Friday, 21 October 2011

Andrealphuas, translated from its Calabanite origins, means 'Transformation to the Crow'. This unusual name was awarded to the Librarian upon his ascension into the Deathwing in recognition of his unusual talent of transforming his enemy psyker's into bitter, black crows.  

Andrealphuas earned his place amongst the first company during Abbaddons 13th Black Crusade on the lost world of Greygorn. The banner the Librarian wields is a remnant of the felled Titan Bastos.

So much work, so much effort; very rewarding outcome. I may have burnt the banner a little too much but it fits the theme.


Monday, 17 October 2011

This is a birthday present for a friend. I used a tight palette of Eldrich colours, concentrating on developing the mood of the piece. I really loved painting this miniature; so much so I want to paint an Eldar army based solely on the interpretation of light (using only Jes Godwin + Forgeworld models).


Saturday, 15 October 2011

I went to the extra effort of sculpting a broken blade on Belial's Stormbolter.

Belial, the incumbent Grand Master of the Deathwing order. This model acts as the jewel in the crown of my Deathwing force and is atypical of the design principles I have used throughout the project. 

Belial has been inspired by the classic artwork of Gabriel, the former grand master of the Deathwing Order (printed in the Angels of Darkness Codex). Whereas the Ultramarines have classic Roman and Greek influences, and The Blood Angels are paragons of Renaissance ideals, the Dark Angels have always had a Gothic sensibility to their aspect, inspired by medieval Europe. 

In the creation of Belial, I knew I wanted very ornate armour styled like a Gothic Cathedral. This allowed me to indulge in researching some beautiful works of architecture and learn a few of the defining principles of the movement. I learned that height, vertical emphasis, light and majesty were of paramount importance to the creation of a Gothic Cathedral. I absolutely fell in love with the Milan Cathedral in Italy and the Cologne Cathedral in Germany, and decided to introduce the towering naves to the armour.

I wanted lots of candles on the miniature to introduce the aspect of light to the miniature.

Abbadon proved to be an excellent base to this Belial conversion. With minimal sculpting, I could have the scowling daemon heads and iconography already present on the armour function in the same way Cathedral ornamentation communicates religious allegory. 

And here's something new to me; a video. The contrast is awful, there is no music and he's spinning a little quickly, but I'm encouraged as to what this could mean in documenting my work in the future. 

And of course, he gets his own Iphone contact page: 

"In a profound sense every man has two halves to his being; he is not one person so much as two persons trying to act in unison. I believe that in the heart of each human being there is something which I can only describe as a "child of darkness" who is equal and complementary to the more obvious "child of light."

Laurens van der  Post

Friday, 7 October 2011

I wanted to write an update of what i've been working on today. I've had some interest in the banner I created for Apollyon and, since I enjoyed creating it so much, I decided to  create another for my Librarian.

The first thing I do is gather images. This is one of my favourite activities when working on a project. I'm gathering images, quotes and music that inspire me all the time; and when I stumbled upon this old artwork by John Blanche, I knew I'd use it at sometime in the future:

At this point I had no real theme in mind. I liked the image, and it felt right to use with this model.

The initial sketch is very rough. I'm working on shapes, proportion and working in any detail that catches the eye. I'm not really concerned with the final outcome, i'm just trying to cram interesting information into my brain to use in the next sketch. 

I had a lion's head, but not much else. I knew from my previous attempt at creating a banner, highly detailed images do not lend themselves well to such a small scale. I decided to have a broken blade protruding from the mouth of the lion, and winged background to frame the head.

Below, we can see a rough sketch (on the right) trying to fit all the images I wanted to use. This time I draw to scale, to make sure the Lion's head, broken Blade and Winged motif is not too complicated. 

For this last step I concentrate on technique, form and composition. I measure out the gaps between the feathers, mark the central point of the banner and construct the lion head around the broken sword. I decided to elongate the mouth beyond what is biologically possible to reinforce the nightmarish qualities of the beast. The banner is now ready for painting! 

I'll run this through the scanner and put a download on my website if anyone would be interested in this design for their own Dark Angels (or any other chapter; there is no specific mark on there).  Please leave a comment below if you wish to have this available as a download, or whether you would like to see any other banner designs. 


Thursday, 6 October 2011

This is my latest commission for a Space Wolf Lord comprised mainly of metal parts. It's sad to think that this kind of conversion will become an anachronism now fine cast and plastic are over taking metal miniatures. 


Monday, 3 October 2011

Games Workshops latest range of Hobby Tools has courted quite a lot of controversy amongst the online community. Amid this fractious debate, Liquid Green Stuff  introduces something rather unique to modelers who are only familiar with Citadel products. The following review will attempt to discern what this strange product is used for, how it can be used and if there are any cool techniques you can now use with your models.

When using this product, I would urge you to use a palette. Because of the pot design, you will be exposing a proportion of your liquid green stuff every time you open the pot, and will dry. Take little amounts at a time, put it on a palette and close the lid securely. To apply Liquid Green Stuff, GW suggest using a paint brush because the putty is water soluble. I had my doubts about this, and I would suggest using a synthetic brush for the application rather than your finest kolinsky sable. However, the putty did indeed wash out using water, leaving now discernible residue. Make sure you clean your brush regularly during the procedure not to allow any putty to dry in the bristles. 

So, what does this stuff handle like? What is the consistency of the green stuff? Is it really no better than PVA water? When opening the pot, and running a brush through it, I found that it felt roughly equivalent to toothpaste. It is very easy to thin down with water and I had no problem smoothing it onto the surface of my Talos. I had no problems with it adhering to the surface of the plastic hull. It needed no special preparation or consideration. The liquid putty is not sticky by any means, but I do not foresee any problems with it not sticking to a surface. When dry, it is slightly powdery and thus unsuitable for casting (I know, I thought that this stuff would be ideal for creating parts, but alas no). 

Taking a blob of undiluted liquid green stuff, I smoothed it onto the gap on the hull of the Talos. I found that I needed a little water to help it off the brush and onto the plastic. A little bit of water will help you create a smooth finish.

The above images are of the Talos after one pass of the liquid green stuff. The next step was to file over it and repeat the process until the gap had disappeared. I would suggest using very fine grain wet and dry sandpaper (2000 - 4000 grade) to create the smoothest finish possible. 

After a few passes with the liquid green stuff the gap has all but disappeared. I also gave the hull a very thin layer of liquid green stuff to buff out any small scratches caused by my filing. I found that the liquid green stuff has a working life of around three minutes. After this it seems to separate and clump together.

Even though I have used a brush for this article, I would recommend using a soft nosed clay shaper for detail work and smoothing. Old paint brushes tend to have splayed bristles that do not lend themselves easily to detail work. Clay shapers were created to mimic the texture and pressures that can be exerted by the human finger, and would be perfect for any type of detailed putty work you wish to pursue. The rubber tip will not fray, you can get to hard to reach places with smaller shapers and you don't need to worry about ruining the bristles of your brush.

I applied a milliput wash to the dress of Isabella Von Carstien

Another use for this putty I can think of is to replace the mulliput wash technique. This technique is where a lump of mixed milliput is thoroughly mixed water until it is the consistency of a wash, then applied to a scratched or uneven surface to create a smooth finish. I find that I have to use this technique whenever I sculpt a large smooth surface (such as armour, or cloaks) and hairline cracks appear in the putty. Having, what is essentially, a pre-made batch of milliput wash available to me all the time is priceless.

If you have Milliput and liquid green stuff, why not combine the two? Many sculptors have custom blends of different putty ranges to yield different qualities. For example, I have found combining Green Stuff with Milliput yields a putty that has some of the elasticity of epoxy putty, but can by smoothed and diluted with water for sharp lines. Try mixing a little liquid green stuff and Milliput, or magic sculpt wash to produce a putty that can easily fill gaps and is easier to sand. If you do this, I urge you to only mix up small quantities and work fast. Liquid Green stuff only has a working life of around three minutes whereas mulliput's is normally around the hour, hour and a half bracket. 

Another interesting technique I have read is adding a little chalk dust to the Liquid Putty to make the cured putty easier to sand. I know that in order to fill gaps people use a mixture of superglue and bicarbonate of soda; try replacing the glue with some Liquid Green stuff in the combination. 


Vallejo produces a product very similar to Liquid green stuff called Vallejo Plastic Putty. Vallejo's plastic putty comes in a 17ml bottle and is slightly cheaper. I would argue that even though you get more putty for a cheaper price from the Vallejo equivalent, the main reason why you should buy this over GW's product is the bottle design. GW's much maligned paint pot design disadvantages this new product greatly. When opening the pot, you are exposing quite a lot of the liquid green stuff to the air - not good when the product is an air drying medium. 

Milliput wash gives you a very cheap and excellent alternative that can be filed, sanded and manipulated in a solid or liquid state. The drawback is that it is a pain to mix up and difficult to use; I'd rather pay for the convenience of having a product readily available.

Squadron Green's Green Putty, recommended by the writers of the Imperial Armour Masterclass book, and use this in a similar way to Liquid Green Stuff. Green putty is supplied in a 65g tube (like oil paint) and offers the best value for money versus quantity you buy (shipping costs may stop this being true). The disadvantage of this product is that it is toxic and quite pungent. 

For the last word in heavy duty pro-modeling, there is Mr Surfacer which can sanded easily. There are three grades available (500, 1000, 1200; the higher the number, the finer the granules) but is lacquer based and gives off some pretty wicked fumes.

In conclusion...

Because of the acrylic nature of Liquid Green Stuff, this material does not lend itself well to sanding. Let me stress that Liquid Green Stuff can be sanded, but much like its bigger brother, once cured the green stuff will bobble and scratch when filed and does not create a smooth finish without a thin layer to finish the job. This product is ideal for filing in those annoying mis-aligned joints, imperfections in sculpting smooth surfaces and eradicating any unwanted depressions. 

I think that part of the reason GW is getting such a negative response to this product is due to it being marketed as a fix for fine cast. If it were simply marketed as a filler for those inevitable gaps that appear in model construction, I think people would be generally more accepting of it. The frustrations surrounding fine cast will colour peoples perceptions of any product they release alongside it. 

Overall, an exceedingly useful tool to have in the arsenal. Liquid Green Stuff is a great product that is let down by GW's awful paint pot design and price when compared with its competitors. Like many of GW's modeling range, this product that will act as an introduction for many people to cheaper alternatives of the same quality available through other companies.