Thursday, 13 December 2012

Covenant of Antarctica Fleet

Well, my COA fleet is growing, with the addition of 6 more Diogenes Class Frigates and a base for the Callimachus Class Time Dilation Orb

I was pleased with the base, it's one of the first I've made in 20 years.  Some sand and stones, a milliput hill, a cast cliff and a lichen tree:
I still like the details of the engine, very steampunky:

So back to the purpose of the post, the CoA Fleet.  It's a little larger now, but missing mid-sized and large ships.  Guess what's coming next? 
Comments welcomed.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Burney R87 Class Small Airships

Well, it's been 6 months since I painted anything, just real life getting in the way.

My KOB fleet gained some more air support with a unit of Burney R87 Class Small Airships.  Never heard of them?  Well, they are just Prussian Empire Jager Class Small Airships that I have co-opted for my KOB fleet.

These are often painted some shade of grey and look suitably German. But when I saw Straet's Prussian Blimps painted in a weathered canvas scheme, I knew I could borrow the idea for some Britannian Blimps.  I used the colour scheme on my Burney R109s already.

These guys are little, but I think they painted up nicely:
Here's another view:
And here's a small group, with HMSS Victoria in the foreground and a unit of Burney R109s in the background:

Kingdom Death: Monster

This is just a placeholder page for a Kingdom Death: Monster graphic.  More detail to come.

Here is the real Kickstarter project.  It looks interesting, great miniatures and different game play to many games I've seen:

Here is a graphic listing the rewards at various pledge levels (you'll need to click on it to see it full size):

Sunday, 22 July 2012

July Painting Competition - More Progress

So these CoA Diogenes Class Frigates painted up really quickly.  I'd like them to be whiter - icier - but at least they have some paint on them.  Here are some of the steps.

I find it easier to paint from the recesses outwards, so the neon sturginium engine, the blue behind the black plates, the black plates:

Metallic on the black, then the fill in blue:

Ink on the plate lines and rivets, red/orange airlock cover:

Ink and highlight on the cover, blue layering. Some colour on the funky round things on the nose. Green ink on the metallics, on the back model:

Copper pipes. Pretty much done!

I might have time for a mixed group of 6, 3 of one type & 3 of another, before the end of the month.  It's going to be tight.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

July Painting Competition - Progress

Well, it feels like I am painting every day, but I am not getting too far.  The month is half over, and I am clearly not going to get 3 sets of 6 models finished.  It doesn't matter, the competition has still pushed me to paint more than I would done otherwise, I think.

The KoB Attackers are virtually done.  They are not varnished yet, I'm waiting to see if I can think of any more changes to make.  I started painting all nine, but only finished six to save some time; the other three will be quick to finish up some time in the future.  Their size made them trickier to paint than I expected, but I'm happy with the result.  There are work in progress pictures below; not the best pictures I have taken, but you can see what is going on.

I've started the CoA Diogenes.  There are only 6 of them and they are coming along quickly, much faster than the Attackers.  They are a bit fiddly to paint, so I'm working in short sessions.  Pictures to follow.

I am close to getting an "Artist Rating" on Cool Mini or Not, a popular miniature site.  I need 5 pictures rated by 50 voters - 3 of the images still just under 50 votes.  You don't need to be a member to vote, just click on the first image and the voting bar will be on your right; you can scroll through the images with the right arrow button:

Attacker Class Frigates WIP 
Boilers and scaffolding.  I start in the interior of the miniature, so I am not splashing paint on painted areas.

Decking, then turrets.  The main colour is on the hull on some figures:

Stripes, portholes, sturginium engines:

Pretty much done.  Pipes on the engines, deck rails, reworked the copper:

There's one ship going backwards!  Suddenly, they look a lot better.  I am always surprised how bad the WIP stages look.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Painting Competition

I’ve been a bit slow lately, certainly not getting one squad per week. Which means the Spartan GamesCommunity’s first painting competition has perfect timing! Just what I need to get a bunch of miniatures painted.

The competition is organised around groups of 6 small models, painted from start to finish in the month of July. I have plenty and will try to get a batch of six painted each week. That sounds like 24 minis for July, but for some models, I have 9 copies, not 6, and I’ll try to do them all.

I plan to get basic paint jobs completed first and then touch up what I can near the end. That should get the paint on a lot of models, and keep the pressure on me to finish. Hopefully, they’ll look good – I’m up against some of the better painters on the site.

Of course, I started late, so I am already behind. But still I am really looking forwards to this. Even if I can’t get the prize for best unit, I might get the most volume!

Here are some starting pictures. I’ll post work in progress throughout the month.

Kingdom of Britannia Attacker Class Frigates:

Covenant of Antarctica Diogenes Class Frigates:

CoA Plutarch Class Destroyers and Prussian Empire Jager Class Small Airships.  There's a small problem here, small airships are not on the list of allowed minis.  I might have to swap something else into this group:

And I have always wanted an excuse to make one of these images:

Friday, 22 June 2012

Callimachus Class Time Dilation Orb

Time for the Covenant of Antarctica to get a huge miniature.

This is one of my favourite CoA models, perhaps my favourite of all the Dystopian Wars minis.  Very sci-fi for a steam punk game, the orb reminds me of the Martians from HG Wells "War of the Worlds".  A closer looks shows many steampunk essentials, gears, pipes, grills, etc, that tie the mini back to the Victorian era.

The model went together easily.  I packed the leg sockets with milliput and did not pin them as they had a big tag; let's hope the super glue holds.  The top engine is magnetised, but it could be glued in place.  It is kind of large and was tricky to hold for painting ... perhaps that explains how I dropped it, broke a leg, bent the others and chipped the paint.  It repaired well enough.

Although the model has a lot of fine detail, it's also covered in tool marks and seams.  The rivets make it really hard to clean up - it would have been easier to sand off the rivets than the tooling.  I tried layering the paint (first time) rather than dry brushing, but the tooling is still very clear in the photos.  It looks better in real-life.

This truly is a huge war engine.  Only the Covenant of Antarctica have the technology to build the Orb. Only they can produce the malachite steel in their stirginium blast furnaces to create legs strong enough to support the massive body.  Only they have the Stirginium Rotary Wankel Engine that powers the unique Leonidas time distortion field.  This is the very pinnacle of Victorian engineering.

Side view, showing the malachite steel legs:

Top view, showing the Rotary Wankel Engine:

And the (soon to be mighty) Covenant of Antarctica fleet:

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Cool Mini?

Or Not?

I've been lurking on Cool Mini Or Not for a while now.  The site is a showcase for gamers' work, and features images of 174,536 minis! But it's not just a photo collection: anyone, member or not, can rate the images. 

The quality of painting, scratch-built figures and dioramas on this site is just amazing. To be honest, it was a little intimidating and delayed me getting started with my Dystopian Wars fleets.

I have a few new miniatures painted now and I've created a new picture gallery.  Spartan Games and Dystopian Wars is underrepresented on Cool Mini or Not, so I'm glad I put some pictures up there.  You can vote on each of my miniatures from this gallery.

Artists are also rated.  I'm in last place.  No, I'm being too hard on myself.  I am actually in joint last place ... with all the other artists that do not have enough votes to be ranked.  You need 5 pictures, each with 50 votes before you are rated.  Some of my images have been up for less that 24 hours so I'm surprised I have any votes at all.  It would be good to get off the bottom, though.

So now we'll know if my miniatures are cool or not.  Get out there and vote!

Thursday, 14 June 2012

CoA: Thales Class Corvettes

My CoA Fleet just expanded to 9 miniatures.  I have six Thales Class Corvettes, so I painted them all together.  It took two weeks, but I am still painting a squad per week.  Just.

I tried a lighter blue as my base, which worked well.  I am still having trouble with the metallics.  I tried mixing the green ink into the metallics: fail, no colour on the figure.  I tried starting with a darker metal paint lower on the model: fail, too dark.  I tried mixing the ink with some medium, so it would coat better: not much difference.  But in the end, I like the effect, which I am calling malachite steel.  I need to work on my layering; dry brushing really brings out the tool marks on the miniatures.

My CoA industrialists have access to pure sturginium, hence the yellow neon engines.  They sell unrefined sturginium to the rest of the world, see what the KoB has to use here and here.

So here are my Thales Class Corvettes, in Blue Ice with Malachite Steel Plating:

And a looming close-up:

My Time Dilation Orb is primed and ready to go.  It's time to add a huge miniature to this fleet!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

First Brush: CoA

Instead of continuing with the KoB fleet, I wanted to start my Covenant of Antarctica models.  I wanted to work on my own colour scheme, and I need to get to the Time Dilation Orb as soon as possible.  I also really like the torpedo-shaped ships.

I started with the tiny Diogenes Class Frigates, as I have 9 and could afford to make a few mistakes.  I imagined a pale icy blue, with blue washed metal; sounded great for the waters of Antarctica.  My first attempt was very quick, but not very good.  The icy blue was too dark and the metallic blue was too similar.  I switched to ice and green metal, with copper pipes to tie it back to the steampunk origins.  The result was better, but I'd like the blue to be paler.

Ice water colour scheme:

Viewed from above:

I need to touch-up the ugly duckling, but I'm pleased with the result.  I'll try a different model, then tackle the Orb.

Kingdom of Britannia Fleet (1)

With 3 different miniatures painted, it's time for a fleet picture.

I know, it's a bit small, but I'm moving on to some Covenant of Antarctica models, so this is it for the moment.

The loyal forces of Queen Victoria:

Burney 109 Scout Flyers

"What?", I hear you say, "When did Spartan Games release the new Burney miniatures?"  Relax, you'll notice these look a lot like Prussian Pflichts; surprise, they also have the same stats! It's just not steampunk without dirigibles, so I had to co-opt these guys into my KoB fleet.  I think these are some of the best Dystopian Wars models.
These are often painted some shade of grey and look suitably German.  But when I saw Straet's Prussian Blimps painted in a weathered canvas scheme, I knew could I borrow the idea for some Britannian Blimps.

Burney 109 Scout Flyers:
Looming above:

HMSS Victoria, Ruler Class Battleship

I'm still working on my KoB fleet for  Dystopian Wars.  Having worked out some kinks on my Tribal Class Cruisers, I painted the largest KoB miniature I have at the moment, the Ruler Class Battleship next. 

Yes, this is my first Huge Miniature!

I was a little intimidated by the detail on this battleship, but it went easier than I thought.  I organised the painting better, starting in the recesses and had far less mistakes to touch up than before.  I think the result is a bit crisper and looks good.  I'd like to find some decals for fleet numbers, etc, but otherwise, this model is finished.

HMSS Victoria, Ruler Class Battleship:
Deck view:

Any purists viewing will notice I've got some FSA gun turrets on this model.  All the turrets are magnetised and can be swapped out - I have more KoB 3-barrel guns painted.  I play with the KoB stats, the FSA turrets are just for show.  I think they are scaled a little better to the larger miniature, and the gears on the top are a perfect steampunk motif.

Friday, 25 May 2012

First Brush: Tribal Class Cruisers

I think the Spartan Games miniatures for Dystopian Wars are great, but I found painting them a bit daunting.  I had never painted such large miniatures, my techniques were rusty and I had no good idea of the paint scheme I wanted, having never painted ships.

For the Kingdom of Britannia, I knew I wanted something historically realistic, a camouflage scheme to break up the large flat areas, and a dirty, smoky, weathered look.  But I couldn't make these ideas gel into a completed idea.

The Spartan Games community website really helped me get started, especially once I saw Maestro's work:
Maestro's KoB Fleet
Seeing these miniatures immediately got me going. This was the first camo scheme I really liked and the colours fit my dull, grey, dirty, realistic ideas.  I knew I couldn't come up with anything this good, so I unashamedly copied it (thanks Maestro).  I added more metallic colours, which made it a little more steampunky, and glowing green sturginium engines.  Here is the first result, on the Tribal Class Cruisers.
Here are some other views:
There's an ugly one at the back of each picture, my first attempt.  The next two were much better.
I'm looking forwards to painting the rest of the fleet.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

And So It Begins

Wow! My first blog post.

It’s been about 10 years since I last painted a war game miniature.  Computer games spoiled me; no time consuming setup, no rules to memorise, no problems stopping halfway through a game, no backlog of unpainted miniatures.  A vague interest in steampunk and a random visit to the Spartan Games website changed that.  Although their Dystopian Wars rule set is so complex I might never play a game, I knew immediately, I had to paint some of their miniatures.  Steam ships, blimps, giant tanks, tiny fliers, it’s a great range that captures steampunk perfectly.

And the miniatures are huge!