A year in review

Well, its been nearly a year since i last made a post to the blog!
The last year has been so hectic for me that writing the blog was often the last thing on my mind - major projects finishing at work, moving house (and the roof promptly falling in!), illness in the family and all the other little things in life have combined to mean that I often don't have time for much at all.

Anyway, I thought that i would put up a "year in review" post, so that you guys can see what i've been working on since my last update. Bear with me, because there are quite a few models to show - In fact, because of the number of models, I've only included one or two shots of each. If you want to see them in more detail, head over to Heretics Playground where there are more detailed photos of each of them...

Before we dive in to the pictures, I wanted to say a big thanks to all the people who emailed me with encouragement to getting back to the blog, but specifically Mike and John @ Santa Cruz and Mike from TerranScapes - Your words of encouragement were touching and meant a lot; so thanks to all of you :D

Now, models! First up, we have my pride and joy - The Forge World Macharius Vulcan. This model was heavily modified within the spirit of the original. The body is unchanged, but all of the gun barrels were replaced with etched brass barrels, the tow hooks were replaced with cast examples, the tow chain was replaced with jewellers chain and the handles (were appropriate) were replaced with more "in-scale" fine wire. I'm very proud of this model:

Unfortunately the casting was not of the quality that i usually expect from Forge World - the hull was severely twisted, necessitating significant re-shaping using hot water as well as a significant rebuild of the rear end. However, it all worked out in the end!

Next up we have the Tamiya Jagtiger Mid Production with Commander Otto Carius. Over the last year i've been becoming very interested in modelling WW2 tanks and this was the first proper example that i've put together. Whilst the colour scheme is not exactly right for the period I think that it basically captures the correct feel of this large and imposing tank. The tracks are Fruilmodellismo cast examples - they were so good i wont use anything else now. Because they are cast as individual links (which are then joined with wire) they are fully articulated like the real thing - they also have significant weight meaning that they sag like the real tracks as well!

Next up we have several models from Studio McVey - what can i say about these models that i haven't already said - they are the finest resin models anywhere in the world. The casting is amazing, the designs are sublime and Mike and Ali are wonderful people to deal with. If you havent
checked out their models yet, head over to the shop now and buy some! You wont regret it...

Finally we have a small mini from Hasslefree - Once again Kev White's sculpts are very fun to paint and provide a great "wind down" exercise after a longer job. For this model, I painted it after doing the Macharius and boy was it needed! Going from a project that took several months (oil paints take a long time to dry!) I needed something that would be quick and fun to paint - this is the reason i have a big stash of Hasslefree mini's in my cupboard!

I hope you have enjoyed this brief foray in to my work - I cant promise how often I will be back with updates, but Ill try to keep it updated as often as real life lets me. Until then, keep your brushes wet!


Salute 2010

So, today was Salute 2010 down in the London Docklands. And as always, Chris and I headed down to check out what was on show...

In general, the show seemed a little less hectic than previous years; Obviously i don't know the exact figures, but there seemed to be fewer visitors and stands - possibly because of the Volcano that has been affecting UK airspace in recent weeks? However, it was still a great show, with lots on display and some excellent participation games being played! So without further ado, I'll run you through my "highlights" of the show!

First up we have Studio McVey - This was Mike and Ali's first show, and it was great to finally meet them. On display they had all of the Studio McVey range, as painted by Ali and Mike as well as couple of new models. The quality of this range of models stuns me every-time I see them, seemingly getting better with each new release. If you haven't looked at their models yet, I highly advise you to head over to their website and take a look; There are no finer models out there IMHO. (Tell them Paul sent you ;))

Next up was SmartMax. Unfortunately I only found SmartMax right before leaving the show, cunningly concealed right by the entrance - but once again I was floored by the quality of their models. I didn't spot anything new, but their models are great quality and i would recommend them to all. The had on display their model ranges (painted and unpainted) as well as some very cool 3-up versions of their range - I'd love to paint one of those!

A model range which i hadn't come across before and which was a lovely surprise to discover was Black Scorpion Miniatures. They had miniatures covering an interesting cross section of Pirates / Wild West and Fantasy Football! All the models appear beautifully sculpted in true 28mm and would be useful for both dioramas and gaming. Prices were very reasonable.

Games Workshop was out in force with 2 stands as well as a Forge World stand. Nothing much on display of note in GW's stand (Just the stuff you can get in any store), and Forge World seemed surprisingly lacklustre, having none of the big display cases with Titans that they usually have (infact, oddly i was able to walk straight up and take pictures, rather than having to fight through a scrum!). They did have one case with some Ork heads and a couple of pre-release items, but other than that it was very bare... GW did have a big Space Marine tho ;)

For the rest, a quick round up:

Heresey Miniatures seemed to have finished the Dragon that has long been discussed. Lovely model, didn't see a price anywhere tho...

Hasslefree had their usual great range on display. I highly recommend this range to anyone who like great sculpted models!

So, the rest of the show. Well the painting competition was being judged when i got a chance to see the models, so most of the cases were empty - but one model that did catch my eye as a fan of Manga was this little beauty:

What a genius use of an ork, and very well executed too!

As mentioned, there were also a lot of participation games being run - I've included a selection of photos of the games to give people an idea of the scale and effort put in by the organisers.

In summary, it was another great show, congrats to the South London Wargamers. If you haven't attended a Salute yet, I encourage you to make the effort next year, its a very enjoyable day out


Heretics Playrgound

I've just posted a new version of Heretics Playground! Included are pictures of models that I've never posted to this blog. Let me know if anything is broken...

BTW - W00T!, I made the FtW top ten!! Ryans FtW top ten!



Was sorting out the new version of the Heretics playground website and I realised that I had not put my Valkyrie up on the blog. This was my entry for the Dakka-Dakka weathering competition. I came a respectable fourth, which given the other entries I was reasonably satisfied with. In hindsight, I chose totally the wrong subject for a competition based around weathering! Anyway...

This is the stock kit, painted using acrylics, oils and some enamels for the washes. Hope you like it!


The Wolf Lord

The moment that i saw this giant lump of resin on the Forgeworld website, I new that I had to paint it! An amazing sculpt (does anyone know who the original artist was? I'd love to get more of their work...) cast as a single piece in the usual grey Forgeworld resin, the piece cleaned up well with few mould lines and then the epic paint job started. In terms of both time scales (it probably took me more than 30 hours to paint!) and difficulty this has been one of the hardest miniatures I've ever painted. At times it felt like I was being punished for some previous wrong (!) but I am very happy with the final results.

I wanted to represent a Space Wolf Lord who had been away in combat for many months, surviving in a hostile environment without access to maintenance for his Terminator armour. He should look battle scarred, weary and yet still ferocious.

The wolf lord was painted with a combinations of acrylics, applied by both airbrush and by brush, and several oil colours. This is the first non armour model that i have used oils on for anything other than weathering. Usually, i use oils for any grime streaks, oil leaks etc, but on this model I used lots of oils for the shadowing work, detailing on the face and the metals - every time I use oils, i realise how much i love to work with them, mainly due to the working time being so long. This lets you correct mistakes in a way that you just cant if you are using acrylics. Anyway, on to the pictures, as always, let me know what you think!