Thursday, 30 November 2017

Tale of Middlehammer Gamers: November Character Painting Challenge

Poster courtesy of Middlehammer's own Russ Painting
Hi all! Cutting it very close to the wire with this post - despite having finished painting half way through the month. A nasty attack of Real Life has once again set in and it has taken me this long to get the blinking blog post finished!

Anyway, November's theme for the Tale of Middlehammer Gamers challenge was painting single miniatures to the best of our ability, either characters, command, or monsters. As an added bonus for those of us who have been participating in the Middlehamer group's regular monthly challenges, Diego Serrate from Knightmare Games offered the chance to claim a free mini from a selection his various ranges! Wow! Who could pass that up!? 

I already knew I would be painting up Azhag the Slaughterer and the saddle/banner combo to go with the Wyvern I had previously painted as he was needed ASAP to face Ben's High Elves in the Bloodbath at Nappa Valley (part two), so it was going to be another month of Greenskins.

My Gobbos were in need of a General so I jumped at the chance to get my hands on the Goblin Commander, sculpted by the Goblin Master himself, Kev Adams, for the Greenskin Wars range.

And as this was a Middlehammer painting challenge and these greenskins were going to not just fit in with, but lead my Orc and Goblin hordes that were largely painted in the mid 90's by teen aged me, there was going to be a lot of RED!

See, told you there would be a lot of red!
You can see a work in progress shot above and as I have said to a couple of people, I regret not taking the highlighting any further than straight Blood Red before applying the Chestnut Wash. I was wary of making them stand out too much from the rest of my horde, but should have been bolder.

I know the red period gets a bit of a bashing, and is not to everyone's taste, but I wasn't just painting them red for some faux sense of nostalgic contrariness - I actually had a specific look in mind when I started painting the armour that wasn't from the pages of White Dwarf circa 1994. I wanted the armour to have the dull red glaze of the Goblin Knight from Labyrinth and one of my friends was actually kind enough to reference exactly what I had in mind when I showed him so I'm happy enough overall :)

Goblin Knight by Toby Froud
The Wyvern was a pre-existing paint job, having been one of my first purchases when getting involved with the Oldhammer scene a few years back with the initial specific purpose of having a starring role in my D&D campaign, but now I needed to attach the banner pole, saddle, and harness. Problem was the harness wouldn't fit on over the horns of the head, and that sucker was stuck on by the previous owner with something serious! So, sadly I had to cut a section out of the side of the harness and then reattach once it was in place. The join is a bit ugly, but I think I got away with it.

Azhag could definitely have been taken a lot further, but I was aiming for a strong colour scheme that tied in with the red and yellow accent colours of the rest of the army, rounded off with the leather and chain that is common in the ranks also to tie the characters back to the troops that they lead. I'm not happy with the yellow detailing on the sword, although regret not making the detailing on the axe yellow too. I also regret not making his chain mail rusty, although the shiny armour does fit the red period aesthetic. I'm pretty happy with the crown and the green gems however. I just wish I could take a decent bloody photo!

Once assembled however some of the short comings of the paint job fade a bit and it certainly makes for an impressive centrepiece of my 4th/5th Edition Orc and Goblin army. Painting him knowing he was going to be used in battle soon was a great motivator and seeing him line up next to his troops in a fully painted army made my inner 14 year old very proud :)

The Goblin Commander was great fun to paint and felt completely natural alongside Azhag, almost like a mini me in some ways. I used the same technique on the red armour (and the same mistake of not taking the highlighting further) and the same treatment of Tin Bitz, Shining Gold, Golden Griffin (Dry) and then Army Painter Green tone on the gold skull helm and banding on the horns.

I took the green skin only a little lighter than I did for Azhag, and a lot less than for any of my other Goblins. That was deliberate to indicate his age and gnarlyness, which is already so evident in the classic Kev Adams goblin face, complete with warts. I did want him to stick out a bit more from Azhag though, so I gave him a dirty white fur cloak rather than the brown I originally had planned, and I think that gives better contrast.

Well, there you go - not my finest work but if it hadn't been for the painting challenge and the motivation of actual Warhammer games this month, I don't think I would have got round to painting anything!
A big thank you once again to Diego from Knightmare Games for his very generous support of the group, to Russ for organising the give away and the monthly painting challenge, and to everyone else in the Middlehammer group who is taking part for providing a constant stream of motivation and inspiration!

I did have plans to paint a Dwarf Slayer King as part of this month's challenge too, but maybe that will have to be a project for Dwarfcember, alongside my Deadcember Zombie Dragon? Stay tuned to find out if I manage it!

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