Sunday 28 September 2014

Vlka Fenryka - inspiration and another tease

I had a good few nights and the 1st model is more than half way done. These days the most painting I get done at the time is one or 2 hours, and the only way to get anything finished is to be disciplined and do something every almost every night.

I applied an oil wash and an enamel filter last night. Since some folks asked about the filter, it's a product, by . This particular hue is called "panzer grey blue filter"or something similar. A great way to add a little variation to the grey. I also use their Abteilung oils.

The thing with the oils is that they need a long time to dry and it so happens I had to leave on a business trip and the paint should be conveniently cured when I get back on Friday. Then a few more nights and I should finally be ready to show you some pictures.

Until then, John sent me this picture having been inspired by my ruthless repurposing of Horus. Such a clever conversion - the head swap on the wolf pelt is just genius!

Thursday 25 September 2014

Vlka Fenryka : The art of preparation.

It's only a week into the project that I fully realize how healthy this is and how much I needed this. Gone are the old restrictions, and I'm busy designing the new vision, new focus, and that is always a process of creation, but also elimination.

I think I will do a single model each month - part of the massive appeal of this new project. By the end of next year I will have an army of 15 warrior gods and wulfen beasts, and possibly some armor for them.

Last night I airbrushed all the base colors on the Lord and his base. Feels like cheating. Smooth as photoshop, fast as a rendering farm. I've got some new paints from spain, seen in the picture, that have simply stunning flesh tones. For somebody who has lived in the cold moonlight saturation for years and years, getting to paint a very realistic, feral, deep and vivid skin is quite a feast.

I also picked the palette last night. Seen in the picture below. And cleaned this bigger drawer that used to be for Legion paints. I will use a bunch of reds - something I almost avoided all together for Legion.

The full new back of tricks will include:

  • Airbrushing to get the overall direction of light, but the tool will not be visible at all in the finished piece. (the model air color palette is not pictured, 5 or so paints that I apply with the airbrush on Tamiya grey spray)
  • Vallejo and these new Acrylics 77 something, Tamiya acrylics applied as progressive wash like flows of highlights and shadow. 
  • Oil paints! Full on weathering techniques I learnt doing the knight. (not in the picture)
  • Enamel filters (not in the picture)
  • pihments
  • pledge and tamiya flat medium varnish to get the exact gloss (lack of where I need it)
  • combination of metallics (acrylic and enamel) left unvarnished to really get that pop.
I believe this will result to the best miniatures I've ever painted, with a style that is distinctly mine, but also a fresh combination of different influences. First results in a week or so I would estimate.

Monday 22 September 2014

Vlka Fenryka - The Wulfenkind Attack

"The Bear shall take up the mantle of
Gatekeeper, and the Lost Kin return to the
Realms of Man. Brother shall slay brother, as
at the Dawn of Time, but the Were-kin stand
aloof. Their task set in stone before them. The
Son of the Traitor shall lay waste - First the
Gate, then the Palace. The Children of Russ
shall oppose him or perish, their names
reviled for all time. Now is the time, mighty
Wolf. Your hunt is nearing its end. Your
quarry is set before you. Your saga shall be
sung for all time."

— Prophecy of Frode

"The voice of Russ was the loudest of all, [Text lost] but Guilliman and Dorn gainsaid his counsel. To enter the Occularis Terribilis would bring disorder on the surviving Legions, they said, leaving Man vulnerable to both the xenite and apostate. It is said that Russ, as was often the way, took his own counsel and sent forth the Wulfen to hunt down Abaddon and his followers. Others say that the Thirteenth Great Company pursued the heretics of their own accord, as hounds at the chase who heed not the calls of their huntsman. Others still maintain that the Wulfen had been tainted by the Dark Gods and were summoned by their call to join the Traitor Legions in the netherworld"


Imagine the bravest, the most dedicated, those who paid the heaviest price of the VI Legion, Adpetus Astartes, Vlka Fenryka,  Emperor's executioners. A Warrior band of individual heroes and hounds, in pursuit in to the warp 10 millenia ago to hunt down Magnus and the rest of the heretic Primarchs. Imagine a beautiful set of illustrations by Dainton translated to model form by an exquisite set of conversions and hyper realistic, but moody paint jobs.

XX Legion fought in moonlight, these will dwell in a warp blizzard. Things will be flowing in different directions, there will be a swirl of death and thunder around each hero and huscarl, wulfen and wolf. A dozen or so insane(ly) powerful warriors and or beasts. Empowered by the liberties in army selection that is the seventh edition Warhammer 40000.

A whole new level of scale (beyond what the insanity that was and is Legion) and new material feel with different weathering effects. 

I've finally started a brand new project. In the planning ever since I saw the new Horus model.This is a return to my first love, the Space Wolves, but the extreme 13th Great Company. You will notice a common theme to Alpha Legion. Stealth and duty, hated but loyal to death. I needed to wait until my birthday to open my box of goodies and have been having a blast this weekend. 

I want to considerably up the ante from Legion (sure I'll add to them too) and truly go nuts with the best of FW models... Which I painstakingly avoided with Legion's plastic only goal. There's something to be said about the power of restrictions, and equally letting go once you've built the stamina and skills in a given area. I want to make Legion look crude in comparison, and Space Wolves built out of the box look like toys. 

I hope you enjoy the journey and feel free to engage in discussion and feedback.


A Lord and his hound - Wolf Lord Harkon Bloodmoon a few details from primer and very early look at first of the Wulfen.

Birthday treats and the warmth in which the frozen beasts will take shape...

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Of terrain and miniature warriors and war machines.

Annual cycle as ancient as my history with Citadel Miniatures has turned to the season of most productive character. Autumn. Or more of summer here in California.

I have stuff to share that on a personal scale of excitement is somewhere between Epic and Off the chart. I'm working on new terrain. Tons of it. So fast it feels like cheating. Spray primers to block the main colors in, Airbrush to bring it up to match basing and oils and filters to add depth and shades.

Terrain to me has always been what makes the difference. Take our game in Nottingham this summer as an example. Gorgeous models aplenty, but it was JBs terrain that pulled everything together and elevated the event. Plenty of great armies out there, insulting little quality terrain for them to fight on. Games Workshop has corrected their direction and Forgeworld has been on a tear. Last year I got to the satisfying goal of having a quality real of battle board and enough nice terrain to fill it. So now I'm pushing to turn nice to something a bit more spectacular.

That very much works in concert with the models. I've become accustomed to friends describing my goals better than I can do. And this comment at Dakka is important.

"Beautiful! It's crazy how you so seamlessly combine almost monochromatic painting techniques with such bright, rich colors." -Weirdingway 

I think he captures a significant portion of the essence of my Legion work. I've found a spot, I think, where the models look like they really live in the 40k universe, wear and tear with the horrors, and fight on gritty and fitting basing, but also really stand out from the terrain. Much of my previous armies would really disappear and lack punch in terrain.

I painted a bunker as a test piece last night. In an hour! And spent 15 minutes to prime one of three new Forgeworld tiles I am working on. And I give you crappy photos, late at night in the garage. I will how ever, aim to finish the fort and the entire trench network by the end of this week/weekend and set up for a proper army photo shoot with the new terrain the weekend after or so.

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Warrior Mystic Alpharius

XX Chapter of Adeptus Astartes does not maintain a Librarium. However, they do employ the weapons of the warp, esoteric and arcana, forbidden lore and far seeing arts.

This is the work of a legion Warrior Mystic, psychic masterminds and warrior gods as individualistic and creative as chaos. Each mystic has an apprentice if a worthy candidate is found, and millennia of lore is passed in secret, verbally, in remote planets and webs of the galaxy.

Mystic Alpharius, master of the farseer, brother of the moon, student of the old one and leader of Stealth team Argolith.