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Monday, June 22, 2015

Works in Progress: Viktoria of Blood and Garden of Morr; New Trollblood List

Hello all!

I've been slowly chipping away at my paint log, although I'm still keeping in mind my mantra for 2015 and only painting what fancies me in the moment. Last week (or was it the week before?) I started painting Viktoria of Blood. I don't know what struck me, but I really wanted to paint some skin tones and do more work with Non Metallic Metal. I did, however, realize why I always put her off on the side - because I have some big plans with her model. I don't want to give it away, but it's something I've never tried before. I'm eager to take another step in my painting and modeling knowledge, and hopefully it doesn't prove too difficult or impossible to pull off. If it turns out the way I hope, then it's gonna blow minds. Or just look cool. Whatevs.

Anyway, here's my work in progress. I'll post a sort of step-by-step of how it's gotten here.


I started with my airbrush of course. After priming black (airbrush primer is one of the best things in life) I got a dark blue-grey and worked in my blocks of color for the NMM silver. I've always liked the way a blue-grey worked for metal, and when the model's fully painted you can hardly tell the blue tone is in there. It's a pretty versatile color as well. I've used it to shade white, I've used it to lighten up olive, and in this case I've used it for a blue tone of grey. It's a great way of achieving a neutral color like grey but making it visually interesting. It's one of my go-to colors, much like red or olive is now.

Once I block in the dark tones, leaving some of the darkest shades black, I lock in the highlights by airbrushing a light grey-blue mixed with the basecoat. Although airbrush can afford to paint light colors over dark and create a smooth gradient I still find it best to mix your steps together so you don't create an extreme change, although that technique also has its place. I wanted her shine to be more subtle. Once that highlight was in I added white to the mix and did a fine spray line where the light source would hit the armor directly. I took the basecoat grey-blue and lined the shading using blacklining techniques to create a deeper contrast where the overspray from the airbrush went. Then I edge highlighted with the lightest shade mix followed by pure white. You always want your edge highlight to be brighter than your highest highlight if you want to achieve a "pop" quality to your paintjob. You also want to use your mixes to create a gradual edge highlight, so the grey-blue basecoat highlights to edge the black, the midtone to edge the basecoat, etc. This helps with a realistic reflection of your light source.

I also experimented with the brown pants. In all my years of painting there are two things that always stumped me: black cloth and brown everything. I've still got to figure out black cloth. I joke with a friend that every time I've painted brown it has been a completely different recipe, and I've yet to find one I truly like. Well, this one is close!

I did a GW Doombull Brown basecoat, leaving no black. I gradually mixed in Elf Flesh and highlighted until i was at maybe 50/50. Then I did a heavy GW Devlan Mud wash. I like it alot, but I fear it will only work with heavily folded cloth, I don't know how it will look on any flat surfaces as I don't like to end with a wash too much anymore. I'm still searching for that perfect brown recipe, because I'm always running across leather on models!


At this step I've blocked in the colors for the hair and vest, and finished the skin tone. The vest is going to be a lot brighter, and I don't work with blond hair too often. The skin is my usual recipe that I have developed over the years. Over a black basecoat I use my GW Foundation Paint of Tallarn Flesh to get a good even coverage. The old Foundation Paints are some of my favorite in the range and it's a shame it's out of production. Because my skin tones are really light and I thin the paints very much I use this step to eliminate tedious layers of painting my actual tones. I usually have to do the same over a white basecoat as well, as flesh is one of those colors that goes on patchy and you can see all the overlapping layers until you've done about 3 coats.

Once that coat is on I paint about 2-3 coats of old GW Dwarf Flesh until the coverage is even. This is a kind of peachy/orange skin tone, like a sunburn or something. I then gradually mix in GW Elf Flesh to work the highlights until I get to 100% Elf Flesh. I then start adding in small amounts of white to get a good amount of highlight.

When painting skin it's important to do a very gradual succession of highlights. Skin doesn't reflect light like most surfaces do. It already has a tone itself, light just reveals it in different ways. So you cant just block in parts of the skin, which makes it look like an anime or cartoon. I see this a lot, especially around the faces or muscles, where it's essentially a blackline. Now, I still do this from time to time (see my Killjoy as an example) so I'm the first to break my rules. But I find that a subtle blend tends to be more successful than only using 2 or 3 layers.


Here I started doing the hair. I won't talk much about it, as I hate it. It looks like a porcupine. I think I'm going to paint over it. In the next step I tried fixing a spot on the bangs and got my color mix all wrong and now it haunts me. I hate painting blonde!



Here's where I'm at right now. I've painted NMM Gold on the sword and scabbard. I've painted the hilt with a purple/blue mix. I originally painted the scabbard with the same purple/blue mix, but I didn't like the way it turned out so I painted over it with my olive mix standard, which is dark olive gradually highlighted with light grey in the mix. NMM Gold is kind of like my new Brown and I haven't painted it the same once since I started it. I also painted the white cloth flowing from the hilt and on the scabbard.

I've got a few tidbits left for her, including my new technique, but I'm holding off on her right now until I get the mojo back.

Another WIP:


The Garden of Morr!

I've had this terrain piece for a while, and the kit is beautiful. It's pretty versatile too, and the modular footprint is good for several games. I started painting it on a whim, and just airbrushed grey over black and drybrushed white. The roof was basecoated a dark blue the I added white for a light blue, I may add more for a highlight. I stopped there, but really it's about done. I just need to pick out some details and paint the rust on the metal.

Well, that's about where I'm at in the hobby life. I'm still working on more things creatively, including some Malifaux-centric videos. I've been playing a lot lately, mostly Warmachine with a few buddies. I've made a new Trollblood Beast list on accident when I played a few weeks ago and I'm discovering that it's actually really good. Out of 5 games I've played with it I've gotten top of turn 2 assassinations twice, and I've won all the games with it so far. I'm sure it has some glaring weaknesses. 

  • Epic Doomshaper
    • Mulg
    • Earthborn Dire Troll
    • Dire Troll Mauler
    • Troll Axer
  • Champions
  • Min sized Krielstone
    • UA
  • Whelps
  • Janissa Stonetide
I'm sure it's been tread before. Essentially it's a Mulg Delivery System - or Mulg Missile. eDoomy can get him a minimum of 12" charge with reach. If Mulg gets hurt, 14". If he charges something and kills it, 16"+ per fury. I've gone over a lot of it in the much earlier log of beast tactics.

What I changed was putting Janissa in it with the EBDT. Troll players love this combo, I had just never done it yet due to not having an EBDT. Well, this is actually the first time I played with it even though I got one months ago. It's awesome.

The beasts are in the front blocking most fire to the brick with Armor 22, and Mulg Armor 23. If the wall is in front of them then their def gets a bump up to 14, not too shabby. Behind them is Doom with a bodyguard of Arm 20 Champs. I usually keep Doom on the side behind Mulg to bait out Protective Fit, but also so that when he needs to pop his feat he is free to go first without screwing up the order of operations, and usually the feat turn is on turn 2 when the opponent is caught off guard thinking he's safe. I've done a permutation of this before, but adding Janissa really changed things up for me.

In a list like this it's easy to get dependent on the one trick pony. This one is a turn two assassination. Most of the Meta is going to be ready for it, it's just that if I go first it will be hard to avoid - much like the Molik Missile lists out there. The turn two game ender is mostly there for those who don't know about Mulg and eDoomy together. But for those that do, Janissa can be the wrench in the plans for them. People can block tramples with big bases, or hide their casters out of range. Janissa can open up those lanes as well as provide cover and armor. I played a friend in 3 back to back games, and on the last one when he thought the trample was completely blocked by two Khador jacks, I cleared a way for Janissa and she popped in the gap to slide those jacks over and Mulg trampled past them to the caster. It was beautiful!

Problems with this list: It's tiny. I will be outnumbered. Hopefully the high armor and sheer amount of wounds will mitigate incoming damage, but I've played a game where he killed my axer first and I lost a lot of speed because of it, not to mention pathfinder. I'll have to make sure he's behind the three heavies now. Also, people who ignore LOS can target Janissa and the stone bearers, which is no bueno. Lastly, slippery casters like Ashlynn or Caine may stop Mulg in his tracks. We'll see how this list pans out.

One last negative, I no longer can have Janissa in my Madrak list, so my def 16/18 arm 20 champs got knocked down a peg to just def 14. I also have to fill that gap. It's a problem for later.

Well, this post went in all kinds of directions. Hopefully I'll finish Vik soon and post the pics!