15 August 2017 Update
Finally attempted a cape using Milliput just now. Then quickly painted it. It’s okay for a first attempt in a long while (last time I did anything similar was for a resin Phantom F4 many years back). And it’ll do because I want to finish off this escort squad so I can continue with the Stinging Scorpions.
I’ve simply moulded the cape to fit underneath the Eldar backpack. I could shave off the backpack but I won’t (for now). Used the colours of the power sword and mirrored it on the back of the cape freehand. Meh.
Update on the Update:
Since that early morning foray, I’ve decided to try again. Firstly, I’ve added standard aprons (as seen below).
Then, with the leader, I’ve changed the shape of the cape by making it more leaf shaped.
I will work on the paintwork tonight. Cheers.
9 August 2017 Update
Trying some optional poses with the shields. So far the pose looks good; I just need to realign the weapon-bearing arms (either like Mr Green or similar to Mr Purple but with the weapon straighter. The guys looked relaxed but ready. There are still two more shields to print out. I have their colours sorted out. The other night I managed to basecoat the bases as a start; there is still more to go before they look complete. More shield emblem design work on all three. Cheers.
8 August 2017 Update
Changed the base size for the escort from 25mm to 30mm to accommodate “elevating” the figures with cork (see photos below). Against the Warlock (whom they’re escorting), I may have to place the Warlock on a similar “elevated” base as well.
Basecoat of Terracotta, then a drybush of Tan, followed by Plague Brown. Will add the rubble/dry mix and give a dry stone look (like their Warlock).
I’ve also sorted an option for displaying the shields that doesn’t involve toting them. It’s borrowed from history where those carrying shields rested them on the ground but at the ready to use them. Still keen to go with the over-the-shoulder carry but thought this might also work. Did a base coat of the basing which works well. Cheers.
7 August 2017
Since my last post, I have a boost to my enthusiasm and made more painting/modelling endeavours. Today I’ve changed the base size for the escort to 30mm; this caters for the new shield placements on most of the figures (see below). It requires turning the hand around (snip and reglue; for more sturdier endurance, just add the pin step before the gluing part).
Changed the shield designs because of some errors I observed. This was before the positive feedback when I posted my efforts on WAU the other day.
I like the new pose that’s an option however as I’m still keen to see the over-the-shoulder look.
5 August 2017
Been a fair while since last I posted on my Eldar slow paint project. Even though the figures have sat right next to my laptop so that I see them daily, I have resisted anything less than a sincere desire to put paint to model. Early this morning, I finally succumbed to a desire to pick them and examine them closely. I was surprised that I had achieved more than I thought I had.
The faces of these have always concerned me because I wanted to make them as realistic as possible. It’s a silly thing to dwell on, but that’s how it’s become. Anyway, as the snaps below show, they just need their pupils coloured in to finish them off. I’m wary of touching up their skin tones as I’m not as good as my intentions make out. Besides, the hardest part for me seems to be letting go of something.
I’ve been seeing things before that I thought were either unsatisfactory or incomplete. The face, as mentioned above, was always a problem for me insofar as I wanted a specific effect. But what’s shown above (given the effect and impact of natural/artifical lighting on the face) seems to work well; all that’s needed is the actual eye detailing. Hope to output something over the weekend.
The squad leader character’s power sword was originally jade green coloured. But because he’s a leader type, I figured something a little distinctive would suit better, so I changed the colouring of the blade. I tried for a black base colouring but in the end, by accident, I settled on a purple (as seen above). It just needs further blending to make it work to my satisfaction.
The basic uniform colour on this figure is lighter than some of the others. I don’t possess a steady hand to do the edging with a fine brush so I resort to dry brushing with a thick brush to achieve a similar result. It does “dirty up” the figure as a result because the brush spread is indiscriminate. Unfortunately, unless my trembling hands suddenly stop, this is my only option.
Just a back view of the figure possessing the purple-coloured power stave. After further thought, I’ve decided to attach the shields to the back of the figure.
Just some more closeups. The handles of the power staves will be varied and hopefully coordinated with the blade colouring. This one (above) is highlighted light and looks to be of a dark (maybe) leathery origin whereas the one below looks to be light blue highlighted.
The blades of the power staves are finished (apart from a final touch up once the entire figure is done). I’m settling for a dark brassy coloured scheme for the metallic components of the stave with the staff part a bone-coloured (Vallejo Ivory). The other end of the staves will either be purple or metallic.
My plans for a cape for these stout fellows has not happened because I don’t have any modelling putty to create the capes. I may still do one for the leader, as a further distinguishing feature of his status. But in the meantime, for the rest of the escort, I will simply drape their shields over their shoulders, a common means of carrying it
Finally looked at the Stinging Scorpion once more. Worked on the colouring scheme I had envisaged. Prior to the image above, it looked decidedly Grey Lizard-type. So I retouched it with a washed Turquoise. While still wet, I added a washed Black followed by a washed Night Blue. Then as it was drying (not fully wet), I added a second thinned wash of Turquoise and then an equal mix of Night Blue/Black. The white bits on the wrist and boots are a base coat of Ivory; the final colour will a be a thinned contrast colour – maybe a Pale Blue or Magic Blue.
The gemstone is really appealing to me for some reason. It reminds me of a metallic colour. But it’s basically a mid-orange overlaid with a blood red washed down and then a light yellow/ivory colour dot.
This is the really early stage of the Stinging Scorpion. I am liking it thus far because the base colour looks closer (again, the pics don’t do it proper justice unfortunately) to how I imagined it from memory.
16 July 2017
Worked on faces today (see below). Felt inspired after a nap. Still a long way to go as I’m not good at faces at all. From the pictures below, I’ve only just started; the lines and features are still not clear enough to be distinctive. I’m after the effect whereby at a distance they apear distinguishable and therefore passable on quick inspection.
I started with Elf Flesh as base coat. Then I used a mix of Sombre Grey and Black for the eyes and other natural shadow recesses. Then I finished with a heavily diluted wash of Tan and Black (50/50) as a first wash coat. Because it naturally dries lighter, I will lessen the dilution.
For the eyes, I’ve gone with Elf Flesh for the eyeball, then one of the base colours (Purple, Green or Blue) for the eye colouring before applying a Black dot in the centre. This was done before the diluted wash of Tan/Black. Of course, I will reapply the eye colouring and flesh tones.
The effect I’m after is similar to my freehand design on one of the shields (the face) – distinct enough for someone to say “Yes, I can see detail in the face” without too close an examination. Sometimes, the best impression is the one your own mind makes, and that’s the effect I’m after.
Having a face does enhance the overall look of the model, as seen below.
14 July 2017
I don’t function all that well without a reason (even if what I produce seems willy-nilly). Today I figured out my approach with these SS after giving it some thought. Oddly, it was the question of how to distinguish between the members of this Aspect House that led to a solution. I won’t reveal what I’ve settled on until I’ve done a few test pieces. Will show progress updates some time next week. Cheers.
13 July 2017
Picture update. Worked on the shields a bit more. Reapplied the base colour for the escort uniform. Worked a bit on the various blades. Group shot of those escort with sields; they look good enough for a table.
They look human-like in their style which is fine by me. Now to add the other two shields and finish off the leader. Then I can resume work on the Stinging Scorpion. Cheers.
12 July 2017
Happy with the shields and, for the most part, the escort figures. I really want to complete them before returning to the Stinging Scorpions. The escort are about two-thirds done now. They still need their shield arms and capes. Basing I will do later because I need to build a display board to showcase these guys to the sort of effect I’m envisioning.
The Stinging Scorpion test model initial colour scheme did not come out as I anticipated. If anything, it started to resemble my Warlock. And while that might suit some who want a similarly-attired force, as a display it kind of sucks.
So I going to have another attempt and try to get as close to the vision I have inside my head – a sleek shimmering black with that turquoise tinge/hue throughout, or centrally positioned. Long ago someone told me the best night cam colour was light blue. I thought it odd because I was under the assumption that black was the ideal night cam colour because it absorbs light. Somehow that notion that light blue is the correct night colour has persisted up to now, despite common knowledge claiming that red works well at night — BUT ONLY AS A LIGHT SOURCE.
Anyway, I digress.
The other Aspect Houses all have their traditional colours that tampering with them requires a backstory, especially going for a uniform colour scheme (reference Warlock above) or creating a new scheme. And that’s fine. But I haven’t quite settled on that backstory; it could go any way — traditional, uniform, new altogether, or a combination of all three or some. Whatever I decide should prove interesting.
And therein lies the next major thought: what painting technique am I going to use. So far, I’ve used normal painting of base colours and then applying layers using mainly dry brush. But the shields have used the wet wash technique. I’m still not competent enough to do highly detailed and picking detail techniques: I’m just not good enough at it. Close enough seems to be what I’m capable of, and that’s fine by me. I just need to remember that myself and not get too far ahead of my by attempting something outside my skillset.
11 July 2017
More work done on the shield designs tonight. Using the heavy washes by diluting the base colours – in this case, Jade Green, Royal Purple and Dark Blue. I’ve added secondary colours – Livery Green/Scurvy Green (with Jade Green), Warlock Purple/Hexed Lichen (with Royal Purple), and Magic Blue/Ultramarine Blue (with Dark Blue) to achieve colour depth. The emblems are done with Wolf Grey and Ghost Grey, also heavily diluted. After each design update, I’ve added a diluted wash of the base colour. Thus far, they’re looking pretty good.
I thought about detailing it, but I’m not capable at this stage; I like what’s there nonetheless. The photo really doesn’t do it justice because the best effect is at a distance. I’ve just done close up to show the paint work. In case no one can distinguish them, I’ve done (from left to right) a unicorn, a face, and a wyvern.
Applying the wyvern is tricky for me. I’ve still to layer a base colour wash to mute the ghost grey. You can probably note the Livery Green auric effect.
The unicorn is shown as sleek. The auric outline is done with Magic Blue. Still several more layering of: base colour wash, grey shaping, auric layering, base colour wash. Repeat this step until I’m happy with the final outcome. Around the boss, I’ve applied a light grey diluted on top of the base colour. Once dried, I then add a secondary colour wash to provide contrast and some degree of depth — all while it is wet.
Doing the face is perhaps the easiest element for me. Mythical creatures are so-so, but I think I’m capable with faces. However, in saying that, this confidence comes with conditions; in this case, the face is not defined as some awesome painters are able to achieve. And that’s what I’m lacking in, but I’ll work on it. Cheers.
10 July 2017
Some photo updates. Haven’t really done much except return the comb on the helms to natural black. With the metallic brassy/gold look, it works perfectly (as seen in some on the front on views). Also changed my mind on the shields: I had originally wanted to make them large soulstone gems. But I’ll settle for typical shield decorations. Cheers.
Working on the two purple guys. Gone for a red soulstone on the left-hand dude. But I may have to change that because it’s too close in colour to the purple nodes on the guy’s armour. The contrast doesn’t distinguish the soulstone therefore. I have not started his companion as I wanted to focus on the shields and helm tonight.
The other three (two are shown) are greeny and bluey. Still to add the leader who’s probably a yellower.
Modified shield emblem designs.
Purple guy with his shield. Excuse the pics: tonight I used my mobile phone camera; it’s an improvement on my tablet. But the light overhead is too bright. Long ways to go still. The shield needs to return to gold and not the bone colour, as shown. Cheers.
7 July 2017
Knowing when enough is enough with these figures is a continuous worry for me. Whether it’s the lack of confidence in my own limited ability to simply paint these or thinking they require some further conversion work to make “stand out from the crowd”, or both, this project has become a protracted pain in the proverbial. Dithering is not good. So, I posted a new Modelling Diary entry on WAU to hopefully force me to get something finished.
Judging from the photos below (5 July post), the escort figure looks decent enough for me to say “It’s okay”, but another part of me thinks I can improve on it. I’m just going to have to accept that the core of this painting job (the escort figure) is close to finished. Yes, the “little fiddly bits” – soulstones/gems, shield and shield arm, cloak, combed helm, the power glaive, all require completion. But the escort figure itself is now set.
As for the Stinging Scorpion, it hasn’t turned out as I had hoped. Instead of the shiny black with hues of turquoise throughout, I’ve got something that closely resembles the colourisation of my Warlock. At this stage, however, I’m not too worried: it’s a test figure I’m doing anyway. Time enough to figure whether I stick with it or redo, but first I have to finish it. Only major problems I face are one of quality of the figures (these are the older metal figures) and settling on a good contrast colour for the highlights, such as purple like the escort figure. Just need to finish these figures before the NFL season starts in mid-August. That is my real timeframe.
5 July 2017
Resumed work on my Eldar. Picture updates:
Stinging Scorpion: Drybrush and washes. The effect is to resemble my Warlock, which isn’t a bad thing to me. I experimented with a bright green highlight after doing a bone white highlight. In the end, I settled on a dark Turquoise highlighting.
Warlock Escort: Began work on the gemstones. Going with an orange jewel for this fellow.
Also changed the helmet comb on the escort by going with two versions: the above shows a purple comb with white topping. The second version (below) goes with three colours – dark red, yellow then white.
Sorry but the pics don’t do the photo justice.
4 July 2017
Some pics of where I’m at with these Eldar. The first pair of photos shows the Warlock and his unique escort. Adding the shields is just one addition I’ve made to the escort. Still to add capes/cloaks. Started today on trialling new colours for my Stinging Scorpions. If it pans out, will convert the rest of the squad to this new colour scheme as explained in yesterday’s post. Cheers.
The Warlock and his unique escort.
The proposed Stinging Scorpion colour scheme. Still too light for me; will darken it more with repeated black washes and then maybe gloss it. The other SS is for contrast. On its own, as shown, the colour scheme is fine; all it needs is a lighter yellowish-green highlight instead of the blatant yellow contrast which I thought tacky.
3 July 2017
Having painted my Warlock a while ago, the Warlock’s escort has been the focus of my on-off painting for the last few months. Unfortunately I struck an impasse with the project because I felt these fellows needed to be more distinctive than your usual escort/bodyguard type.
Apart from their fighting prowess, I needed to make them stand out in other obvious ways. So I borrowed the plumed helm from the Dire Avenger set, added the power glaive from the Howling Banshees as their preferred weapon of choice (the commander has a Power Sword instead) and resumed.
But it soon became apparent to me that they still lacked something. After a delay of several days, I decided to add shields, as both heavy protection and as a status designation. But in order to lend credibility to this addition, I had to convince myself why. So my backstory for this new addition is that these are force shields capable of extending a small area of Eldritch power force beyond their shield as a potent defensive option.
The shield and their power lances, hopefully now make the escort appropriately unique to their role as bodyguard/escorts.
But, even after all this, I still wasn’t happy. They still lacked something. So, I’m adding cloaks, as a status emblem. Up to me how they paint up (ie motif/design/just plain). Will see how that pans out. I promise to start posting some update photos next month.
Beyond the escort, today I started thinking about the rest of my largely unpainted collection of Eldar figures. I was basically considering alternate paint schemes for the various figures of each of the more familiar Aspect Houses that I currently possess – Howling Banshees, Dire Avengers, Striking Scorpions, Fire Dragons, Swooping Hawks, Warp Spiders, and Dark Reapers.
Interestingly my thoughts turned to the Striking Scorpions this morning.
I find the colours normally associated with these stealth warriors a little bright, although the image above is more in line with how they should appear to me instead of the bright green look seen in many images and posts. Even so, the green for me doesn’t quite cut it as they don’t look as imposing as they might be. But what alternate was there? I asked myself.
Then I remembered of the time, long ago, when I happened across a Malaysian Forest Scorpion (see image below) on a platoon exercise. Apart from the size of the creature, it had a distinctly bluish tinge to it that almost resembled a very darkish Hawk Turquoise (GW paint designation).
That striking colouration was accentuated when I noticed how the sunlight gave it that hue. It so fascinated me that I chose to capture it and kept it in a clear plastic bag (tiny holes for breathing punctured) and tied to my pack. Our union was short-lived however when a couple of mornings later I awoke to find it had disappeared. I was saddened by it but soon forgot the incident…until now.
Anyway, the thought of that unique colouring makes me want to replicate it with my version of Striking Scorpions. Will post my start, along with progress on the Warlock’s escort. Cheers.
4 June 2017
Already into month six of the year. It’s flying by. Resumed work on the Eldar Storm Guardian escort (in the featured image above). I keep going over what’s already done, as if it’s not finished. I’m just being lazy. What needs doing is locating the missing left arms and hands, attaching them, printing out the remaining shields I 3D printed up some time ago, work on scratchbuiling (i.e., greenstuff) the capes of these figures (in a contrasting colour) and then based them properly either on elevated cork stands (as is common these days) or simply paint the base like a tiled floor. Or, do I place the group in a display type board (given I won’t ever be playing with these figures ever); if so, I have a great idea for them that involves a force shield .
I still like the concept of at least two figures in the squad totalling six having a different coloured force halberd and helmet crest (refer to the above feature image). Do I add embellishments (such as embroidered designs as you see on other capes)? Do I go full crystal blades on the halberd?
Hope to finally get something done soon. Cheers.
1 June 2017
It’s been a while since I lasted posted any painting activity. I tend to do my painting these days in spurts mainly because I still haven’t mastered prolonged and sustained effort, i.e., painting daily. Unlike my writing, which — touch wood — hasn’t waned since I began this blog back in 2014. Painting in spurts can become personally frustrating however.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about getting back into it as I do have an inordinate amount of incomplete painting works. I have an enormous amount of Eldar in various stages of completion. What stuff has been started (such as those in the photos below) have reached a certain level but then I’ve stopped. Or simply walked away because I found it too hard to continue. I do not relish the chance to resume painting these lovely figures. But I must. I’ve already committed time and money in acquiring these figures without any compensation. And I’m growing tired of giving away cherished projects for pittance. It devalues what you’ve accomplished thus far.
12 Oct 2016
Resumed painting these “special” Eldar Guardians. It’s gradually getting there. Painting by hand has its problems. One seems to be flow of paint: either I’m doing it too thickly or not enough. I’m finding that the acrylics I’m using tend to dry very quickly; being a slow painter generally, that’s not a good thing.
I usually end up wasting paint as a result. Not a good thing if you’re lazy. 🙂
Anyway, I’m still going with the distinguishing helm combs and glaives. Added Brassy Brass as the basecoat for all the shiny bitz. Will gradually lighten the colours. Also changed the banner scene to the generic White Tree look with a teardrop in the centre and the leader’s own personal glyph below. Haven’t determined what to place on the obverse side. Extremely tempted to painted a beautiful Elvish face. Cheers.
5 Oct 2016
Been a while (for me at least) since my last post in this diary. Not much has happened other than I decided to go with different colour schemes for the Guardian Sentinels (as I’m calling this grouping). I thought the uniformity throughout the group would bind it but after some thought on it, I decided this group is both veterans and individuals — what you’d normally call elite in the real sense of the word given such elite are trained to work in a team but also retain their individuality within that team. Only it’s more pronounced if that somehow makes sense to anyone reading this.
Don’t worry, this is just a test shot. It’s nowhere near the finished look as I hope to extract from staring at it for days on end. 🙂 Just kidding.
The blue crests on these veterans will likely change as their uniforms are already blue. May opt for a contrast colour, just to differentiate. The other crested helms colours are already purple and green, and I’m happy with that. For now.
The emblem on the leader is just a test pattern. But I’ve recently settled on the final banner colouring – dark green/green with a silvery gold motif. Just settling on what that motif will be as the source I’m using is too distinct and really not suited for this group.
29 Sep 2016
Slowly coming together. The more I look at this piece, the more I like it. Hope to finish it so I can sell it at the local markets next weekend.
Better view of the next painting/modelling project — Eldar Guardian protection unit (bodyguards).
Painted the power glaives. They look like cylume sticks for some reason when taking photos with flash — which isn’t a bad thing I suppose.
Added the brownish undercoat on certain areas primarily for depth; the finished colouring will be either be lighter in shade and colour. Will also continue with the repeat turquoise base coat followed by a dark blue wash and then pale white/eggshell highlight process.
The helm “plumage” is still undecided: either black or a royal purple. The leader of the group is differentiated by the banner he totes and the lack of a helm. And the power blade he’s defiantly posturing with.
Gone with a warm colour for the contrast on the banner. The shapes are globes that haven’t been designed yet. Either a mandela type motif or faces? I’ve pencilled in a possible design but will think on it more.
The lightning effect on the power glaives will look better once I use a finer brush and magnifying glasses. I’ve gone with the wraithbone stem and purplish metallic blade ends; the dark blue/turquoise is for contrast. Handle wrapping will either remain pinkish or the brownish basecoat but highlight with pale white/eggshell.
Do I change the base for this unit? It’s not something I consciously include in my planning of these pieces because I never really considered it played that important a part. Obviously with the Last Stand display, yeah, the basing had a considerable impact. But for these guys, I think the focus should be on the figure: the basing should only compliment or add to the eye being drawn towards the figure. Just my approach; it may change with time and improvement, but for now it’s how I’m rolling.
27 Sep 2016
Figured to start one as I have a lot of Eldar figures lying around. I am fairly certain I’m never going to play 40K ever again, and as these figures are your stock-standard Guardians it’s pretty hard to off-load them unless you’re virtually giving them away for free. I have what you might consider the pieces for a standard Eldar list; the bulk of my figures are your Dire Avengers/Guardians. The remainder make up the various Aspect Warrior Houses and Command sets. I have a few transport vehicles and some Eldar Wraithknights, Wraithlords, War Walkers and a few conversion “battle” vehicles. With the cost of GW these days making it an expensive hobby, battle vehicles — as shown via Forge World — makes them permanently unobtainable for me at this point in my hobbying life. Not holding out it’ll change down the track (even winning the lottery won’t change that to be honest), so I’m content to just paint up what I’ve got and hopefully whittle the iceberg of unpainted figures I have.
My recent first venture was this lone figurine, entitled Last Stand:
My next venture are these, which I’ll call Bodyguards::
I’ve gone for the basic Guardian figurine with a few modifications. Key modification is their main weapon, as a group, is the power glaive. Their leader, however, will carry a power blade instead, as befitting his status as the group leader; he also will be toting the banner pole on his backpack to further distinguish him from the other. One more thing is that he may, or may not, wear the same Dire Avenger aspect warrior helm. I’m trying to figure out how to incorporate power shields on their free arm. I haven’t yet figured it out or attempted to construct something suitable; I may use existing shields from my vast collection of bitz, or I might just design new ones from plasticard. I’d love something transparent but that’s probably for a future project.
The Dire Avenger helm look allows their faces to be revealed as well as distinguishing them from their normal Guardian brethren. I am thinking this group is a select bodyguard unit of former Aspect Warriors who have “returned” to their former lives but are considered veterans and therefore elite enough for special duties, such as guarding important Eldar personages.
I’m also going with the dark skin and platinum blonde hair look — something different from the usual pale Eldar skin tone you normally see from the 40K universe.
This group was originally going to be part of a display; I even did a quick sketch of the possible layout. But I soon changed my mind because it’s really all about painting the figures and not some time-consuming display. Maybe on the next one?