Posts Tagged ‘Citadel’

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From the painting desk #65 – The Kraken Arms

July 22, 2019

Every pirate town needs a tavern, obviously. While I originally bought a Warbases modular building for this very purpose, it was when I came across a Citadel Lake-town house from the dreadful Hobbit films that I knew I’d found my tavern.

It’s a lovely piece of plastic kit that can be assembled in a couple of different configurations. I put it together to minimize the fantasy/medieval/Tudor aspects to keep it in line with the rest of my pirate buildings. In addition to the building itself, there are four pieces of jetty, a larger jetty platform for the building to sit on and an outhouse. There’s also a small rowboat that I haven’t painted yet.

My paintjob for both the jetty pieces and the building followed my usual formula, with a heavy reliance on washes and drybrushing. I went with a muted blue for the tavern itself with green for the door and window frames and some yellow curtains to add a splash of colour. I made the outhouse a very worn green. As you might notice, I couldn’t be bothered to shoot the tavern from every angle, but rather just rotated the building to show its different sides. Click on any photo for a larger view.

A shot of the full kit, showing the modularity

The kit is full of nice detail like this

An aerial view of the tavern

Wouldn’t swim nearby

Brighten up your tavern with some fresh mustard yellow curtains!

There was one part of the painting process that I had been dreading for a while: freehanding the tavern sign. While I’m happy with my painting skills when it comes to miniatures, I consider myself to be somewhat rubbish when it comes to freehanding anything more complicated than very simple glyphs or the like. Still, I wanted a tavern sign matching the tavern’s name – dubbed The Kraken Arms by this point – so it was time to grit my teeth and freehand an octopus. Quite surprisingly, it turned out pretty nice! In fact, nice enough for me to duplicate it on the other side of the sign as well. The sides are not identical, but very much passable. Did you know, by the way, that octopi do not in fact have tentacles, but arms? See, punny and scientifically correct.

Behold the mighty Kraken with its fairly cute little button eyes

Obviously you can’t have a tavern without people to run it. I had plenty of  potential customers in the form of grog-thirsty pirates, but an innkeeper was needed. I had luckily picked up a suitable mini (along with his wife) from Black Cat Bases some time back, so it was time to get them painted. I had a suitable Front Rank miniature lined up as well, so I decided to finish him too. I also asked Emmi to pick a mini for me to paint and she happened to pick out one from Black Tree Design’s Pirates of Treasure Island line that was very well suited to the surroundings so I’ll show him in this post while I’m at it.

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

This lot was really fun to paint! I’m a big fan of Black Cat Bases’ large, cartoonish style as well as Front Rank’s clean and simple elegance. The Black Tree Design pirate – the first from their Kickstarter that I’ve painted – took paint very nicely too. I love models like this with a limited number of elements, common in historical miniatures I think. A lot of fantasy stuff tends to be drowned in hundreds of buckles, straps, pouches, bags, daggers, more buckles and the like, and they get pushed back in the painting queue. Considering my backlog and slow painting speed, that is a long, long queue.

The innkeeper, wife and old pirate are obvious, but what do you think about the tubby man with the pewter tankard? Wealthy patron or greedy landlord?

I had a good time painting this lot, so I’m happy to enter them into Azazel’s Jewel of July community challenge! I need to do this kind of thematic thing more often, I think.

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From the painting desk #64 – An eclectic mix

May 11, 2019

I’ve been on a bit of a painting kick lately, so I’ve got a grand total of five new minis to show you! Funnily enough they’re from five different companies too, which goes to show that I don’t mind mixing ranges and manufacturers in my project. It’s been good having some painting mojo back – painting has felt really fun and I’m pleased with the results I’m getting. As for the minis, here we go!

Black Cat Bases African lady

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First up is an African lady by CP Models that I picked up in a Bad Squiddo sale. I kept the palette super simple and tried a tone I hadn’t really used before in the pale green. I think it turned out really nice and I’ll be sure to use that tone later on as well. A neat, simple model, she’ll work well as a generic civilian in the West Indies.

Black Cat Bases pirate queen

Click for a larger version

Next up is a pirate queen from Black Cat Bases. Nice and characterful, she was a joy to paint. To go for much bolder colours, I drew inspiration from one of my favourite pro wrestlers, the pirate princess Kairi Sane, and went with an almost white overcoat with blue cuffs, and a blue tricorne with gold trim and a white feather. While I tried to keep it from going too over the top, I think the end result is a suitably ostentatious pirate lady.

Freebooter's Fate Tiradora

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The next mini I completed is a recent Salute purchase, a Freebooter’s Fate mini by the name of Tiradora (which is just Spanish for “female shooter”, so not really a name at all). This was the first Freebooter’s Fate mini I’ve painted, and I’m quite impressed! Crisp detail and nice smooth surfaces made this a joy to paint. While the catalogue mini was painted white, to me the mini looked obviously African, so I went with a dark brown skintone. Another mini I’m happy with!

Citadel townsfolk brawler

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Sometimes you end up painting old stuff, and that makes me feel warm inside. This model is an old Citadel one from the 1987 Travelling Players set. When this model was released, I was five years old and Emmi wasn’t even born yet. There’s something really cool about that. I’ve actually had this mini for a while, as he used to be a part of my WHFB Empire army. One day I just figured that he might fit in well with my pirates, so I stripped him of his old paintjob and did a quick repaint. As his facial features sort of suggested it and I had been painting brown-skinned minis, I figured I’d paint him with darker skin too, and I think it looks good! You may notice that his basing with the flowers suggests that he isn’t a part of the pirates or the maroons faction, but rather a member of my townsfolk. I’m thinking that he maybe works on the docks (and now I’ve got Bon Jovi stuck in my head, it’s tough) or is the bouncer for the local tavern.

Black Scorpion pirate

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My last entry in this post is a mini I’ve wanted to paint a long time. As I’ve been thinking about the various characters that inhabit Tyburn Island, one that has been firmly lodged in my head is a hired sword nicknamed “The Razor of Nassau”. Don’t ask me where it came from, but it’s this guy. I love this mini, he just oozes menace and has that gunslinger vibe about him. To go with this, I painted him in full but worn black, with a red sash for some visual contrast.

I’m happy with this lot for a couple of reasons. First of all, it’s nice to get stuff painted as it’s been quite a thin year so far. Secondly, this batch turned out quite diverse – a couple of females and not everyone’s white. It’s not a huge thing, but it’s fun on both a visual level and out of principle too. I’ve got more stuff lined up too, so..yeah, cool!

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Citadel painting handle – a review

October 27, 2018

After 20+ years of painting, little tends to change in my painting routines. While obviously the level of painting goes up slowly but surely, the biggest change in my painting has been the adoption of a wet palette a few years back. Imagine my surprise when I found myself looking at a new painting tool! I’d been hearing a lot of positive feedback about Citadel’s painting handle, and as it’s a very affordable piece of kit (6,50€ here in Finland), I decided to give it a try. Now, I’ve hardly ever used a painting handle. While I have occasionally experimented with blutac and paint pots, a few occasions of minis suddenly falling off and crashing into the table quickly dissuaded me.

My friend Crab Man sitting comfy. Base is 25mm round.

Having used the handle for a week now, I’m really happy with it! Also, it has changed my painting a bit. The handle is very nice to grip, the spring mechanism holds the miniature’s base securely (although I’ve only used it with 25mm round slottabases so far, it should work with 32mm, 40mm and 60x35mm oval as well). It does help with finger strain, and helps me keep the model I’m painting just a little bit higher, keeping me from hunching down as much as usual – something my neck and shoulders are thankful for. It also keeps my grubby fingers away from the mini itself. The only downside I’ve noted is that the stiff mechanism can be a bit difficult to operate with one hand – although that obviously helps secure the model in place.

Overall verdict: There isn’t all that much that you can say about a painting handle review-wise. If you’re looking for a new painting handle, or are looking to try one, and use minis on round plastic bases, you could do far worse than this. At the price point it’s excellent value for money, and I’m looking to buy one or two more just for convenience. As an added bonus (or minus, depending), it looks a bit like a somewhat painful adult toy, while it’s actually a pain-lessening adult tool.

You can get the painting handle from the Games Workshop web store as well as their physical stores.

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Mini projects #3 – Finished!

April 30, 2015

Over two months ago in February I posted on this mini project I had, painting up six miniatures for the Frothers Salute 2015 game – Return to Castle Frotherheim. I’m happy to announce that while I haven’t much reported on them, they did eventually get finished the night before my flight to London. With Salute now behind me, this post is a look at how they turned out. They saw action in the Frothers game, got plenty of nice words and the goblins, bought ages ago in Orcs Nest returned to London, finally painted. I also painted a few old treasure piles from Mithril’s old (1988) Smaug set, but those are all but impossible to photograph without them looking absolutely rubbish.

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

It was fun putting in more effort than usual, and I hope the models show it! The bugbear was a bit of a rush job, being the last one finished. All in all I’m still very happy with them. Painting a mini project like this really suits me, as there isn’t an overwhelming amount of miniatures to paint or a ton of scenery to construct. It was also fun painting stuff using different colours compared to my usual palette – the red skin on the hobgoblin type is a good example. By the way, this was the first time I ever painted while watching television. I always figured that it would be impossible, but it turns out that competitive games of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and episodes of American Horror Story provide a good backdrop to painting, especially when blocking in initial base colours. These models bring my painting count this year to a total of eight!

As for the other mini project, that has been pushed further along into the future. Fear not, I’ll talk about it eventually.

Oh, and Salute 2015 really re-lit the hobbyist in me, so expect the blog to be updated a little more often in the future.

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Mini projects #2 – Sculpting bases

February 8, 2015

One reason I like these mini projects is that they are a great way to not only paint miniatures that have been sitting unpainted for ages, but also because they’re a great chance to try out something new. This time it was sculpting bases. I wanted my old school baddies to have flagstone bases to fit the D&D vibe.

The process was quite straightforward. I simply slapped some ProCreate putty on the base, smoothed it some and cut in some regular-but-irregular grooves for the flagstones. I then added some nicks and notches and used a small stone to press some texture into the putty. On some bases I left a few empty places for flock to represent flagstones covered in dirt or eroded. Surprisingly simple and effective!

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

The end result is fairly pleasing and I think it will look nice once painted. As usually happens with stuff like this, my technique improved the more bases I made, the first being the one on the bugbear (conveniently hidden in the photo) and some of the goblins having the last ones.

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Mini projects #1 – Old school nasties

February 6, 2015

I’m currently working on not one but two mini projects. That’s an unintentional pun by the way – even if they’re both miniature projects and quite small in terms of the number of miniatures involved. Both are related to my upcoming (and now somewhat customary) trip to Salute in London. In this post I will show off the beginning of the first one. The fun folks of FU-UK! are putting together a participation game of traditional dungeon romping. This provided me with a great chance to paint some classic fantasy miniatures long buried at the back of my miniatures cupboard.

This group consists of traditional D&D bad guys: four goblins (Heartbreaker, 1995), a hobgoblin or half-orc (of unknown make and year) and a classic bugbear (Citadel/TSR, 1985). They look like they’ll be fun to paint as they’re simple, clean sculpts. The goblins will not be the green of Warhammer of Warcraft but rather something along the lines of red, brown and yellow as per their D&D description. Updates will be posted as I get to work on them. If someone recognizes that unknown miniature, I’d be happy to know details.

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

As for the other project…I’ll get back to that later.

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