Monday, February 18, 2013

3D Hirst Arts: Rock Formations

Some of the cavern accessory pieces are rock formations, stalagmites, etc.

I'm using them for rubble/impassable terrain, so I based them on some of the cork tiles (I'm using the great thicker cork tiles I bought from Bunnings for all the dungeon tiles - not the flimsy stuff I ordered on the internet which I used for those outside tiles that warped and curved from the glue)

I glued the plaster pieces together to assemble the rock formations / stalagmites, and put textured paint around them on the cork base.

Then I painted with the watery grey I used on the dungeon tiles, then I washed in the watered Agrax Earthshade as before, then drybrushed with Karak Stone, also as before.

I used some Thraka Green wash (the old version of the GW green wash) where the rock pools go, and then put gloss on top to try for an underground water look. I think I need to put a couple more coats of gloss on, to make it look right.

I looked up cavern formations on the net, and the rock formations that are sort of like downward streaks of rock had sulfery yellow streaks in lots of photos, so I drybrushed some yellow down on those parts of the rock formations.

3d Hirst Arts: First Dungeon Tile finished

So here's the steps I did:

Paint all in "2 parts medium grey, 1 part water".

Wash all in 50/50 Agrax Earthshade / Water.

Paint the wood Cadian Fleshtone, and wash - twice - with the watered Agrax Earthshade (once wasn't enough with the watered down Agrax Earthshade.)

Drybrush all in Karak Stone with big flat brush.

Paint the 'pit' black, and with smallest brush, loosley paint a 'rim' around the edge of the black.

Glue on a couple pieces of fake 'moss'.

I'm not sure you can tell in the photos, but the Karak Stone drybrushing gives it a hint of warmth as well, so it isn't such a stark 'black/white' shade of grey. I'm trying to decide if I'll do a further drybrushing layer, just around the edges of each square, to highlight them just a little bit more, but for now this is how I'm going to do up most of the stone tiles.

3D Hirst Arts: Plaster Pieces Arrived and starting on tiles!

Awesome! All the cast plaster pieces arrived today!

So, here's piles of the various stuff:

In this shot, I've stacked 1x1's, half tiles, more 1x1's, and then I've snapped some 2x1's along their creases so I can spread them out on my gapped grid!

Here's a bucket load more tiles!

And some cavern scenery pieces - like crates, stalagmites, etc

I got the plaster cast through a local Aussie company called Griffin Grove. It took a while, because they only cast on the weekends, and I ordered a lot of repeat castings of the molds, but they did a fantastic job - the pieces all look really great!

I've started work on some pieces, to get a feel for how I want to assemble the dungeon tiles:

To begin with, I laid out the pieces - a mix of 1x1's and snapped 2x1's, and a 'hole' in the middle with some wooden planks over it.

Then I glued down the stonework.

Then I painted textured paint into the gaps between the tiles, and around the 'hole' in the middle.

While it was still wet, I glued the planks down, pressing them into the textured paint on either side. I stuck them at slightly odd angles, for interest.

Here's a sorcerer for scale. The gapping means that figures aren't base-to-base touching, so larger figures, or poses with weapons jutting out, etc, can all fit together on the grid.

Plaster takes paint a little differently to how plastic or metal does - the outer layer of the plaster absorbs the pigment. To paint it up, you need to water down the paint, so you can easily spread it around and get it into the cracks and details. I mixed two parts of my medium grey (the one I got from the hardware store ages back in a tin) with one part of water, in an empty paint pot, shook it up, then used a wash brush to give an undercoat to the whole piece.
In my next post, I'll be painting the planks brown, painting the pit area black, washing the piece with 50/50 watered down Agrax Earthshade, then drybrushing with Karak Stone, and some touches of green or tan here and there, and maybe adding some static grass and fake moss in a few places for interest! Already, with just the undercoat on, details and 3D depth are beginning to show :)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

finished all sorcerers! Step by Step

Okay, here's the steps I took for making my regular 'dark sorcerers' for the Descent board game.

To start with, I painted the whole thing dark blue.

I then used medium blue and did what I call a 'wet drybrush' which is to use a flat end drybrushing brush, load it with paint, only wipe a little off, so its still pretty wet with paint, and then brush onto the model with downward strokes only - so the front and up faces of the model get painted with the medium blue.

I then repeated, but with my lightest blue, and then finally did a normal drybrush with hardly any paint, to do a white touch-up.

Each wet drybrush / drybrush layer began at the top of the model, but ended shorter going down, so that it starts off dark at the bottom, and ends up white at the very top.

I then did a thick wet wash with dark blue. I don't have GW's current citadel wash in blue, only the old version, which isn't as nice a quality wash, but it gets the job done - and it's blue :) 

 I then drybrushed the tops of his legs, and his arms, his head, and the energy above him, with the medium blue, then lighter with white. I then did a few more soft drybrushes with white on his face to really highlight it, and then painted the top of the energy with solid white to make it really bright.

For his base, my current method for all the bases, is paint in medium grey, wash with Agrax Earthshade (the newer version of Devlan Mud, which has a slightly different colour to Devlan Mud) and then drybrush with Karak Stone. That's the method I'll be using on most of the stone tiles in my 3D Descent Tiles when I get around to making them. (Got an email saying the cast plaster pieces might be turning up on Monday, so here's hoping!)

Finally, here's the dark and master sorcerers all together, in better lighting :) As always, you can click on it for a bigger pic :)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

washes and spiders

Here's a before and after, with base painting a spider bright purple, then applying a dark purple wash and letting it dry. I used a flash, so that it was not shaded by the local room lights, so the effects of the wash could be seen better.

After that, I drybrushed the edges of the model's shapes with a wide flat brush, with white paint, then I drybrushed with the bright purple again, to get a bright purple highlight on the model edges. Then I just blobbed yellow dots onto the eyes and they're done!

before and after a wash. Wash takes about 5 seconds to cover the model, rather than hand-painting shading and stuff onto the model.

(here's the completed spiders after drybrush white, then drybrush light purple, and dotting the eyes)

(slightly blurry, but the above group shot shows what they look like a bit better)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Finished Red Master Monster Collection for Descent!

Here's my collection of painted proxy Master figures. As mentioned earlier, I got the game and expansions for Descent: Journeys in the Dark 1st edition, at auction, without the miniatures, so I've been collecting and painting up proxy figures to play the game. I've finished the red Master Monsters at last! Now I've just got to do the regular versions of the monsters.

I tried to give them a kind of glowy, vibrant, fluro kind of redness about them, sort of like rare/boss/magical monsters in games like Diablo 2, Titan Quest, etc.

Master Sorcerers

Finished the red Master Monsters for playing Descent! Here's the master sorcerers, using a Reaper miniature called "Tox". (I know that fire is brightest at origin, fading to dark - but I wanted top-down highlights on the figures, and I painted it brightest at the top anyhow, because I like how it looked.)

Master Ogre

Almost finished the red master monsters! Here's the master ogre, I painted over a DnD Ogre Warhulk figure. All that's left now are two red master Sorcerers. A little bit more drybrushing and they'll be done :)

Master Razorwing

For the red master razorwings I'm using the Reaper 'Bones' Gargoyles miniatures.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Master Giant

For the red "Master Giant" for Descent, I painted over the DnD Barbarian Hill Giant figure.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Master Demon

Here's the red "Master Demon" figure. I used the 'Pit Fiend' from the DnD range of pre-painted figures, then drybrushed over it, washed it, painted the fangs/tusks/eyes, and drybrushed a bit more.

Master Beastmen (Werewolves)

Here's the three red "Master Beastmen" - for which I'm using Reaper 'Bones' Werewolf figures.

Master Bane Spider

(Edit: updated the pic. Decided to do some more washes on them, they were a bit too raw red on the table)

Painted up some red model "Master Bane Spiders" next, using the Reaper 'Bones' Giant Spiders. I think my current goal is just to paint up all the red "Master" models of each monster type, so the game can be played, and then paint up the regular versions of each monster over time after that.

LOTR Scale vs Reaper Bones and DnD Miniatures

Two shots here. The first has the Runewitch Astarra posing with some of the monsters, to give an idea of their scale vs Descent heroes. The second is the same shot, but with a Lord of the Rings: Haradrim Archer posing for LOTR scale vs the monsters.

I didn't realise when I bought them, but I think the Bones range of Reaper Bones miniatures is actually 35mm and not 28mm (skeleton, gargoyle, werewolf). I don't have any humanoid DnD figures, so I'm not sure what their scale is. It's not so important with monsters, but the Reaper Bones skeleton archers loom over the Descent and LOTR humans. I've decided that is because the skeletons are undead remnants of some other fantasy race that died out, rather than them being human skeletons.

The monsters are a lot smaller than LOTR model monsters, but it's because these ones are made for playing on a 1x1", 1x2", or 2x2" board game grid, rather than free-form wargaming.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Red Dragon Master

This was another DnD figure that I ended up painting over and rebasing (Descent has dragons on a 2 x 3 base).


Here's the manticores. They are pre-painted DnD figures that I decided to paint over the top of. This is what the red 'master' manticore and a regular one look like, for playing Descent: Journeys in the Dark. I left their faces untouched, because they did a good job on the human-like monster heads on these pre-painted figures. I washed the bodies and wings in dark green for normals, and dark red for masters, then drybrushed with white paint to bring out the texture and details of the models.


Okay, so in my quest for cheap pre-painted proxy figures for Descent: Journeys in the Dark, I needed to find some hellhound models. I ended up with figures called 'yeth hounds' or something, off ebay, as pre-painted DnD figures. Once again, when they arrived, I found their paint job wasn't that great. In fact, it seems that ebay sellers simply put Wizards of the Coast advertisement photos of minis to show what I'm buying, rather than photos of the model I will get. Anyhow, I painted over the top of them.

Here's a brown 'regular' hellhound, and a red 'master' hellhound. I drybrushed some of the red onto the base of the master to try and make it look like he is softly glowing or something.

Originally they were just flat painted, but after a wash and drybrush, I love how you can see all the muscles, etc, of the figures now.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Descent: Proxy Figures for Nagas and Skeletons

Got a bunch more proxy figures in the mail today, to use in place of Descent's original minis (which weren't included with the game when I won it at auction). The skeletons are the Bones range from Reaper, which I've painted, and the Nagas were pre-painted DnD figures, which I decided I would paint over the top of after all, because when they arrived I found there really wasn't much detail to their paint job at all.

In Descent, red figures represent Masters - the elite monsters, so I'm going to continue the red theme when painting up figures. Here I've done the three Master Skeletons, and the Master Naga, next to the regular skeleton I painted the other day, and two regular Nagas I painted today. I was hoping the skeletons would look sort of 'burnt embers' or something, like glowy rare monsters in Diablo 2 or something, but I'm happy enough with how they turned out.

I'm more impressed with how much better the Nagas look - particularly since the pre-painted figures had no highlighting, and I found the sculpts actually had some great detail on them.

I'm working on other pre-painted DnD figures at the moment, in particular some Manticores which I'll hopefully finish tomorrow. I had a good idea with the manticores: they already looked allright, so I just applied a dark red wash to the body and wings of one, and a dark green wash to the body and wings of the other two, and after that I'll just add some drybrush highighting. The washes have dried, and it's changed their colours really well, to make the 'master' manticore stand out from the others.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

LOTR Mumak and Mumak

Yes, it sounds like an 80's band, but it's actually two giant elephants!

Played a battle with my brother today, with his mumak vs my mumak in a fun scenario that will be written up on his blog sometime soon. If you haven't visited his blog yet, it's at this address:

The battle report can be read here:

Here's some pics!

And some of his Harad guys on the top of a pyramid. He did a blue theme and dark skin, and came up really well!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Reaper Bones Minis Painted

I did up one each of the Bones plastic minis from Reaper today, of the Gargoyle, Werewolf and Skeleton Archers (which I'm using as proxies for Descent: Journeys in the Dark as Razorwings, Beastmen and Skeleton Archers).

I glued metal discs under their bases (they have partial bases as part of their sculpts) to weigh and balance the figures, then used liquid green stuff to blend the metal into the plastic figures.

I undercoated all in white.

Then I painted the Skel's quiver and bow in a pinky brown colour, and the quiver strap in purple, and the arrow feathers in white.

Beastman was all in pinky brown colour, with white fangs and claws, and purple tongue.

Gargoyle had purple wings fading to medium grey, then body in medium grey, with white fangs and claws.

Bases in medium grey.

Then all washed in Agrax Earthshade to bring out all the detail and give a slight brown tone to everything.

Then drybrushed the original colours back onto raised surfaces, though with the skeleton I used Ushabti Bone to highlight instead of white. I dotted bright yellow eyes on the Gargoyles and Werewolves (a tip I got from my brother years ago - the tiny yellow dots really stand out)

Then I drybrushed the bases and stony areas in Karak Stone, including some parts of the Gargoyle.

Then finally a couple touches of drybrushing Elysian Green for a touch of mossy look on the stone.

I'll probably glue on some of those little 'moss' pieces I used on the Descent heroes bases earlier.

(I was a little too close to these two guys, hence the blurriness of their front sides.)

Descent and All Five Expansions !!!

I'm on a high at the moment :) Sort of like 2nd-Christmas today with a bunch of things arriving at the same time :)

I won an auction a week or two back at an amazing price, for Descent 1st Ed and all five expansions, minus their miniatures. Some of the expansions don't even come with minis, but they were still super discounted by the seller!

I knew it would be a lot of stuff when it arrived, but when the parcel arrived today, it was sheer awesomeness - completely covering my gaming table! Now that I've got all of the game's dungeon and overland tiles, I can refer to them to create all six boxes worth of maps in 3D, and while I'm slowly constructing all the 3D stuff, I can still use the original flat illustrated tiles to play the game :)

(To save on postage, he managed to fit all the stuff into the main Descent box, and the Road to Legend and Sea of Blood boxes. Even included some counter holders for some of the counters and dice! All this stuff actually fits into those three boxes, if packed carefully! The Descent 1st Ed box is 2 feet long! (61 cm!)

Winning the game at auction meant that I was then able to purchase pre-painted DnD miniatures game figures, and some cheap figures from Reaper Miniatures, as proxies for the game's official monsters. I got some of them today as well!

The monsters come as Regular and Master versions, so for the Dragons, Ogres and Demons, I got different minis for regular or master. Today the "Master Demon" arrived in the mail (pre-painted DnD figure). I was surprised at how good the pre-painted paint job was on this one.

 Then the Reaper Miniatures are from their cheap plastic Bones range, but has a lot of detail for the price. I'm using werewolves for Beast Men, gargoyles for Razor Wings, and skeleton archers for... Skeleton Archers. (I'll have to paint and base these ones.)

Now I've just got to wait on the mail for the rest of the game's monsters to arrive! Most of them are pre-painted DnD figures off of ebay, so they can play right away. I found the trick when buying individual figures is to find a seller that has almost all the figures you're after, and buy from them - because instead of paying postage on each figure, postage gets combined. Each additional figure only cost me 15 cents from one seller, instead of an additional $6 - $12  per figure if I had bought them individually!