Saturday, September 2, 2023

Regimental Fire and Fury - ACW Project Blog Part 4

Hello out there!

It is time for another update on the Fire and Fury ACW project.  This time, the entirety of the Union cavalry!

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Regimental Fire and Fury - ACW Project Blog Pt 3

"Put the boys in!" The Battle of New Market - Don Troiani

Hello out there!  Time for update number three on this big ACW project.  This time a little more South than North for the first time.  As usual more cavalry, and some foot regiments.  The first true blue Union regiment as well, though, if you can believe it. I am a little bit spoiled for choice so blame it on that.  Let's just get on with it!

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Regimental Fire and Fury - ACW Project Blog Pt 2

Hello out there!  Welcome to the first real installment of this blog series.  Two Union regiments down, plus a Confederate cavalry unit and it's foot compliment.  Let's get into that as we go though.

Friday, November 25, 2022

Regimental Fire and Fury - ACW Project Blog Pt 1

Fury at the Wall - Dan Nance

Hello out there!  Something quite different on many levels for you today.  The next commission is a massive American Civil War project.  By massive I mean, even for myself, this is large and believe the largest project I have ever taken on, and in the many, many hundreds of miniatures. Possibly over a thousand, but gentlemen don't count until it's over.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Kabal of the Flayed Skull - A Drukhari Army Project

Hello out there!  It has been a bit.  Have for you this time a Drukhari army in the Flayed Skulls.  A Dark Eldar army scheme with analogous application to traditional Fantasy vampire schemes and a lot of overlap there. At least that is how I see it, and really love that similar application of color and visual schemes, even if it is just me. 

Okay, okay.  Flayed Skull is truly it's own thing and been around since Dark Eldar heads were bigger than their entire torso (bless).  But I do really enjoy any time I can paint this sort of deep and gemlike blood red.  Coupled with the fact it is an old GW Kabal .  I enjoy actual schemes equally to homebrew, they just hit in equal but different ways.  And one like this that both has lore and history, and some really strong color theory going on with it, plus the ability to do something traditional in my own style and a modern application over some cool terrain....hard to beat. Real treat of an army and glad it came my way.

The snow is really to match the client's existing armies and terrain.  You might remember the Glooming Lords from a few years ago.  But, I think it works quite well and would have done the same even as a one off.  I always enjoy throwing snow down on backdrops. Don't know why but the temporary of it and being able to put it down and play around in it to make it realistic feels very old movie magic and tickles me.

The new place is going great and finally about done.  Looking forward to what will be more space dedicated purely to displays and work sprawl than what was the entire square footage of my old house.  It was sentimental but the optimism and excitement for what is in the cards for the future and my work has helped with that pain quite a bit. 

That is all for now.  Next up is a huge "Perry Etc" Civil War project.  Like the Samurai from not long ago, exciting for being such a new sort of project, especially for someone like me who has been doing this for going on a couple decades and always been a longing fan of historical from afar.  Thanks for looking, see you again soon.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Hexfleet Virules Part Two - 40k Chaos Army Addition

Hello out there!

Back and at it with another 40k army.  Been a minute since I did one of those hasn't it.  Feels good, and never gets old.  Let's just talk about it then.

This is part two of Hexfleet Virules.  It is an army I did the first batch for a few years ago, and the owner has a very active hobby/tournament blog under the same name on Facebook.  The last batch was mostly Death Guard and the core of the army.  You might remember a broadly similar black and white with the neon green Death Guard army.

Friday, January 7, 2022

A New Beginning - City Backdrop Build

Hello out there!

Well, it has been a while.  About time I posted something, huh? Have been working on a big 40k army, a second half of the Hexfleet Virules army I did a few years ago. Will save thoughts on that for later as much as I may be compelled to write already. Thought it time to get to a new backdrop a little before the army is finished.

Since I lost all of my backdrops in the fire, naturally I needed to pop out some new ones. Many years of work and collecting gone in front of me on one hand.  On the other an opportunity and fresh start, a chance to start at new from a later point of experience and desire.  Forest fires bring out the greenest of new growth. It is really however you want to look at it, and I genuinely prefer the positive. Not just as a means of coping. There are many poetic shifts to the situation, and silver linings.  Someday I will have to come back to the subject. Necessity is the mother of invention.  I did, truly, miss necessity. I missed that place. It feels amazing and it is where I belong. Need and hunger always beget more creativity than luxury.  It is why sequels suck, barring a very psychologically unique creator.  I digress.

But enough of that.  Let's build some stuff!  

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Perry Samurai - Historical Wargame Project in 16th Century Japan

Hello out there.

It is time.  I am done, and I am back.

There are a lot of thoughts and emotions behind this project that are hard to put into words. No idea where to start, or how to do them justice in specifics and in full. I will try and fail, and this time that is okay.

First want to thank the special someone behind it all.  I am sorry the fire happened under your project, but certainly would not have it any other way.  No one could have asked for a better person to go into this with.  Thank you for your patience, understanding, and sticking with me. Every project for me is more than the sum of it's parts, and I feel a special bond with everyone that comes through here,. But as you may possibly imagine this is something that truly escapes words.  The foxhole he jumped into with me so enthusiastically and without hesitation is a place I wish I could stay forever.  Thank you Mike, for making a horrible situation something so truly great that I didn't want it to end. I will absolutely miss everything about this time in my life thanks to you.  You turned what would otherwise be torture and trauma into an adventure. Thank you.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Perry Samurai Gaming Table Build

Hello out there!

I am officially back.  In case you missed the last post, I recently had a house fire.  Unfortunately, I lost all of the backdrops I've made for photography all these years.  Which is too bad, mostly for sentimentality.  There was an original inspiring army behind each one, and a reason for each within my collection.  That meant more to me than the time put in, in all honesty.  There is a silver lining to everything though, and before I was very full up on displays.  All were at least big enough to play a game on, to give perspective, and 2-3 dozen.   So like in nature, sometimes a fire while destructive is also rejuvenating, and what grows out of it is greener than before.  I am looking forward to the next few years and the new backdrops I will want and need to make. 

Right before it happened, I had started a Perry miniatures Samurai army, and a big one at that with over 500 models.  I was already thinking of doing something new for it to celebrate my first historical army.  Which is very exciting for me, as somehow in 15 or however many years I've been doing this I've never had one come my way. Have always been a big fan of historicals, and when I'm honest with myself a lot of my early Empire and Bretonnian armies were a way to get a pseudo-historical fix within a game I could actually have opponents to play, and treated the background of the armies with the same treatment a historical player would.  

So my original ideas for this backdrop were to go back to roots a little bit, and the fire just made that notion a little more poetic.  Emphasis on flocking, more of a traditional gaming table, a little on the model railroad side, and where we all started if we've been around long enough.

I also have always had a hangup for nothing showing behind the backdrop.  I tended to make them very vertical to be a complete scene in the frame and give immersion.  Which was valid and for good reason, and I will likely return to that.  However for this one, the subject matter, the situation, staying at Mom's until we rebuild a new home, I thought let's throw away the formalities and show it all, and go back to a gaming table style. 

Anyway.  Let's get into it photo by photo.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Update: House Fire


Hello out there.

Well, it's time I finally posted the news.  I recently had a house fire.

Let's start with the good news.  We are alive.  I now literally owe my life to painting. Poetic how life can be sometimes.  I am normally a night owl, but that night I was feeling good and decided to push a little more, and was up and closing down around 4 am when I heard what thought was an animal getting in the garage. Was raising new chicks at the time. I let the dog out, grabbed the gun, looked out back at it, and saw that glow out the back window and knew exactly what it was.

By the time Fire Department arrived, the fire had spread to the roof.  By nature of how smoke works, and the ceiling structure, the smoke alarms didnt even go off until it was falling in and busted the ceiling drywall out. If I had gone to bed, we would probably be dead.

Ive been putting off writing about it so far because this part is really hard.  The house was nice, but it wasnt special to anyone else. It was my Grandpas house and his garage.  My mom and my aunt who was all my artistic inspiration were raised there.  He was a carpenter, and that garage was as much him as the flesh and blood that passed two years ago.  It was small, but being in it was like being wrapped up in his presence.  The tools, old bench I had taken photos of pre paint on, were all older than me, some things older than mom.

As I stood across the street and those two front corners of the garage fell in with a clack, and it was all gone, it was a slap across my soul.  It was where I did my photography, and every display I have ever made was in there, and it didnt even cross my mind to give some idea. 

There are times in life where things are so random and unexpected, they go full circle into feelings of poetic fate.  Call it God, fate, karma, whatever you like.  The more time goes on, I realize more and more silver linings, and purpose to it. With time I feel less feelings of "why" and more "this is why."

The families on this road have all been here 80+ years.  When my Grandpa moved in back in the 50s, he made a close friend with the couple across the street.  That family is now three generations, and still lives in the three plots over there.  The day after it burned (well, for me it was all one 72 hour day) his son came over.  He offered to general the whole thing, and off we went tearing it down.

I learned a lot.  I saw a lot.  It was almost two months of taking that thing apart with just us two, a tractor, and a constantly rotating 40 yard dumpster.  I wanted to live in that house forever, but as I took it apart, I realized in hindsight that may not have happened. It was built over top of a very old structure, and added to many times over the years.  The walls and floors were layers thick.  The core of the right side of the house was all native lumber.  It felt more like stone than wood, and had all the saw marks from a steam mill.  I found hand cut limestone flower beds underground.  The original spot where the front door was.  It was like stepping back in time and seeing what was once a little gem of a house on the corner of a 40 acre orchard I had heard so many stories about.

I've never in my life met another man like John Paul.  I only learn the reality of his generosity piece by piece and day by day as we go.  It reminds me why I live out here, and why I always will. I sit here trying to write it out and explain it, to explain the experience of that two months or so, and I just can't. A genius of a guy wrapped up in the facade of a country bunpkin to many.  Talk your ear off, but never say the same thing twice.  Generosity just because you're a neighbor.  

Attached are a couple photos.  One of the front, showing the old front door and native lumber.  The other is of the little back bedroom with wood paneling.  This was my grandpas old hangout room when he lived here, and as long as Ive been alive.  It was then where I painted every single army Ive done for the past ten years or so.  A desk, a couch and a coffee table where moved models step by step.  Add some Christmas lights and you have the perfect comfy spot.  I loved it to death.  It was my lair, my decompression chamber, and my instanced little separate world. I am lost without it.

There are other points of good news.  The inside of the house wasnt too bad. Anything inside that would survive nasty black water is fine.  My Adepticon displays were in the dining room, and they are too much of me to burn anyway. They're a little beat and in storage, but okay.

I'll also be able to build a new house.  Planning and having that drawn up has been fun. I was adamant at first to rebuild it exact, but with time the more I think if it's gone, it is best to start over.  Ill move it back a little.  Have a bigger garage. Ill give it a basement with a little bedroom and replicate that wood paneled room.

Currently I am staying at mom's.  She has a finished basement.  Ironically this is the same basement I started painting in 15 or so years ago with nothing but some Apple Barrel and a dream.  It's nostalgic and I am back to work, despite being distracted by all this.  I've made a new little hidey hole I can paint away the hours and be alright.  It's good for mom as well to be able to dote on the dog and cook for somebody.

As time goes on, the more I realize the silver linings, and while I would prefer to just go back, the more I realize there is a poetic reasoning behind every little thing about this, and I will be okay.

To be clear I am not posting this for sympathy, although I know you all are great and I will probably get aplenty, and I appreciate it.. Just letting you know why I am quiet and may be a bit yet.

Rest assured I will be back.  With a fire of revenge to put to shame the one that took all this from me.

Friday, August 21, 2020

The Lost Grand Fyrd of the Kromidrakk Lodge

Hello out there!

I am back again from deep beneath the earth, bringing back some colorful balls of tainted stubbornness.  This time it is Age of Sigmar Dwarves with a Tzeentch flavor.  This army has some very personal and unique backstory the client has been working on for years, so let's kick it off with a small summary of that:

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Autumn's End - Sylvaneth Age of Sigmar Army

Hello out there!  Another army finished and ready to roll out.

This army is a Sylvaneth Age of Sigmar batch themed around the end of Autumn and the fade into winter time.  This project began as a simple but specific premise and idea of the client.  I work with all ranges of no idea what someone wants to very specific and fleshed out army ideas, and there is a lot of fun in the range in between too.  For this army the client's base ideas were a simple range of colors they would love to see - icy look and icy blue accents, darker old wood, lighter new wood, and some red color thrown in for accent as well.  

Sometimes within that range of structure in a client's vision, there is an army that is simply colors they love but maybe no specific theme.  That is fine, and I actually enjoy those for the challenge of finding something that wraps around what they want but adds even more that they weren't expecting or knew was hiding within that.  So thinking within that set of colors, what came to me was a bunch of Sylvaneth that are transitioning from fall to winter.  This sets off a play on both the red and the icy blue, which otherwise might not work so well, or seem two colors simply applied to a tree model, which I am sure if you think of armies painted just with "I like these colors" but nothing beyond that looks like.

There were also some other pleasant surprises that just by nature of working on them came to me or appeared.  They have a bit of an overcast feeling in the tone which I really love.  Treefolk walking through the woods, leaves still hanging on, but the cold of winter and that first heavy snow wet with still slightly warm weather.  The new season powering them from within.

In the end a straightforward but fun exercise and an example of why I really enjoy any range of ideas a client might come to me with, and lucky to be able to have that switch up from project to project.

That is all for this time.  Next up is some Tzeentch themed Dwarves for AoS, which will be an awesome example of the far end of the spectrum - an army with a fully fleshed out idea from the go that just needs nothing from me but to do it.  Unique and colorful, which is right up my alley.  See you then!

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Adeptus Titanicus - Legion Astraman + House Griffith

Hello out there!

Back again, this time with something pretty different, at least in scale - Adeptus Titanicus!  In case anyone is unfamiliar with the size of these, the Knights in front are about a Terminator, and the middle ones, a Dreadnought.  Tiny stuff, but a lot going on.  I've painted all of these in their full scale and I have to say the detail is really remarkable.  It's a testament to the effort put in to recreating the larger Titans that the process for painting these was overall the same, and felt the same, as the big guys. 

The schemes are Legion Astraman and House Griffith.  The client was really sold on, and loves Griffith, so that part was easy.  The complicated part was finding something he enjoyed that was complimentary on several levels to that House.  I went through every legion to see what existed, as well as coming up with a few of them myself either just based on pure color theory, or existing Legions that are nothing more than tidbits of lore.  In the end he reviewed this package of ideas, and we went with Astraman. Which in hindsight was a great choice.  It needed some modernization, but that transition went very smoothly.

Not pictured here but included is every possible weapon option, tons of terrain, and accessories.  I really enjoy that and this project has a little bit extra sense of completion because of it.  I am the type of person to collect every little accessory and doodad to go with whatever I am interested in at the moment, so it's a little extra cozy feeling and feels good to send out a complete package to the client.

Thanks for viewing, hope you enjoy, and see you next time!

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Sister's Chapel Display Base

Hello out there! New base for a display commission in.  This will have a Sisters chapel sort of structure up top, about the same proportion as the bottom.  Same sort of overall piece as my other displays - part furniture, part display, transportable, etc. 

Pictures a little deceptive as she's pretty hefty.  Almost five feet wide and a couple deep.  A nice broad surface to get really wide with structure. Unlike how I do other displays, which is usually a ton of purchasing of 125% of anything I need then non stop work, this one will be more of a slow burn.  Lots of stopping to see where I am and collaborate with the client to order model trims and bits and bobs in correct amounts and from places that take a while to get here.  

Will post updates down the line when I get bigger chunks down and have progress to show. Exciting stuff.  Haven't done a full free-standing display in a while so will be fun to get back in one. See you next time!

Saturday, January 11, 2020

The Glooming Lords - A Death Guard Army

Hello out there!

Another army for you. Same army as last time, different scheme, different vibe.  Where the last army was reds and ochres, with strong Autumn undertones, this one is all winter!  Request was Glooming Lords with some personal touches - muted green trims, bright green lenses and smoke, purple cloth, and no gold.  Also, snow bases with some spreading sickness and ooze as they walk and taint the ground around them.  Otherwise free reign.  With that I ran with just a tint of rust for Nurgle, and pushed the purples in the flesh for a somewhat cold palette.  Like the last army I enjoy these sorts of projects where it isn't an "ice Death Guard" army exactly, but flexing color theory part of the brain to add a subtle flavor layer to the whole thing where possible.

With that in mind I took an old display I hadn't used in a while and gave it a winter makeover.  Used to be tan and you might remember it from some Ironjaw Orruks.  The fun thing about these is nothing needs to be permanent, so it was fun playing in loose snow just for photo effect, piling it on the dozers and such.

Quite a lot of fun overall in terms of process, and Death Guard are some great sculpts, so always a pleasure to paint.  

Next up, a completely different scale!  See you then.

Friday, December 6, 2019

The Scourged Rippers - A Death Guard Army

A nightmare of necropotent naughties!  A frightful flurry of flailing appendages!  

New army, this time 15 pounds of bouncing baby Nurgle. This is one of those armies where it feels there is so much to say, and so much flavor it is better to let the pictures do the talking and give it themselves.  The request was simple - slightly rusty black, with ochre and red accents, and a halloween feel but very serious and horrific. 

The Land Raider was just a surprise and something I wanted to do for a while.  Lots of steps of sculpting,  just having fun blending flesh and armor, and replacing the treads with crawling tentacles.  Fun to paint too.

That is it for now.  Thanks for looking, hope you enjoy the pics, and see you next time!  

Monday, November 25, 2019

Ynnari Display Part 2: Paint!

 Hello out there!  Back with part two, this time the paint.  This display was fun to build, but also a really unique  exercise in color to paint.  Will look forward to seeing which half you all find more interesting.

Always good to start with the finish so you know where this is going. For this display I really wanted some deep and powerful color that complimented the scheme and the flavor of the army. Ancient, brooding, a little dark and creepy. Somber Japanese Yavin 4 was one of the phrases thrown around.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Building the Ynnari Display Part 1

Hello out there!
As promised, back with the images and notes on the making of the last Eldar display. Will be back again for a second post on the painting separately.
Really enjoyed building this one, lots of clay work and new and unique style. Hope you enjoy the images as much as I did making it.
See you next time!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Voice of Ynnead - A Ynarri Army

Hello out there! I am making a post so that means back from the distant galaxy of the space elves with another finished army. This time, Ynarri!

 The main request of this army was a parchment and cherry blossom theme, keeping the palette limited. Similar tones in shading across the colors gave it a nice subdued feel, but powerful at the same time. A very unique scheme and a slightly different challenge and process made it something very special and a lot of fun.

 The same color theory was applied to the display, which is all hand sculpted. Decided to do something a little different this time and post the in progress shots later on, with my thoughts after the fact. So look forward to that coming up soon.

 The display is dual purpose - the front section is designed to fit over an existing wheeled cart for smaller tournament games. The back half locks together with the front with latches and aligning pegs for really big or team games. I am excited to share the whole process of how it was built, but will save more for later.

 I always say I enjoyed painting an army, certainly because it is true, and I love painting anything. However this one was a little extra in no small part to the client. Wonderful person, has been a treat to work with him, and a good sport putting up with my flurries of texts at weird hours. Plus because of the display I got to do an in-person hand off and got to meet the guy, which isn't common, and had a great time and awesome conversation. Anyway, you know who you are and thank you very much.

 Lots more fun stuff coming up. Thanks for checking out the pics, and see you later with the display blogging.

Friday, May 31, 2019

GMM's Giant Parade Part 1 - Freehand Covered Titans

(Hello out there! Recently BigRed over at Bell of Lost Souls asked me to do a couple of throwback articles to Titans I have done. Thought I would try and post it over here too. Hope you enjoy and thanks for stopping by!)

Today join me looking back at some of the larger models I have done. Today we look at the “Sistine Sisters”, a Warlord and Reaver titan like you’ve never seen before. The release of Titanicus and interest in that, both my own as a hobbyist and that of clients booking Titanicus projects and working with them on color schemes, has me looking back fondly at some of the larger scale Titans and Knights of the past.

I’m a pretty focused person when I work, and on one project at a time, so when I get a chance to stop and look back at older things it’s a nice, fresh rush of excitement and fond memories. Anyway, let’s get to the pictures!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Elysian Air Cav Project Gallery

Hello out there!  The Elysian airplane batch is all done, and for you today a gallery full of thick ladies to make a Mechanicum priest blush.

This project was pretty special to me because the scheme is similar to a Krieg army I did many, many years ago, and being able to revisit that in my modern style and quality was a real treat. A little extra rewarding in that regard.  The client had the basic request of tan and run through heck and back, so together we came up with a color palette that is analogous but striking and an instant classic in it's simplicity.

The weathering is all done by hand and is a lot of fun.  I really enjoy sitting and freehanding it all.  On these large panel vehicles there is quite a large canvas to paint on openly and give character. Very relaxing and a different open challenge when compared to the other side of the spectrum, infantry.

Bases and flight stands, credit goes to Dragon Forge Design.  I've used them for years and every time I get a big batch of these flight stands I really appreciate them all over again. Being able to vary the heights makes photography fun and are much more solid than the basic stand.

That's it for this round.  Hope you enjoyed and thanks for looking.  See you in the next one!

Friday, April 12, 2019

Thoughts On Paint and a Dark Eldar Revisit

Had a conversation recently with a friend about painting, both for others and for ourselves.  What we find rewarding.  Having not been a "casual" hobbyist in about a dozen years it's always healthy to stop and appreciate the situation.  I certainly remember the days of doing the usual paint at night for the upcoming event, and fondly, and that conversation brought back those memories and how things have transitioned over the years naturally. I could empathize with him in his mention of having little time, and really only wanting to in order to relax.  Over the years, and having done this for so long my personality has simply changed to one where I get more enjoyment out of painting for other people, and not so much myself.  The relaxation still remains and luckily never fades even in long days of painting, but a  new primary natural high and reward comes from essentially giving a gift of a dream army to someone who can generally imagine it, but doesn't have the time and/or skill to make it a reality themselves.  I get the fun of giving gifts at Christmas multiple times a year and I enjoy that more than the reward of painting for myself these days.  Spontaneous conversations such as those are nice to stop and smell the roses and appreciate my Santa complex that keeps me going and very fulfilled.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

~ Scorpion Gang ~ A Dark Eldar Army

Hello out there.  I'm posting, so you know what that means - another finished project! This time a Dark Eldar army with a desert theme.

For the army the client and I had a good long back and forth on specifics and taste.  Starting with two different schemes and a writeup on each of what I thought optimal, and then taking one and running with it.  Essentially the idea was Dark Eldar with a Desert theme, balancing those two to get a worn desert raider look with the color and contrast often found in Dark Eldar armies.  A little bit of Tatooine flavor and the Star Wars "used future" aesthetic draped over a core contrasting and vibrant Dark Eldar color scheme, with colors chosen to fit a desert raiding party.  A group that in background might never leave the planet, living on their skiffs, fighting in between other groups and pillaging shipwrecks and anyone who crash lands or attempts to colonize the planet.

A lot of fun both in execution and result.  It was a treat working back and forth with the client tweaking ideas between the theme itself, color theory, and his own personal taste.  In the end a result I am quite proud of, a good balance of color in variety, contrast and theme.  I certainly love set palette armies, but it is a fun and different beast doing such a mixed color contingent, both in the challenge of balancing each unit and each one also feeling new as I go through the roster.

Hope you enjoy, and thanks for looking.  Next up will be the charity army for the Adepticon Raffle!  See you then.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Hexfleet Virules - Huge Nurgle Army Showcase

Hello out there! Today I have for you many photos of the finished Hexfleet Virules army. Quite a massive army at that. Possibly the biggest one to date in my many years of painting. ​
This army was lovingly converted by the owner over many years, and he keeps a blog of his modelling work under the name Hexfleet Virules, the name of the army itself. Popular army blog, and for good reason as you will see. Wonderful conversions with untold hours of work put into them. Once you see them, won't really need to explain how much a treat they were to paint and quite thankful for the opportunity to do so, sharing our collaborated efforts here today. Hard to really put into words my excitement when setting up this army for photography, for what has been about 8 years of modelling for him to finally come to completion in full and in one moment. My biggest motivation and what I get the most enjoyment and rush from is the aspect of giving people what they can see in their mind, in reality. Every army is a surge of adrenaline at the finish line but the stakes and scope of this one are just off the charts. The best feeling in the world.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Hexfleet Virules Display Finished

The Hexfleet Virules backdrop is finished!  As far as photography backdrops, my most rewarding and fun to work on yet.  Working on these projects, especially the bigger, longer ones, you really get to know the client.  Lots of conversation about inspiration, tastes, and random other things too.  Turns out this client and I have a lot in common on the topic of our childhoods, toys we loved, and their influence on what we do today and what we enjoy.  If you've been around here for a minute you know one of my biggest fuels is nostalgia and just being a big kid when it comes to working on minis.  I get to do in much more powerful and fun ways what I would have loved to have done and had as a kid.  Similar to how when we get older we buy the Magic cards or build the Lego sets or ideas we always wanted to but couldn't, and I get to do it in the miniature way every day.  

Anyway, turns out we both had a lot of the same interest in toys as kids, and how we would play with them making up whatever out of whatever in the house.  The biggest being Ghostbusters and Ninja Turtles.  With that in mind, and being fitting for the army in some ways as you will see, I went wild and had a lot of fun coming up with this backdrop.

For now, time to put some final touches on the army, and get some final photos taken.  Going to be quite a massive army and gallery, and very excited!  See you soon. 

Monday, October 22, 2018

Hexfleet Virules Urban Display, Part 1

The giant Hexfleet Virules Nurgle army is pretty much a wrap!  That means backdrop time.  This is my biggest one yet, at seven feet wide and five feet deep. Needs to be quite large and also structurally stacking with "shelves" of space in order to get the army in there, and also give good images of every model. Each model being much more accessible than on a flat plane.  Couple that with always wanting a really good and solid urban backdrop, and you have most of the inspiration for the work so far.

Still a very long way to go.  This is simply the modelling basics.  Paint as well as detail are each another third or so to go.  There will be a lot of fun signage, silly references, and other interesting things to see and find.  The most fun part yet lies ahead.

Will post paint updates with before and after as progress is made.  The display is so large, in order to paint it each block of buildings is a separate sub section. Two clusters on each side, back buildings split up, and the base for a total of five.  Once the buildings are painted, they will be attached and the concrete finished.  This will also correct the uneven bits as they arent glued down flat in these photos.

Going to be fun!  See you soon with more.  

Monday, July 2, 2018

A Rumble in the Workshop Jungle

Hello folks!  Got another one ready to roll. Even unpainted it is very impressive, and wanted to share before I get to work.

This is a Nurgle 40k army, heavily converted by the client.  Not only huge, but lots of love, care, and creativity in the conversions. He has been collecting and converting this army over the past 7 years, and recently finally put the finishing touches on, packed it up, and sent it off to me to get painted! He loves the army so much it has its own blog - Hexfleet Virules. There he posts updates, thoughts, and ideas over the course of building the army (and soon, playing with it). You can find a link here to his facebook version, but you can also find it on Bolter and Chainsword.

Really amazing stuff in the conversions, and urge everyone interested in Nurgle to check out the conversion WIP photos on his blog of the different units. What I would guess as pounds of green stuff and excellent skill working it.

Quite an honor to say the least to be able to paint such an army, and add the other half of creativity and love.  Should make for some exciting work, great pictures, and of course will need to make a fancy new backdrop to celebrate, which progress will be posted as that goes down. Going to be quite the experience from start to finish, so I will keep this short and get to work!  See you soon for updates and work in progress photos of the new backdrop for these guys!

Monday, June 11, 2018

The Lost and the Damned - An Eldar Ulthwe Army

Hello friends.

Another army commission post for your clicking pleasure.  This time Eldar Ulthwe.  The client asked for in general classic Ulthwe with some specifics: a mossy base style ("Yavin 4" being the descriptor used most of the time), some specific conversions including two unique Wraithlords, and freehand in the masks and banner.  Lots of fun.  A classic scheme strengthened by some specific touches, techniques, and freehand. Particularly enjoyed the classic Ulthwe lightning markings.  Traditional and tribal but getting a balance of each being unique but not overpowering the other gives an organic feel. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

A Stormcast Eternals Army - Congregation of the Burning Star

Hello world,

Another post, that means another finished army commission! Back from Adepticon and spring in the air, feeling rejuvenated and that poured into this project. More black!  I love painting black.  Like painting anything really, but black is fun.  Sort of like painting everything as a giant opal gem. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Adepticon Warm Up

Hello friends.  It's that time of the year yet again - Adepticon prep and packing.  Only a week to go and ahead of schedule!  Not bad. Doing the booth again with some upgrades.  More pictures, more Victorian hoardings. Looking forward to seeing you all that are going again this year.  Get liquor while it lasts or someone takes it away.

Will post again at the event.  Until then, safe trip to the rest of you going!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Clan Lachesis Part Two - Primaris, Preheresy, Legion of the Damned

Hello friends.  I am back.  Only two things in life that do not cease, time and myself.  So let's kick off a new year and a new project!

This time around it's a part two for the original Clan Lachesis army, a homebrew chapter of the client's.  One part Preheresy reserves, another Primaris, and also a custom Legion of the Damned subsection I am really excited about.  All custom, built up from bits and painted with a lava effect that was fun to work up.

Very happy with the black on this one.  Black is a color that seems simple, but with practice and awareness of the amount of grey used, as well as shading as one would with any other color, can get a depth and gemlike quality.

Something like half of this year's armies are black as well, which I am looking forward to in order to further refine it army to army. Never really get tired of any color, and to be honest the opportunity of working on one color several armies in a row is a relatively rare and exciting opportunity.  I am all about brutal efficiency while increasing quality, so instead of a color once a year it is a melting up of experience and results in a short span. 

Anyway. Did the pictures a little different this time.  Little more random.  There are a few factors to army galleries that are always a struggle.  The close and the gestalt.  The balance of action and representing the model for the client.  The OCD of wanting to show a linear progression as one would click through them.  And the absolute worst is being equally excited about every model, so Johnny Marine in picture 47 I want in the front as well as the Dread in picture 12.  An hour of shuffling. So lets see how this goes and let me know what you think.

Thanks for looking.  Thanks to the client for the opportunity.  Have a good day.  

Monday, January 1, 2018

My Commission Work - Looking Back

Happy New Year everyone!

It is that time of year.  Looking back, looking forward.  Every year I do a little recap of the previous's work, but this time digging through my folders I was hit in the feelers by some of the older stuff.  I get so wrapped up in paint that, while I never forget any of them and they stick with me, I get a little tunnel vision and there is an effect of looking through an old photo album and memories come flooding back.

So this time I grabbed a handful of older stuff too, some projects from the past and a few of my favorite pictures from them.  Not really what it is about, but it does always feel a shame to spend a month on something then the effort and fun celebrated just for a fleeting moment.

With that, here is to 2018, and the awesome projects it holds in it's potential.  Great deal of big, thematic and fun armies.  I always try and make each year better than the last, and between that motivation and the vision of my clients lined up for 2018, it is more than possible.

Thanks to all of them, and you, and see you next time.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Early Presents

Christmas came a little early for me this year, in the form of these two boxes.  Two of the biggest that have rolled through at that, the larger one standing almost six feet tall on end.  Felt a bit bad for the UPS man who lugged it up to the porch at 8PM.

The best part - these contain the entire catalog, in some instances twice over, of Tabletop World.  These will all be going underneath huge Game of Thrones armies late next year, each house getting a spot and a themed board and terrain to go home with them.  I used Tabletop World in the skeleton throne Adepticon display and am excited to dig into the rest of the current line.

Thanks to all of my clients who allow me to play Santa as well as kid on Christmas morning every single day of the year.  Nothing else is as rewarding and fun, and am grateful to be able to do it.

To all of you, happy holidays and safe modelling. To this crazy guy and his ilk - "Merry Christmas ya filthy animal!"

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Mountain of Mad(ness) - A Khorne AoS Army

"YARGABLARBLA!" - Dremora Lord
Time to celebrate another culmination of a great deal of hard work and good times painting away. While painting is what keeps me mellow and content, there is a huge rush to the last couple days of a project, and for this army especially so being one of the longest spanning in terms of weeks. Always a good feeling to sit down after a ton of hours in a project and see it on the computer screen.
Personally happy and glad to be able to paint red again, which I have not in some time. Pleased with how the backdrop came out as well. Originally I kept it a bit simple for space and time, and felt it could have been a lot wilder. However with the pictures taken it actually worked really well, and I underestimated the impact of a mess of Khorne models which balanced it out in heft. Proves sometimes simple is better and learned I should probably watch adding complexity for it's own sake, as simple can in this case be just what it needs.
Up next - Marines! More reinforcements for the Clan Lachesis army. That will likely take my next project post into 2018, so an early Happy Holidays to everyone if I don't have anything for you until then. Thank you as always.

Monday, September 11, 2017

The Last Voyage of the Crusty Anchovy

"Ello, I wanna munch ya" is da thing to say
on a bright, humie huntin' day.
Dat's da island greeting dat we send ta you
From da land where fat guts sway
Here ya know yerr bones will be white and bright
Da sun will shine by day and the spit at night
"Ello, I wanna munch ya" is da Butcha's way
to say get in my belly, to you!
Bon voyage and other well-preserved cheese to another project. A bunch of Alestorm, Kraken and late nights wrapped up in one final set of pictures. The customer wanted some tribal Ogres, a little bit realistic and menacing, a little bit silly, fitting for the inherent character of Ogres to begin with.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Stormcast Eternals Army

"You come.
I forge.
We talk.
You good friend.
I very happy."
- G.B.

It is finished!  The big Stormcast army is a wrap, and here is the full gallery.

The army went well, lots of time spent, with some stories to tell at a later date.  Overall very happy and the original scheme idea worked great with only minor tweaks.  The customer wanted something similar in layout to the traditional scheme, but with a much darker feel.  Antique and royal, but also brooding and ethereal.  Ancient armor that has seen some stuff, but still on this side of "good." Personally love this sort of aesthetic so it was a whole lot of fun from start to finish.

Feels good to be done with what is my longest spanning project in terms of time involved.  You never fully see it, despite all the time spent with them in my face, until pictures are taken.  It is extremely rewarding. On the other hand, there is always a bit of postpartum, for lack of a less dramatic term, when an army is finished.  I enjoy being in the thick of it and that is what allows me to do things like this alone.  But that is life, and there is always another cool project waiting for me to get my mitts on it.

So until next time, thanks for following along with the making of it, and see you for the next one.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Orruk Ironjawz Army

I am back from the desert fortress of Gordrakk himself, and brought a whole bunch of other gitz! An Ironjawz army big enough to choke Mork.

It had been a minute since I've done yellow or the green boys, so a real treat. The new Orruk stuff is very well designed, lots of character and a pleasure to paint up.  This summer is Fantasy throughout, mostly Age of Sigmar, and looking forward to getting into the other armies.  Next will be Stormcast Eternals, digging into those as soon as I hit post.  See you next time!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Adepticon 2017 Recap

Back home again in Indiana, and back to work!  This year's Adepticon was, as always, better than the last.  Sounds cliche, but trying new things and refining what I do, it is true.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Saim Hann Adepticon 2017 Charity Raffle Army

Hey out there. I am back with this year's Adepticon charity raffle army, and this time it is Saim Hann. If you will be at Adepticon next week, be sure to pick up some raffle tickets to try and win. For two good causes - Disabled American Veterans, and the W.D Boyce Boyscout Council. Last year the army raised into the five digits and hopefully we can do that again. 

As for Adepticon itself, I hope to post something when I get there with more information, but for now I will be in booth 57 in the vendor hall all weekend, so by all means stop by and say hello! Plans for the booth are pretty fun, with a little reunion tour of a few of the big displays and a couple other things. 

Until then, safe travels to all of you going, looking forward to another fun weekend.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Once Upon A Time in the Wyrd - A Malifaux Gang

Why howdy par'ners!

It's been two shakes of a rattler's tail and I'm back with a new project, and a whole mess o' varmints, outlaws, and weirdos.  This sleepy little mountain town litr'y ain't big enough for all of 'em. Tarnation, etc.

Little bit of Mailifaux with a western vibe, mixed with the dark and spooky flavor the game is known for.  Another set of models with a lot of variety, each little subsection painted separately but using a rough chunk of the same core colors.  

The block of skirmish games is over for just a minute, on to a big Orruk army and then some Eldar.  See ya then, cowpoke.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Infinity: PanOceania

Another Infinity army, this time PanOceana. A bit different from the norm, rather than using a predominant color with secondaries such as with a Marine army, it has many complimentary colors balanced across each unit and tied together with their placement and primary shading colors. Somewhat similar both in color and concept to the Covenant in Halo - different units in both form and uniform.  

Fun to be able to flex my color muscle a bit, as it required painting each small batch separately, but advancing them all at the same rate to ensure balance.  A real pleasure and one I am glad rolled through.

Lot's of skirmish games around here lately by coincidence.  That's going to continue for one more project, to the Wild West of the Malifaux universe.  See you then.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Hotline Heresy - A Grey Knights Army



Fade from black to skyline shot of hive city at night.  Storm rages behind neon urban sprawl.  A thunder clap followed by purple lightning striking a tower. Camera pans down to street level.  Group of Grey Knights led by our hero KALDOR DRAIGO walks down main drag.  Loud sound of marching ceramite boots builds. Halts. Panning shot of Terminators.  Acid rains peppers their armor, streaking in neon pink bolts before fading.  A lighting flash illuminates.

Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 In Review

It's that time again, another year of projects down and time to look back. Always a bit surreal to stop and remember what the schedule looked like on January 1st.  Each one a little flicker of imagination, each one coming to life through the year. They grow up so fast, but wouldn't want it any other way.

To all of you reading this, thank you very much for being around.  Your support and enjoyment of my work always means a great deal, and is one reward I get excited about through the late nights of a project.

To those who's projects are featured in this recap, a special thank you goes out for your trust and opportunity to make these ideas reality.  You give me the mental fire to run the gauntlet every day, every week of the year.

The opportunity to paint these sorts of projects, and as often as I do is only thanks to you.

Happy Holidays, happy new year, and thank you.  See you in '17.

- Brandon