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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 1:05 am 
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Location: Memphis, TN
Greetings fellow Asur, and welcome to my painting log.

High Elves were my first army way back in 1994, before I detoured into 40k (Dark Angels and Eldar) and then a long hiatus from the hobby. When I got back into WHFB last year, I was amazed by the quality of the new plastic unit kits. More than 3 poses in a regiment? Brilliant! In particular, I loved the Glade Guard archers and the White Lions, so I decided to start my army there…

Basically, this is an army of dirty, northern elves: woodsmen, hunters, farmers, country squires. No white robes or pristine weapons. They’re elven rednecks, and proud of it! With that in mind, I wanted an earthy-woodsy palette that could pass for Asur without being too bright. I settled on an autumn mix: scorched brown for leather, khaki/bleached bone for robes, dark flesh for cloak-linings, golden yellow for extra cloth bits, and hawk turquoise as an accent. I’ve never tried to restrict myself to a palette before; I used to use any colors I felt like for each unit (more or less). So it’s been a challenge to stick to these colors, but well worth it I feel.

Image Image

I started with the archers, since these guys are going to be the backbone of my force. I wanted them to look like they could hide in the woods, so they have very little accent (turquoise). I thought long about painting the whole cloak red or yellow, so they would really fit the autumn wood-land theme; but in the end they needed to look like Asur (at least a bit) so I used khaki with the red only on the inside. Actually it gives the unit a nice feature as they look so different front to back.

I only used gold (no silver) for these guys to keep their colors nice and warm. And I decided to paint all my weapons with wood-grain. Boy, do I regret that one now! Here is my first unit:

Image
Image

And here my first White Lions:

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I found the gold substitutes great for yellow, keeping them warm and earthy even though they have so much silver. I tried putting turquoise in as decoration on their armor, but it looked way too Tomb Kings. From behind you can see that I’ve kept their lion cloaks fairly dirty (plenty of watered-down washes). I also decided to give the pelts nasty-yellow claws, figuring the lions probably weren’t too clean while they were alive. Any extra details got lumped into the ‘silver’, ‘gold’, or ‘bone’ category, depending what they were next to. There are actually a few parts – the crescents on their gauntlets for example – that didn’t make sense to me in any palette color, so I just painted them grey. Better suggestions are welcome!

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Here are my glade guard shadow warriors:

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I tried lots of color combos for these guys. Black robes, greys, less khaki, black bracelets, more red. Everything looked ridiculous on its own, or next to the archers. In the end I used the archer pallette with more shading, and dropped the gold and blue for silver and green. Did the bows darker too. I’m pleased with the result; they fit well with the archers, but look darker and more camoflauged. I really love the knarloc green as an accent color too – it’s a perfect subdued woodland shade. But I think on the rest of the army it would make it too Asrai. Will try using it on my Silver Helms though – maybe for the reins or horse armor trim.

Here is my mage:

Image Image

Fits in well with the archers, except for being a full head taller than them! Actually everyone is taller than the archers – the Lions make them look like Dwarves.

More to follow, C+C welcome:)

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Last edited by Telemachus on Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:59 am 
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Very cool concept & I love the colors!! Nicely done...

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:06 am 
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First, great work on the color scheme. Very consistent and definitely achieves that warm feeling you were after. I especially like the blue on the white lions. It sets off the warm tones really nicely.

Second, I have been heavily considering the glade guard models for my own shadow warriors so this is very timely! Can you enlighten me on the head options available in the kit? With 16 models in the box, are there enough of the hooded heads for all 16? Or is it a mix of the hooded and masked?

Look forward to seeing more!

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:23 am 
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Cheers guys. I like the colors for the infantry, but I'm having a hard time translating it to cavalry. More on that later.

@ BT - I thoroughly recommend glade guard for shadow warriors - the unit is great, loads of sprue options. By memory I think there are 5 hooded and 5 unhooded per 4 legs. i.e. plenty for all of them. I'll double check when I get home, but I'm fairly sure there are surplus for both options. There are nice extras like daggers and some sword arms too.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:24 am 
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Well played Sir
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The cloaks look better than the HE cloaks, and from what I've seen there are leaves and stuff for the bases.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 10:45 am 
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I like the painting, it's great, but it looks slightly too Asrai for me. Especially with the glade guard. Still, it fits your theme.

The glade guards are great models, but the legs are a bit short. Maybe lengthen them? That's why they look like dwarfs next to the rest of your army.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:55 pm 
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Thanks for the comments guys. Here is my current project.

Next up:

I am working on a unit of knights - 9 Silver Helms and a Noble. I already tried a unit of 5 with minor kit-bashing (used WL heads, a few extra liony things) but they’re ultra-bleh. So I’m going all-out for the big unit. The horses are almost finished bar some green-stuffing. They all have slightly modified poses to try to give the unit more movement – I want it to look a little like a stampede: something out-of-control and therefore scary.

Image
Image

I’m not happy with the back rank yet. The 3 look like they’re breaking off to the left, which is more organised than I want! I’ll reposition the center one probably.

Image

The riders will all be scratch-built. I’m taking my experience with the noble (more on him later), and decimating a host of Asur to serve as parts that will be wired and green-stuffed together. On the table so far: Mail from IOB swordmasters, calves and feet from the old Helms, torsos might be White Lion (though I don’t mind the Helm torsos). I still need to figure out lance arms. I’m weighing up Lothern spears or using wire for poles with Swordmaster blades.

I'd love to hear from some of you guys who've converted Helms - all ideas considered!

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Last edited by Telemachus on Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:02 pm 
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Time for an update. First up, @ Bolt thrower, I took these snaps of the glade guard sprues:
Image
You get these x 4 in the box. Here are the heads enlarged:
Image
Image

So as you can see, plenty of options for Shadow Warriors :D

Next a quick snap of the Lions, as they are (slowly) coming along…
Image

I have 8 painted now, so only another 13 to go! I resisted the whole 7 wide thing for as long as could; annoying to add up the points, awkward to buy the right # models, etc etc. But one game with 14 Lions changed my mind. Then I took 21 on a whim vs Empire, and they bossed the game, so now I’m hooked on this size. I’ll add a unit of 10 naked to use as flankers / protection for the archers once I’ve got some more things painted.

So onto the knights. Here is my quandary: I like the fluff idea of country squires getting together to form regional units of Silver Helms. Sort of like a hunting party. Ideally I’d have a cross between knights errant and the IOB reavers. Trouble is, the Helm models have are too static for my theme. Here is my first attempt to liven them up a bit (WiP):
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Basically a head swap and some added details from the Lions sprue. Result: try again. So next I converted a noble, using just a White Lion body, and I love his pose. Here he is prior to head. Reminds me a bit of Christopher Walken in that Burton film, now that I think about it…
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And his legs:
Image Image

Anyway, I really like the legs, but thanks to the multiplication qualities of 7 (see above), I don’t have enough to finish the whole unit in the same way. So here is the plan:
Image
I’m attempting (for the first time) GS moulds. Please, please, please, if you have any experience with GS moulds, tell me how to do it! If it works, I’ll have all the knight legs I could want (insert saucy Monty Python comment here).

The mail I’m taking from IOB swordmasters, and it will be swept back, with the leg gauntlet coming in front, but knee forward of ankle like the noble above. Finish with a GS robe over the thighs. Torso tbd.
Image

That’s it for this update. Hope you enjoy, please c+c. Also, a question for you guys: is the liquid GS any good?
Cheers all.

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Last edited by Telemachus on Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:51 pm 
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pure amazingness!

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:25 am 
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Well played Sir
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Ye gads that's going to be an amazing unit of Silver Helms.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:38 pm 
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I love the conversions. When you've done the moulds, please share how you did it - I might just have to use White Lions legs too, they're great!

I saw the WL on the horse in the first pics of just the horses, and I thought it looked fantastic - the pose is spot on for an aggressive Chracian.

Keep churning out more great work like that! ;) :D

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:11 am 
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First of all, thanks so much for the comments guys, you’re really encouraging me to get on with this unit. I normally take a looong time to get anything done, but the blog and your feedback is helping to keep me motivated!

Sooo… moulds eh? Tricky business, as it turns out. As you can see from the pic in my previous post, I used bits of sprue to anchor the GS, and basically wodged a bunch down in a L shape and pressed it onto the side of the leg. I used plenty of water to stop it sticking to everything (including me), and used the sculpting tool to press in and flatten the top until I had a decent half-mould. This took a few times of pressing in the leg, moving around GS to where it was needed, re-wodging, then re-pressing – you get the idea. I did these half-moulds for the outsides of each leg first, and let them dry a day. Then I did the same for the insides, making it seal up flush with the dry moulds. When it was all dry, voila, I had my moulds.

Then I bent a paperclip wire to fit the general shape, covered it in GS, and pressed the moulds onto it. Again, this process took a few stages of cutting off excess and re-wodging and re-pressing until I was getting a fairly good copy of the mould. LOTS of water also – to stop the fresh GS sticking to the moulds.

Image

Anyway, to keep a long story long, it turned out so-so. I had to clean up the legs a fair bit while they were workable, and again after they dried. And they look OK. I think the moulds would work better for pressing a single relief onto an existing surface, like a shield design. As a full-on 3D press they aren’t really the best. So decent legs, but I’m not wildly ecstatic about them, or the prospect of putting sixteen more through the process. So I decided screw it all, I’ll just use the real thing.

This decision I’m pleased with. They’re all going to be mounted White Lions, like the noble (which means they get pelts), but with lance and shield (still have to figure that out!). There’s plenty of GS work even with that to keep me busy. So I started tonight, with the first rank of legs. Here are the rightys in all their stirruped glory (buckle goes on after this has dried):
Image

The stirrup is just what you’d think. I flattened out a roll of GS with my (wet) knife, trimmed it to make strips, stuck the foot on top and folded over the sides, ending on the inside leg. This was much easier to do with single legs (though they are small and fiddly) than the noble, who had both legs on the wire before I thought of stirrups, and I kept getting one side perfect only to mess up the other side with my fingers.

Next step will be to shape a wire frame for the legs, bulked up with GS, and fit the mail on. Here is a WiP pic of the noble to show what I mean:
Image

Then I shape out the robes with yet more GS.

And here are some more pics of the noble for Elithmar. I’m really pleased with how he turned out. There’s very little added detail, just stirrups, reins and robes, but his the pose of the White Lion really captured someone straining in the saddle to get at the enemy. Now watch him get cannoned turn 1…
Image Image
Image Image

I also solved a problem I was having with the horses:
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Too beady.
Image
Just right.

That’s all for now folks :)

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:47 pm 
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For starters, your forum name rules. I loved the Odyssey. Well done.

As for your work...

Your choices so far have been visionary. You've kept to your concept and ideal and are executing remarkably well. The conversion work on the silver helms is brutal (I know... I've had some experience sculpting limbs and it is horribly time consuming!), but you've accomplished a fantastic product with some greenstuff repositioning and bit-snagging. Props, again.

I'm particularly fond of your mounted noble. He looks fierce! The proportions are right and it all looks perfectly natural (with the minor exception of the horse's head, which I've always had issues with on this particular steed). He's going to be an ace leader for an ace unit.

Oh, and your color choices for the army are cool. Your teal accents make all the difference. Can't wait for the day when we get a group shot!

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:05 pm 
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Great stuff here, especially the lions! =D>

Regarding the molds: have you tried using a little olive oil to gease the mold? 'Instant Mold' might be worth a look too if you want something reusable. Here's a youtube vid on it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ub70AU5RfmI


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:56 pm 
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+1 for the Odyssey. May classics never die.

Love the work. I have to mirror more or less all of what Anvalous said. Making the Silver Helms look as good as you do with your essential remodeling (I won't even call it a conversion) is amazing.

I really, REALLY love the brown and blue hues to the White Lions. I first saw a brown colored lion unit in the Blood in the Badlands supplement and thought it looked awesome. Yours blew that one away.

Can you give some basic tips for wood grain? I myself am going to start up my archer regiments (doing a WE/HE kit bash) and would like to give it a try.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:13 pm 
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Fantastic work truly. Great colour scheme and I'm looking forward to seeing the conversion painted up.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:21 pm 
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Marvelous! =D> keep the good work!

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:08 pm 
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Thanks for the additional pics of the noble.

Can't really add anything new, just echo what everyone else has said. About your painting and the Odyssey. ;)

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:31 am 
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Thanks for the replies all :D

Telemachus is the name of my seafarer’s bow wielding lord – it reminded me of Odysseus’s bow and I always liked the name. Glad you like it too.

@Darkmark – thanks for the Instant Mould advice, I checked out the video and it looks great. I will definitely be trying that in the future. Re-usable too is a big plus. I’d love to hear more about it, i.e. does the stuff degrade with time/use, how good is it with deep detail (the eg’s in the video were shallow things)? Thanks!

I’m really glad to get such good feedback on the color scheme. As you guys mentioned, the turquoise accent is crucial to making the browns work, otherwise they all sit in the background together. Here is a full run-down of my colors from memory (of course I misplaced my notebook when I moved house in November):

Spray black undercoat
Calthan brown base (pretty much over everything)
Leather = scorched brown w/ dwarf flesh highlights
Red = Dark flesh w/ dwarf flesh highlights, some red wash (is it baal? I forget the name)
Robes = dheneb stone base, khaki in recesses, bleached bone to white highlights, seppia and devlan washes
Yellow = iyanden base, golden yellow + leprous brown mix, highlight bleached bone, wash seppia and devlan
Gold = tin bitz + scorched brown mix base, then shining to burnished highlights. Final highlight 1:1 burnish and mithril, washed with seppia, devlan
Silver = chainmail and one of the grays mix as base (WD turned me onto mixing flat colors with the metallics as a base, and I am SO pleased with the result – smooth and clean), then just chain, up to mithril highlights, blue and black washes
Teal = A blue-gray base (shadow gray?), then Hawk turquoise (usually a couple of coats), mix in ice blue highlights, wash with green and blue (thrakka and asurmen?)
Flesh = Tallarn, dwarf, elf, ogryn wash, back up to elf, highlight with white

I think that’s everything. Most of the highlights are mixed gradually (oh, how gradually!) with the base colors, so there’s a good depth each tone on its own.

@ Ptolemy – the woodgrain. Now this is fun:) It takes a minute, but judging from your army and display board (both of which are beautiful), you don’t mind taking pains! I start with graveyard earth over the haft/bow/whatever, and then build up lines in ever-lighter colors. Khaki is first, then bleached bone, then a tiny bit of white. It all goes down with a thin brush, just running lines along the wood, adding a knot every now and then. It doesn’t need to be straight, and you can try different thicknesses. I do the khaki much thicker (water-wise) then I would a normal color, so that it builds a little line texture on the haft. That makes it easier to follow with the later colors. The final white is very thin though, and I don’t pick out the whole line. I wash it at the end with (very) watered devlan (I am in love with that color), and sometimes badab to emphasize hilts / borders.
I think for the shadow warriors I went scorched brown base with graveyard to khaki lines, and yellowed it a bit with a seppia wash to get a different feel.
These are my first wood grain attempts, it was really much easier than I expected. Try it out on some spears and see what you like.

The Silver Helms are really a case of needs-must. I wanted more movement in the unit. Breaking it all down into small parts has helped. Reposing the horses gave me some more confidence pinning and using GS, and I figured that an elf is really just robe, mail and limbs, so there isn’t too much to go wrong :)
You’re right, Anvalous, that the horses still leave something to be desired. I’m going to force myself not to tinker with them any more though, or I'll never be finished.

I have an order of liquid GS and white lions on the way, so more work will ensue shortly! I would love to get some ideas from you guys on the lances though – what should I use? I like the IOB griffon lance, for sleekness. What do you think about trying to rig IOB SG spears? Has anyone used wire, and if so how do you affix the blade at the end?
Thanks so much for the feedback, keep it coming! – Oh, and Ptolemy, aren’t we due an update from you? What’s new since the display board?

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Last edited by Telemachus on Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:16 am 
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Time for an update…

2 more knights done. Well mostly done, just small touches left. The legs are stuck to the horse but I’m leaving the torsos to be painted separately and then glued on. They’re blu-tacked right now. They go front-left of the unit, with the lancer in the corner.

Image
Image
Image

These guys were a lot of fun to do. Because I already knew how I was going to use the different white lion parts (from doing the noble), I didn’t have to think so much about the how-to of the conversions, and just got to enjoy finding good poses for them. Worth mentioning – the lion-pelts, which are a nightmare to rank up on 20mm bases, are easy to rank on the 25mm-wide cavalry bases. In fact, since I’ve adjusted the pose of my horses and they don’t fall in a neat row, these guys are all-round easier to rank up than the regular Helm models – a big plus for me (I hate the untidiness of having gaps between bases)!

The Lancer

I started with the legs for each of these guys, this time keeping each side separate. This allowed me more flexibility when sculpting the robe-linings, and positioning them on the saddle, but it was tricky to join them together with GS on the saddle in the right position for the torso, all in the same step, with seamless robe-joins.

For the torso I simply I bent the pelt back with pliers to fit it on the horse. All my arms are basically the same process: I cut a gauntlet from the lions sprue (there are so many), drill it and bend a paper-clip wire until I get a good pose relative to the torso. Then I glue torso-wire-forearm. Then I GS the upper arm. Sometimes I’ll need to reposition a hand too, but it doesn’t often need GS. All joins are pinned (I’m paranoid like that). I’ve found that with the sculpting tool, robe-arms are quite easy to make. The GS falls naturally into a clothy-wrinkly shape when I use the round end of the tool, and this means I can make any arm-pose I want – lovely.

The lance is a trimmed Helm lance, which I am trying to make smooth (some way still to go). Jury is still out on liquid GS for helping with this! The tip is an IOB seaguard spear.
Image Image Image Image

Musician

Ok, this guy is my favorite so far. I know he looks kinda goofy, but he really captures what this unit is all about for me: the pageantry and eagerness of a hunting party of young knights. The sword is from the glade-guard sprue, with part of the hilt (and the weird flame detail on the blade) trimmed so it looks more celtic. Shortening the horn is an idea I shamelessly stole from the forum, though I can’t remember where I saw it. The head is from the chariot, but with the pony-tail cut off. The lion-emblem on his pelt is there to cover up the plier marks I left, this torso was much harder to bend into shape for horseback. I’ll GS a little link to the hem above it and clean up the pelt around it some more.
Image Image Image Image

Next up I’ll be doing the last 2 for the front rank. Here is a sneak preview of the standard:
Image

That’s all for now, C+C welcome as always.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:42 am 
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amazing work with those SHs, grats man. They really make me wanna paint them.

EDIT: i noticed that the right arm on the SH musician appears to be too long, i think this is because the WL bracers are quite long themselves so need to be attached almost to the elbow so the arm doesnt look too long (this also happened to me when making the cothique marines)

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Follow the dramatic battles and events occured in the ''island of gods'' 4 armies campaign!

Terrae Autocratorum. A space marines log..


Last edited by Mireadur on Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:30 pm 
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The pennant for the standard is aces! How do you sculpt larger pieces of fabric? Roll it out, cut, and fold? Looks great!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:35 pm 
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They look great, but could you do anything about the reins?

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:40 am 
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Very useful feedback guys, cheers.

@ Mireadur – you’re absolutely right, I’ve given him too much upper arm, and it looks like he has the world’s longest elbow. Good catch! It’s a bit exaggerated in the photo, but with the longer horn-hand too it needs reworking. It won’t be hard to trim down the arm and refit, I’ll get on that tomorrow. Thanks again.

@ Anvalous – Glad you like it, I think it’s going to be a nice knightly pennant. I can’t take credit though, it’s one of the banner tops in the glade guard sprue. I had to trim off a couple of sprites, hence the GS work around the pole to re-establish the shape. Whenever I do fabric-type things (like hems, stirrups, reins below), I flatten a piece, cut it to shape, and let it harden for 30 mins or so, before trying to work it on the model. That way it keeps its shape better, and can be folded / worked to a degree.
On that topic, I discovered something great tonight while making new reins (below) – GS can be superglued before it sets, and it STICKS! With a long floppy shape like a pennant / rein / etc, this means you can anchor one end and move the rest without pulling it all off. This was a revelation for me.

@ Elithmar – That’s exactly the question I’ve been asking myself, and I was hoping to get away without doing anything about them… but you’re right, the reins still stand out as an awkward part of the horse. I had a spare head, so I knocked this up tonight:
Image Image

So, is it a viable alternative? Bear in mind it’s a first effort, so the reins aren’t real clean yet. But it was suprisingly easy to clip and trim away the originals. I’m really interested in doing this for the horses (though it means more work), so please any advice welcome – is it too thick? Too curved? I also trimmed off the wing pattern on the armor under the eye, giving (I hope) a cleaner look to the head overall.

Let me know your thoughts!

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:40 am 
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Those reins are a definite improvement, but still quite wide. Also I do think they hang a bit too loose. The horse on the model looks to be rearing his head a bit which would pull the reins more taught. Certainly moving in the right direction though!

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:06 pm 
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Much better. Great in fact. The problem I think with the SH ones is that they don't look like reins, but rather big chunks of wood or something attached to the horses head. ;)

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:12 pm 
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Excited about this tread and eager to see these great conversions painted up. Keep the conversion pics flowing. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:15 am 
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Excellent creativity!! Your mounted WL is very cool. Can't wait to see your cavalry finished.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 6:07 am 
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I feel like I am repeating everyone... But bloody amazing mate!! Top job!!

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:02 pm 
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Cheers for the feedback, sorry it’s been so long since an update…

Thanks to Jimmy and his excellent March Madness idea, I have made some progress with my Helms. I finished converting the front rank in February, and have (mostly) finished two of the riders. Here’s where I’m at so far:

Image
Image Image
Image Image

Muso:

Image

Lancer:

Image Image

I tried keeping turquoise as the accent color, but I just didn’t like the effect. Somehow it didn’t seem to work with the horses. So I switched to knarloc, and I’m very happy. I know they look more subdued and autumnal than the rest of the army, but I think it works for them. The green+bone on gold is really pleasant combination that makes me think celtic/rohan, and I think that’s appropriate for this unit.

A couple things left to do on these two – the musician has a pennant on his horn that will become green (probably), and I’m not 100% on the lance – I feel like it’s too many wood / bone colors, and I want to change it to scorched brown with (subtle) graveyard earth grain – what do you guys think?

As always, please comment + criticise. I’ll be updating more as I get this unit finished for my March pledge.

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