I've been busy painting the past few weeks as I try to get The Beer Waaagh back into a low-comp setup while trying to remain competitive. First, I painted a Trollblood Dire Troll to give me a third lone troll, then I painted 10 Mantic Flea Bag Riders to give me a pair of 5-man Wolf Riders. For the next step, I need a quartet of River Trolls! Fortunately, I've had these bad boys from Mierce Miniatures just sitting around, begging me to put paint on them!
Originally, I'd intended to do them in a red/grey color scheme, but after doing a high contrast blue/bone paint job on the Dire Troll, I began to play in different directions. My wife finally gave me the inspiration to go with greens, but to "muddy them up". Normally I paint greens with yellow for highlights; this time around I'll be using a brown palette to make the trolls look like they just emerged from the San Antonio Riverwalk.
The base coat is down! I did a mix of 2 parts Cayman Green : 1 part SS Camo Black Brown, using a Games and Gears size 1. I'm really starting to rely on the Games and Gears brushes for base coating and washes, so I'm glad to be getting some usefulness out of them after nearly binning the whole line.
For the next two layers, I enjoyed a Cockeyed Cooper Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine, from Uinta Brewing. Uinta's new to my area, and this is the third of their offerings I've tried (along with the Laybrinth Black Ale and Detour Imperial IPA). I recommend checking them out if you have the opportunity!
I was extremely disappointed with how bright the models looked after the base coat, so I went back and decided to do a wash to bring them in line with the models in The Beer Waaagh. Those models were completely base coated and then dipped with a pure-black wood stain. For the trolls, I used an eyedropper mix of 1 part Black Ink, to three parts Purple Wood Stain, to 15 parts water/future floor wax. This allowed the dark stain to run into the cracks and crevices, while allowing the base coat to shine through. It also gives me a strong light-dark contrast ratio, which plays into the cartoony style I use for Orcs & Goblins.
For That Guy who thinks I just endorse dipping: pay attention! The dip was the second layer for these models. I'll do another 5-8 on top of the dip! There's no excuse to call base coat + dip + 1 layer of highlights an amazing paint job! You still have more work to do! Also, this is a wash; these models weren't dipped.
For the next step, I re-mixed the base coat and re-applied it, this time letting the wash stay underneath. You can already see the depth it's adding to the models, even with the failure on the Gothi's side where I fell asleep (I fixed it before the next layer).
This photo marks Day 3 of painting the Trolls. For this layer, I took some Tilburg's Dutch Brown Ale and poured it into a snifter, then mixed 2 parts Cayman Green to 1 part Bestial Brown and added a drop of water. I used a Games & Gears 00 brush for the second layer. I'm finding that, as these brushes splay, they become very useful for feathering (which I'll be using for muscle tone) and doing pointilism (which I'll be trying for their chitinous backs).
For the next layer, I enjoyed a surprisingly fruity Dogfish Head Festina Peche. The paint is 2 parts Cayman Green : 1 part Khaki, with my typical drop of water 3:1 with the paint. I used a Games and Gears 000 brush to allow me a bit more feathering; after this I'll be switching over to my trusty Winsor-Newton Series 7s.
I realized that I've only been showing the same angle with every shot, so here are the troll backsides.
Here's the Gothi. you can see some of the feathering on his quads and biceps.
One of the rank-and-file trolls, with horrible lighting.
When this guy's painted up, I'm going to take a picture of him and caption it, "Come at me, bro!"
The fourth of the trolls. You can see the feathering in places on his tummy.
This is where I sit at the end of Day 3! Check back tomorrow to see what more I've added!
(The next day...)
I decided to start Day 4 with one of my favorite beers: Stone Old Guardian. This baby's been sitting in my fridge since March, and was fantastic. Here, the trolls fulfill their role as members of the Beer Waaaagh by defending the beer!
The next layer was 3 parts Cayman Green to 2 part Elf Flesh. I switched over to a Winsor-Newton Series 7 size 0 brush for this one.
Another shot from higher, to show the work on the back.
I then did a fast layer of 1:1 Cayman Green to Pale Flesh. Not satisfied, I mixed up one last layer: 1 part Cayman Green to 1 Part Scorpion Green, with one part Pale Flesh and one part White. However, I did this transition so fast that I forgot to take a picture of the Green/Pale layer! Sorry about that! Typically for my models, those last two layers cause the paint job to "pop", and bring the contrast ratio up to what I want.
Extreme close up!
One day, I'll learn my lesson about taking photos at 1:30 in the morning. Specifically: DON'T!!
Another horribly lit shot. Usually by this point in the night I'm just ready to go to bed, and this was no exception.
One last shot of the skin tone. Tomorrow, I get to choose whether to work on straps or bone/claws/teeth!
Day five: shields and mouths!
Well, Tuesday was a pretty useless day, and Wednesday did not start any better, so before I started painting I poured myself the largest pint I could from my kegerator...
Now, back to the trolls! I only had an hour and a half for painting, so I knew I couldn't get into the NMM or the bone in a way that would make sense. Instead, I went after the reds. I used these on the mouths, and on the shields. The first layer is 3:1 Vallejo Dark Red to SS Camo Black Brown, pretty typical for my red blends.
Next highlight of red. Same as above, but with no SS Camo Black Brown
This layer is all Bloody Red.
At this point I was getting nervous about the orange-ness of the color, so I did something I never do with reds - I highlighted with pink. Usually I feel it cheapens the red (I highlight red with yellow 95% of the time), but I think it worked really well on the gums, and don't mind the shields looking a bit pink.
Well, when you're drinking a liter of beer, you sometimes forget to take pictures of painting steps, especially when you're doing layers in 5 minutes. First layer was Stormy Blue, the second was Medium Blue.
Two more layers of blue in rapid-fire succession (2:1 medium blue to sky blue, and then 1:2 of the same), and I called it a night and took a pair of close-up shots to let you see how the red highlights had come out.
Two more shots, with a lot of background clutter. The plan for tomorrow: the wood handles of the weapons (brown), the straps (black), and the skulls/teeth/claws (obvious color)!
Day Five: only an hour and a half for painting today, so the teeth and claws probably won't get done. Without further ado, let's start on the wood (after a brief moment to pour a tall one of Adelbert's Gypsy Belgian IPA).
The woodtones started with a basecoat of 50/50 Earth and SS Camo Black Brown. Second layer for the wood was all Earth, with a third layer of 50/50 Earth and Dwarf Skin Some closer shots of the wood. The third layer was pure Dwarf Flesh, with the last layer being about 3:1 Dwarf Flesh to White. Final shot of the unit with the wood fully painted. I also went back at this point and added a final highlight to the reds, as I was really unhappy with how dark they were. I let my wife pick the color for all the straps. Surprisingly, she went with Black! As most painters know, black is one of the hardest colors to get right. Let's see if I can do it... A close-up to show the black straps. The first layer was 4 Black : 1 Stormy Blue : 1 Basalt Grey. I then decreased the proportion until the last layer, which was 1:1 Stormy Blue to Basalt Grey. Some close-ups of the individual models. Vortunn's shoulder pad can now be glued on, as I'm done with the skintone and straps, and need it in place for the next step, the bone.
Day six: we are finally going to do the bone, teeth, and claws. First layer was done with a 1:1 mix of SS Camo Black Brown and leather brown. Second layer was a 2:1 mixture of Leather Brown and SA Camo Black Brown. Third layer, done with all Leather Brown. Fourth layer: 2 parts Medium Grey to one part Leather Brown Fifth and sixth layers: 2 parts Pale Flesh to 1 part Medium Grey, and 2 parts Pale Flesh to 1 part Skull White. Tomorrow: the metals!
[Edit 5: its tomorrow]
I uploaded these over the weekend, but never got around to putting commentary in here. I shall correct that this morning!
First layer of metal. It's the typical one I used for the Tawrdraig, so I won't repeat myself. The beer is my favorite American-made Scottish Ale. This can's been aged for 18 months.
The silvers are all done. These pictures are more reminders on why I shouldn't be taking photos late at night. I never seem to learn.
The unit ranked up 2x2 for some reason. I've done the bronze at this point as well, again using the same mixture I used for the Tawrdraig.
A shot of the middle of the unit, showing the highlighting on the black straps on Vortunn, and the generic red triangle design on one of their shields.
Overly dramatic lighting. What was I thinking?
Ah, that's better! Pushed them back a bit.
A closer shot.
A shot of the troll in the back, roaring over his commander's shoulder pad.
I still think this model should be referred to me as the "Come At Me, Bro" troll.
The one in the back left, guarded by a massive cleaver.
Apparently I didn't want to bother, you know, spreading them out to take a picture. 2:30 decision making, you're not the best!
A top view to show off the bone color of their back spikes, and just give you a player's eye view of what the unit looks like.