Pirate's Ysian Log (and other things)

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Pirate Robot Ninja
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Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2016 6:15 pm

Pirate's Ysian Log (and other things)

Postby Pirate Robot Ninja » Wed Mar 02, 2016 1:51 am

Hello there, and welcome to my shiny new project log!

I'm a long-time wargamer and hobbyist hailing from Vancouver, Canada. I’ve been wargaming for a little less than two decades now, bouncing between games like Warhammer: 40K, Warmachine/Hordes, Necromunda, and more recently X-Wing. But my first and dearest passion has always been for fantasy wargames...specifically Warhammer: Fantasy Battles. Thus it was with great sadness that I marked the passing of that illustrious game last summer.

Luckily for me, just as Sigmar’s hammer drove the last nails into Warhammer’s coffin, I caught wind of Mierce’s Metal Age kickstarter. Now truth be told I’d been following Darklands for some time at this point, holding off buying anything until closer to the actual shipping date once I’d gotten a sense of the rules and whether the game would be a success. But with Warhammer gone I had a hobby-sized hole in my life, and Darklands was screaming to fill it.

Thus without further ado I handed over my credit details and jumped in head first.

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These two starter hosts will round out the core of my force. I also picked up a Hound Abberrant, a Death Brute, the Monstrous Infantry expansion to round out my Brutes to a full force, and...possibly a few other bits and pieces that I’m forgetting about. I also recently bought a Conjunct X off another club mate who went a little crazy on the Kickstarter backing.

It was a very tough choice between the various factions on offer, as all of them have some truly gorgeous miniatures. The Atalanteans were probably my second choice: I absolutely love the Greek aesthetic, and felt the larger bronze statues could easily be hammered out with a verdigris scheme I learned previously for my WHFB Undead army. Also high on my list were the Jutes (having painted 130+ skeletons to date, I have no desire to paint any more...as gorgeous as they are) and the Norse (LOVE those trolls and the Blood Maw, but the rest of the range didn’t inspire me).

At the end of the day, I decided the Ysians were enough of a departure from my previous armies to push me in new directions. My last two painting projects having been Deathwing for 40K and Vampire Counts / Tomb Kings for WHFB, I actually have surprisingly little experience painting exposed flesh...or really anything living. I figured it would be the perfect chance to grow my skills into some new techniques.

With the order locked in, it was then time to begin planning out my theme. I combed the internet for inspiration, finally settling on this amazing model by artist Sergey Popovichenko as the inspiration for my theme:
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I didn’t want to go the traditional route of black or silver metal, and this tarnished brown-lacquered armour fit a more “marauder-esque” look that really appealed to me. I also liked the interplay between all the different browns on the model in the leathers, pouches, rags, furs, etc.

Settling on a basing scheme was a significantly more difficult task. I wanted to do something with water effects, and had originally thought that doing a swamp theme might be cool. I was even considering the “corpse field” bases from Secret Weapon Miniatures, but after playing around with a sample one I got in a grab bag at a tournament last fall I found myself actually rather unimpressed with the quality of the sculpt. Given the relatively low model count for this game I really want to push myself with the miniatures (especially since they’re so gorgeous and...well kind of expensive), and I just knew I would be disappointed with these bases once I was fully in the swing of things.

I also figured I should use the basing scheme to add a bit more contrast to the minis. After scouring the net some more, I settled on something like this:

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My hope is that the cold blues and whites of the base will contrast well with the warm browns and flesh tones of the models. It will also give me some opportunities to embed cool things into the ice, adorn larger bases with icicles, broken ice, and all manner of other cool interest pieces.

For materials I picked up a clear, self-levelling liquid resin to do the ice itself, and some transparent crackle paste for more textured, broken-up ice. My original plan was to pour the liquid resin then carve out portions to replace with crackle paste. Unfortunately, in my tests I noticed that the crackle paste has a significant amount of shrinkage, making it rather difficult to align properly with the level of the ice. It’s going to get some more experimentation to get right, and it might be that I will need to manually place broken ice shards in with some transparent gel water effects instead. Either way, there is going to be some experimentation. I will probably do a post on the basing shortly down the line, once I have a better handle on the materials and techniques.

And now, without further ado, here is my test mini for the scheme:

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He’s the “Marauder Champion” model from Avatars of War, intended for use as a D&D character for a campaign I joined recently. I’m still working on his base, as I’m rather unhappy with the Galeforce 9 snow flock that I grabbed from my local hobby store. The flakes are a bit too harsh for my liking.

As for this model, the plates are done with a series of reddish browns, washed with devlan mud and spot-tarnished with Typhus Corrosion. I picked out the edges with Mithril Silver to give the impression of nicks and scratches, and to differentiate the brown armour from the brown leather. His weapons are leadbelcher darkened with a mud wash and edged/drybrushed in Mithril Silver.

You also can’t tell from the picture, but his right hand and head are both magnetized so that I can swap them out as needed. His shield arm and bare head are not pictured here, as I’m still doing some greenstuff work on them.

That’s all for now, though! Next up I begin work on my Ax-Drunes themselves, which are the first batch of my models from the Kickstarter to arrive.
Jonathon Chester
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Re: Pirate's Ysian Log (and other things)

Postby Jonathon Chester » Wed Mar 02, 2016 7:36 am

That test scheme looks great and really would fit the look of the ysians very well. Look forward to seeing it applied to the models when they arrive. You aren't by chance associated with the Chumphammer guys?
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Slinky
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Re: Pirate's Ysian Log (and other things)

Postby Slinky » Wed Mar 02, 2016 7:38 am

Looking forward to seeing this develop!
Pirate Robot Ninja
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Re: Pirate's Ysian Log (and other things)

Postby Pirate Robot Ninja » Wed Mar 02, 2016 8:29 am

Jonathon Chester wrote:That test scheme looks great and really would fit the look of the ysians very well. Look forward to seeing it applied to the models when they arrive. You aren't by chance associated with the Chumphammer guys?


Thanks! And yes actually...the Chumphammer guys and I are all in the same gaming club. They've pretty much all switched wholesale into Warmachine/Hordes which isn't really my thing, so I don't game with them much anymore. Except for Nick who is part of my close circle of friends who are all jumping into Darklands together (he's the funny one).

Though I heard they might all be getting Darklands armies and doing a "Tale of Four Gamers" type blog tracking their hobby progress. Who knows...I'm sure they'll mention it on the podcast if they ever get that up and going.

Edit: new post tomorrow, covering progress on the Ax-Drunes. Photos are uploaded...just need to write the post itself.
Jonathon Chester
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Re: Pirate's Ysian Log (and other things)

Postby Jonathon Chester » Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:08 pm

Pirate Robot Ninja wrote:
Jonathon Chester wrote:That test scheme looks great and really would fit the look of the ysians very well. Look forward to seeing it applied to the models when they arrive. You aren't by chance associated with the Chumphammer guys?


Thanks! And yes actually...the Chumphammer guys and I are all in the same gaming club. They've pretty much all switched wholesale into Warmachine/Hordes which isn't really my thing, so I don't game with them much anymore. Except for Nick who is part of my close circle of friends who are all jumping into Darklands together (he's the funny one).

Though I heard they might all be getting Darklands armies and doing a "Tale of Four Gamers" type blog tracking their hobby progress. Who knows...I'm sure they'll mention it on the podcast if they ever get that up and going.

Edit: new post tomorrow, covering progress on the Ax-Drunes. Photos are uploaded...just need to write the post itself.


Ah thats good I've chatted to Dale a bit and I know a fair number of people at your club are taking the plunge just Nick and Dale are waiting for their resin to appear. If I am ever in Canada I might make a point of coming over and gaming you all up ;)
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Pirate Robot Ninja
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Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2016 6:15 pm

Re: Pirate's Ysian Log (and other things)

Postby Pirate Robot Ninja » Wed Mar 02, 2016 5:52 pm

Jonathon Chester wrote:
Pirate Robot Ninja wrote:
Jonathon Chester wrote:That test scheme looks great and really would fit the look of the ysians very well. Look forward to seeing it applied to the models when they arrive. You aren't by chance associated with the Chumphammer guys?


Thanks! And yes actually...the Chumphammer guys and I are all in the same gaming club. They've pretty much all switched wholesale into Warmachine/Hordes which isn't really my thing, so I don't game with them much anymore. Except for Nick who is part of my close circle of friends who are all jumping into Darklands together (he's the funny one).

Though I heard they might all be getting Darklands armies and doing a "Tale of Four Gamers" type blog tracking their hobby progress. Who knows...I'm sure they'll mention it on the podcast if they ever get that up and going.

Edit: new post tomorrow, covering progress on the Ax-Drunes. Photos are uploaded...just need to write the post itself.


Ah thats good I've chatted to Dale a bit and I know a fair number of people at your club are taking the plunge just Nick and Dale are waiting for their resin to appear. If I am ever in Canada I might make a point of coming over and gaming you all up ;)


Oh, too funny. Yeah Nick is extremely excited for his models to arrive (I'm sure Dale is too, I just don't talk to him much). There's still a lot of guys at our club in a holding pattern, waiting for a good game to come along. I've tried to do the hard sell on Darklands but without having seen the game most are still reticent to take the leap. Hopefully having Dale+Nick et al talking the game up on the podcast and at the club will entice some boys off the fence. I'll be playing home games with my close friends regardless, but it would still be nice to have a lively tournament scene to jump into.

If you ever make it to our neck of the woods definitely throw me a line and we can get a game in!
Phil Winstanley
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Re: Pirate's Ysian Log (and other things)

Postby Phil Winstanley » Wed Mar 02, 2016 6:08 pm

Great start mate and very similar to my thinking for my Ysians though not set anything in stone yet. Look forward to seeing your progress
Bishmeister
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Re: Pirate's Ysian Log (and other things)

Postby Bishmeister » Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:25 pm

Great intro to your hobby. The test model is looking great, I really like the natural tones you have used.
One criticism I have for the paint scheme is that because the colour tones are very similar and subtle there is no focal point, an area that draws the eye in, which is often a spot colour that contrasts the model.
Just a suggestion that may change the dynamic of the scheme.

Looking forward to seeing more, good luck.
Pirate Robot Ninja
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Re: Pirate's Ysian Log (and other things)

Postby Pirate Robot Ninja » Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:10 pm

Bishmeister wrote:Great intro to your hobby. The test model is looking great, I really like the natural tones you have used.
One criticism I have for the paint scheme is that because the colour tones are very similar and subtle there is no focal point, an area that draws the eye in, which is often a spot colour that contrasts the model.
Just a suggestion that may change the dynamic of the scheme.

Looking forward to seeing more, good luck.


That's something I was also concerned about as well. In person the mithril edging is a bit more eye-catching, and I purposely went a little heavier with the scratches/edging on the helmet to make that the focal point. The horns should help with that on the actual Ysian models. I'm considering doing some freehand work on the helmets to accentuate that further, if need be. The Ysians are also a lot heavier on exposed flesh, so I plan on perhaps doing some freehand tattoos to draw the eye from the intial focal point.

I have also pilfered from several other artists the idea of doing the patchwork cloaks in a sort of motley pattern (each patch a different colour). I've "finished" four of the 10 so far (which will be in my next post...which I'm still working on. Busy at work). They do add a bit more interest to the model, though I'm a little concerned that they overwhelm the scheme a bit. The same might be true for the basing, which I'm still working the kinks out on.
Pirate Robot Ninja
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Re: Pirate's Ysian Log (and other things)

Postby Pirate Robot Ninja » Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:06 am

Update the 2nd!

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The first of my Ysians to arrive was the Ax-Drune starter host, sans the Brutes which were delayed for some reason. They actually arrived a few months ago but it took a while to get around to getting my hobby space set up in the new apartment. Finished that a month or so ago, and after much filing, sanding, shaving, greenstuffing, and gluing I finally got these bad boys together!

...unfortunately, that “together” didn’t last all that long. These guys basically broke every time I looked at them. Even with scoring the surfaces and trying to strengthen the bonds with greenstuff, it was pretty clear that the joins just plain weren’t going to hold. So I started pinning….

…everything…

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And by “everything” I do mean everything. Every single joint on these models required pinning. The horns into the helmet, the arms into the shoulders, the arms into the hands. This is how much material I took out from just the first half.

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Lucky for my I was given a fancy new Dremel for Christmas. This thing is an absolute godsend. The models get really hot if you use it on anything but the lowest speed, but I was still able to do in hours what would likely have taken daaaays with a hand drill. I probably would have given up and just shot myself if I had to do it that way.

Note the mask and goggles, kids. Safety first. The safety glasses actually aren’t so much for the dremel…more for the bits of wire that kept flying around as I cut them for pinning. You’d think after 20 years of doing this shit I’d have learned how to cut wire without it flying at my face.

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Since I had the dremel out anyways I figured I might as well magnetize the models as well. May be a bit excessive, but given the popularity of Kings of War in my club I figured I might as well dual-purpose these boys so that I can pull them off their rounds and stick them onto a unit base if need be.

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Finally ready for priming! Just using GW black spray, which I still have kicking around. I bought some brush-on primer but I’ve never been much of a fan. I do find that the spray-on rubs off metal a bit, so I’m going to seal them with matte varnish just before I do all the metallics.

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I started by base-coating their armour and cloaks. For the cloaks I’m ripping off some other Ysian painters (notably JerzyK from this forum) and doing them in a sort of “motley” assortment of different shades of brown.

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After basecoating I washed them with a Devlan Mud alternative. I have both Army Painter Strong Tone and Vallejo Umber Wash for that purpose. Used the Army Painter variety here and really wasn’t a fan of the texture. Makes the models look…sort of plasticky? Really not a fan. I hid the bottle in a drawer so that I won’t make this mistake again.

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Final picture for the evening, with my first four completed cloaks. The top-most and right-most are the ones I’m most happy with. The other two are a little…clean for my liking. I think I will likely go back over with a coat of Umber Shade to mute down the colours a little bit.

Still…pretty happy with the results. Next step is finishing the armour and then moving onto the flesh and horns. As I mentioned before, I plan to hit the whole thing with dullcoat to seal it before doing the metallics. I find that dullcoat dampens some of the contrast in the colours, but I really don’t want the paint rubbing off the metal during prolonged use. I’m absolutely terrible at picking up my models in the worst ways and I don’t want that to wear off the paint. Will just mean I might need to touch up the shading/highlighting afterwards.

Thoughts on that? Would also love to hear any feedback on the cloaks themselves. Do you think this will/won’t work with the brownish armour? Or is that too much browns. Hoping that the bases will add a bit more contrast, beyond the different hues of brown.

Anyways, thanks for reading! Will probably get another update early next week.
Dave Fraser
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Re: Pirate's Ysian Log (and other things)

Postby Dave Fraser » Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:54 am

To avoid paint rub/chip on metal models just dullcoat isn't enough. You really want to put 1-2 layers of gloss on first and then hit it with dullcoat to take the shine off.

Like how the cloaks are looking.
JerzyK
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Re: Pirate's Ysian Log (and other things)

Postby JerzyK » Thu Mar 03, 2016 9:09 am

The cloaks look really good. Try not to overdo with brown wash on armor parts.
I also admire your painting speed :)
Jonathon Chester
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Re: Pirate's Ysian Log (and other things)

Postby Jonathon Chester » Thu Mar 03, 2016 12:00 pm

Good start there mate looking forward to seing further progress
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Pirate Robot Ninja
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Re: Pirate's Ysian Log (and other things)

Postby Pirate Robot Ninja » Thu Mar 03, 2016 6:18 pm

Dave Fraser wrote:To avoid paint rub/chip on metal models just dullcoat isn't enough. You really want to put 1-2 layers of gloss on first and then hit it with dullcoat to take the shine off.

Like how the cloaks are looking.


Hmmm...good to know. I'll have to find a mini to test that out on first to see how it affects the colours.

Thanks for the kind words everyone else!

I'll actually admit that my painting pace is pretty glacial. I just had the opportunity to sit down for a 12-hour painting session last weekend. I'm guessing this is going to be a 100 or 150-hour unit by the time it's done.
Pirate Robot Ninja
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Re: Pirate's Ysian Log (and other things)

Postby Pirate Robot Ninja » Wed Mar 23, 2016 6:09 am

Hey folks, update time!

Sadly I don't have any real progress to show since my last post. I was greatly dissatisfied by how the shading on my cloaks was turning out so I ended up substantially redoing them, which despite taking a big whack of time didn't really achieve enough to warrant an update. On the plus side the GF is off this weekend with her friends, so I have an entire long weekend to myself to really dig into some painting. Expect an update early next week on that!

But there is an update this week, if not from me. Out of the kindness of my black, shrivelled little heart I have endeavoured to assist my dear (albeit technically-deficient) friend Nick with the task of uploading his painting progress to the interwebs.

Some might be familiar with Nick through the Chumphammer Podcast, for which he is one of the regular co-hosts. Listeners will know him as "the funny one," whose oft bragged of Karl Marx dice may or may not indicate deeper communist leanings.

Without further ado, please find Nick's hobby update below:

Hey everyone my name is Nick and I'm shamelessly jumping onto Liam's painting blog. For those who follow the chumphammer podcast I'm the loud offensive one. Since Liam and myself are both really looking forward to playing Darklands when the rule book drops we are frantically working on getting our armies up and running.

For me I'll be bouncing back and forth between my Erainn and Fomoraic with each update; this first update features my Fen Beast which I've named Deirg.

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For Deirg I kept with a pretty safe earthy paint scheme but in a effort to add in a bit of a glow effect in its deeper "guts". All in all I'm not displeased with the results but it could have been brighter.

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BUT with another Fen Beast on the way I'll have another chance to get it right.

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So that pretty much my first update, next update I'll post up some pics of my Fomoraic army. Probably another big monster but we will have to see.
Jonathon Chester
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Re: Pirate's Ysian Log (and other things)

Postby Jonathon Chester » Wed Mar 23, 2016 9:22 am

Tell nick it looks sweet as hell
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