective.. just need to give it some paint..and perhaps that tophat ...