Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Shadow Empire - Lo Pan


It's been a while, almost 2 months in fact, but I have returned, and I bring with me the darkest magic.

The main man himself, Lo Pan, is now complete. I needed something groovy to drag my out of my hobby mire, and you don't get groovier than this guy. He's one of my all time favourite villains, so adding him to the collection is most gratifying. I've really enjoyed painting the vibrant Chinese robes on him and his Yaoguai, and they contrast very nicely with the terracotta warriors.

Lo Pan lays down a sick rap while his man bangs out heavy percussion. Or concussion.
I trawled the net for reference, and I took a rough palette from some of the images. I reduced down the decoration on the robes to just lining on the hem and sleeves, and boiling the rest down to a few main colour choices. Lo Pan flavoured rather than a direct attempt at his exact outfit. He loves his bling, does Dave Lo Pan.

Gonna magic you good.
I decided to give him glowing eyes, because it's cool. I'm keen to get him on the gaming table, as he's just so damn quotable. I'll be wary of any enemies with decent reflexes and good knives though. I think Lo Pan has spent enough time in the hell of those killed by idiots.

Lo Pan and his bros.
With Lo Pan finished, I'll be moving onto a unit of guardians. I reckon back in ancient times he had a few more in his service than just the one lonely dude floating about his lair. I may in time add some cultists so I can use him in a more modern setting. The three storms are in the queue as well.

Lo Pan and his loyal Yeren.
So, now I am returned from the wilderness I'll be lashing up more painty goodness soon. Rejoice!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Saving Brother Victor - The Last Wolf


What's this? A space marine? A space wolf at that. What's going on here then?

Well, I have almost no interest in space wolves, but brother Victor here, he's special. He was rescued from the edge, this one.

 About a year ago, I was trawling the Wargaming Trading page on Facebook when I see the most forlorn looking minature. He has seen some action in his time. This was the poor fellow as he was then:


Yeesh. The post with it read thus: "Ey up, I just found this thing in the pond at Victoria park. I washed the mud off and it looks like a vintage space marine? I think it has been based with cat litter, and painted with Dulux emulsion. Anyone interested?"

Something stirred in me. I have a terrible need to rescue old broken minis. I instantly sent a PM. It turns out perhaps he may just have been in a box for the last twenty years, but in my mind he had been recovered from the deep, and soon he was on the way to me. This is the image I had in my head for him once he arrived:


So, our fallen brother soon came tumbling through the letterbox. I set to work stripping and carving off the literally centimetres of glue gumming up our brave marines battered armour.


Just look at that. Jeesbus. Any man with sense would have administered the Emperor's mercy and sadly moved on. Not this guy. By the throne, this marine would see action again. Victor's left arm was a loss, so I thought it would be fitting to equip him with a new prosthetic. So, after carving, scrubbing, whittling and sanding, Victor was back on his feet.


And so he remained for many months. Other projects took my attention away from our veteran and he sat on the to-do shelf. Recently though, I was in the market for a 40k hunter, and who better than a forlorn son of Fenris? The final stage began and Victor hit the painting table. Some brush tickling later, and our space wolf was finally ready to return to the grim darkness of the far future.



Wow, Bolt pistols were small back in the day. It's like a derringer.

With Victor back in action and the current events on Fenris, I think it could be fun to have this lone wolf leading a warband of serfs and Fenrisian survivors. A servitor, couple of hairy tribesmen, Fenrisian wolf, maybe a chapter serf. Could be interesting.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Shadow Empire - Lo Pan's Yaoguai

The first miniatures of 2017 are finished. Three Yaoguai (demons) join the retinue of Lo Pan. The colour scheme is much brighter than I've been used to painting lately. I wanted them to look quite vibrant and for the saturation to make them seem slightly otherworldly. I added some silver into the highlights for the sash to make it look more like silk. Not too easy to see here, but the shine on the sash is pleasant when the miniatures are in hand. The robes got some heavy glazing treatment until they were extremely vibrant. The flesh then had to be fairly neutral so that there wouldn't be too many competing colours. The horns and hair followed suit. In the end I'm very happy with them, though I did see a wee chip on one of the demon's robes! (It's been repaired since.)




With these guys finished, I only have Lo Pan himself left to add to the unit and they are done. I have the next unit for the army already prepped and primed, a unit of six floating guardians.



Thursday, January 5, 2017

Kissing 2016 Goodbye - A Year in Review

So there we are, another year gone. The sands of time slip through my fingers, never to return. What do I have to show for it? Well, a fair bit. Up yours angst.

This year I vowed to double my 2015 total of 32 painted minis. How did I do? This year the total is 60, so ALMOST double last years total. Many folks paint a lot more, but for me that's great progress. Next year we'll shoot for 100.


I started off with this big fellow. I had great plans to paint more of them, but there's just so many things to distract one in this hobby, isn't there? I was glad to see the game getting taken up again though. Ironclad Games have taken over the property and are the process of revitalising the game. Good luck to them with that, I'd love to see it brought back to life.

Early in the year I was quickly seduced by Frostgrave, and took it upon myself to build a warband. I'd always fancied doing something Deadite flavoured, and this seemed the perfect opportunity to do so. Sticking to Bob Olley sculpts where possible, I painted up a group of Kandarian evilness.


The warband was built for a game at KnaveCon where I meet many of the Scale Creeps/Wipsters for the first time. Scale Creep was born in February, and the fellows there had already been a source of inspiration, encouragement, support and jibery for some time. The chat runs almost 24/7. Long may it continue.

As well as the Frostgrave game, our Rogue Trader RPG hit the table for the climax to season 1. Below is my own character, Techpriest Samdai. He was a pretty battered looking lad when I got him, but some careful GS reconstruction and a new chain axe and he was as good as new. I plan to add some more Adeptus Mechanicus to Samdai's retinue in time to build up a small explorator team.


I painted up some jetbikes for Macrocosm (An excellent company, incidentally) in the Spring, which I had originally developed the concepts for, among others.




The Mumbling is my hobby blog, but I'll quickly and briefly veer off on a wee tangent. This year saw me work with a a number of excellent folks on various miniature-related projects, which was, frankly, great. April saw the Pantheon of Chaos kickstarter, something I had been working on for some time with a group of artists and sculptors. This was a great success, and it was a privilege working alongside such a talented and excellent crew of fellows to produce what became a rather big range! I've had several great sculptors produce work based on my concepts, which is mega satisfying. Added to that seeing boyhood heroes like Bob Olley and Kev Adams produce models based on my work is a major bucket list tick. To anyone I worked with during the year, a big thank you. Here's a taster of some of the concepts I worked on, many of which are now finished miniatures.




Now, back to the hobby! The Judgement Day project hung up it's (tight) boots this year, the last entry coming in April, a Copplestone mini I'd had and gamed with for many years, the rapscallion and mercenary, Odysseus Jones, It was great to finally paint him up. Cheetor and I may return to it at some juncture, you never know. Especially as I picked up a few Mechanismo robots and street judges recently.


I have several unpainted characters from my gaming youth I would love to hurl back into the fray, maybe this year Lord Vortag and Stern Fluxbringer will rise again, if the brushes will it.

In May was delighted to be invited to add a painting tutorial by Geoff Sims for sourcebook The Woods: Legends of Shandisholm. This guy is available in the Myeri clan box, which is chock full of characterful minis, the mushroom picker and smith being some of my favourites. He is based on Alan Lee's Fomorian painting. You can find Oakbound here, and their Facebook page here


I'm also throwing the occasional article at The Golden D6, a new gaming magazine, the latest mag featuring an article on my current main squeeze, Dragon Rampant. You can take a look at the magazine here.

During the Summer the aforementioned Dragon Rampant took me to it's warm bosom, and I set to work on a project I had long incubated in the damp recesses of my to-do list. The Shadow Empire, ancient army of LoPan, disciple of Ching Dai and evil sorcerer.

I've had elements of the army in storage for years, and it finally came together this year as a take on what LoPan from Big Trouble in Little China might have been getting up to in China thousands of years ago, not long after he was cursed by the first emperor.

So far I've painted up three units of terracotta warriors, and the first couple of members of LoPan's retinue. Right now I have three Yaoguai Chinese demons on the painting table.





This year I deliberately decided to take breaks during longer projects to paint one or two models for other games/factions etc. This has worked well, stopping me losing enthusiasm during the slog of drybrushing dozens of terracotta warriors and allowing me to paint up some 'palette cleanser' minis at the same time. This chaos thug below was one of these, painted up to fight for me in the Gorechosen game by Games Workshop. It's tremendous fun, a great casual game.


Arnuld here got me interested in some old school Khorne guys. I have a whim to build an Age of Sigmar warband from the General's Handbook. It would be small enough to be achievable and would give me a Realm of Chaos/Dragon Rampant warband at the same time. Happily, my entry for the Scale Creep HeroQuest hero quest fitted in nicely.


The HeroQuest hero quest has seen a lot of hobbyists paint up a HQ mini. It's rather fun seeing the set slowly painted up by the community. Go check it out, I tell thee. 

As well as a fine gargoyle, this lad will make a good bloodsecrator (heh) or greater warbeast. At a push he could even see action as a terracotta statue of Ching Dai. Utility eh?

The final mini of the year is my chaos Santa. I've been meaning to paint up a seasonal mini for years, and again, the Creeps shot out a selection of Christmas themed minis, and so I finally got him painted. Next year I'll give him a wee friend maybe.


On the gaming front, it was a good year. I got a good few games in with some mighty folks. There's nothing like taking your newly painted warband for an outing, having some laughs and a few alcoholic refreshments. Rather than give you a tedious blow by blow account, I'll show you some pretty pictures and you'll get the vibe.
















So, what for 2017? Well, right now I intend to finish the Shadow Empire. I need to add some cavalry, a chariot, some vampires and the three storms. After that, I think my genestealer cult could do with some love. With the new kits out, I'm very keen to paint up some new hybrids. I have half a dozen other projects I'd like to continue as well, there are the cylons, some more Sov judges, a few more fimir, a Bloodbowl team, a titan or two... 

Who knows what the hell I'll get up to.

Wayland Games

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