Monthly Archives: February 2014

WIP: Reaper Aina Female Valkyrie

This is another model I washed with GW Camoshade to start, just like Devona Female Mage. The green “underpainting” didn’t seem to accomplish much on this model, but I bet if it had been done in white/grey/black it would have been far more effective. You can see in this picture how the skirt looked after one color was applied.



I decided she needed flaming red hair, and I highlighted the skirt using super-thin layers of paint (about 6 parts water to 1 part paint). This allowed me to go straight to using my highlight color instead of mixing several intermediary colors, and still make smooth color transitions.




Next, I base-coated the metal VMA Aluminum.




Next, the areas that were to be gold or bronze were washed repeatedly with GW Seraphim Sepia.



I then washed all the silver with a thinned-down RMS Blue Liner, painted a design on the shield with RMS Blue Liner, and then glazed the design with a very thin VMA Aluminum. Next, the design was lined with the RMS Blue Liner.


Next, since I wanted the belt to be an aged bronze to break up all the gold, I washed it with a thinned-down RMS Blue Liner.



After that there was a little more detail work, and here is where she stands now:







Soon I will finish up a few more details, build her a base, and varnish her, then she will be for sale!

WIP: Reaper Devona Female Mage

Just a quick update on Reaper Devona. I did a lot more work on her, and I got her to a point where I thought she was finished except for a base…





And it was nice, but something just wasn’t quite right. Then, I decided to make her crystal the same color as her eyes.



At this point I think a light glaze of a bright turquoise on the crystal and a base is all she needs!

Alternative Vampire Counts models: Special

It’s been a while since the last alternative Vampire Counts models post. In case you missed it, I covered Rare here, and I covered Core here.

Now it’s time for Special!

Corpse Cart!

GameZone makes an alternative Corpse Cart.


Hexwraiths & Black Knights

I combined these two because many of the alternative minis for one could just as easily work for the other.

Games Workshop makes the first alternative here: Morgul Knights. LotR minis are a little petite compared to WHFB minis, but, especially if they wholly make the unit, they can still be used and fit in nicely.


The LotR Ringwraiths could also work well.

GameZone makes a set of Mournful Knights that I really like for my VC army.


There are many different poses of these models.

Mantic makes some decent, not-too-expensive cavalry that could be used – Revenant Knights.



Mantic’s Undead Revenants, although previously mentioned for another unit, could make decent alternative Grave Guard.


Mantic’s Undead Wights could also work. They are heavily armored skeletons and styled similarly to the other undead Mantic models.

Crypt Ghouls!

Forge World makes some models that I use in my Vampire Counts army as Crypt Ghouls. I greatly prefer them to the official model.


I think the models are really well done, and they still fit the VC theme nicely. Forge World also made a limited edition Skin Wolf that can still be found on places like eBay.

If you like the idea of using werewolves for crypt ghouls, but you either aren’t willing to pay Forge World prices or prefer a different style, Mantic also makes Undead Werewolves.


All kinds of Bats!

There are several options in a VC army that involve bats. Here are some models that could be used.

Wyrd Malifaux Night Terrors


Reaper Bat Swarm


Another Reaper Bat Swarm, this time by Werner Klocke


Reaper Crypt Bat


Another Reaper Crypt Bat


Games Workshop Giant Bats


Spirit Host!

The first alternative Spirit Host is a model from Privateer Press that I think is pretty cool, and it’s easily the right size.

75038_BoneswarmWEB (1)

The next two models are by Wyrd.

First, Malifaux Kiria Avater. It comes with a 50mm round base, but should be able to fit on the proper base.


Next, Malifaux Poltergeist. It comes with a 30mm round, but shouldn’t be too small to use a 40mm square.


The next alternative Spirit Host is by Reaper Miniatures. I like this model a lot, especially when compared with the cheesy guys-in-sheets GW model.


The next option is to take several of these guys by Reaper and put them together on a 40mm square, similar to the GW model.


The next alternative is actually another GW model:


I think the Forge World Mourngul makes an awesome, if tall, alternative Spirit Host.


The last two alternatives I’ve found are two Reaper models. The Night Spectre is a very appropriate model.


Next, the Reaper Nightspectre.


Next will be Vampire Lords & Heroes. They will be broken into 2-3 parts due to the fact that there are literally dozens upon dozens of options!

WIP: Devona Female Mage and Verdaccio Underpainting

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately about a technique called underpainting, specifically about verdaccio underpainting. Underpainting is something that many classical oil painters such as Da Vinci and Vermeer did. Verdaccio underpainting is done in a soft greenish-brown often made from white, black, and yellow. In essence, you paint the mini in this color with all the proper highlights and shadows in as much detail as you like. From what I’ve read, this technique has several purposes. It can allow you to view your composition in monochrome, and this lets you accurately view the composition and all its lights and darks and how they relate. This can allow you to make adjustments to lights, shadows, etc. as needed, and making these adjustments in a monochrome palette is much simpler than when you have painted in many colors. The second purpose is to give more depth and realism to the colors of your miniature. The green represents the darker tissues beneath the surface, essentially. With the transparent nature of acrylic paints, we are essentially glazing over our previous layers. At the very least, I can easily imagine this underpainting will have a significant impact on reds and skin tones. Other colors it may be more subtle, but I won’t know until I try it.

Some excellent information can be found here:

This technique is something I’ve wanted to try out ever since I first read about it on the Reaper forums (sadly I cannot find the thread now! I accidentally found it in the first place Google-ing something else anyways).

Reaper Devona, Female Mage is my first victim *ahem* attempt. Since it’s my first time, and I’m really just trying first of all to see the effect this has on the final colors, I decided to just wash the model with GW Camoshade instead of getting too involved in the verdaccio. If I like the basics of the effect, I will go further with it on another model.

Here she is bare bones plastic. The mould lines weren’t too bad. I boiled her for good measure, which hardened up the bones plastic significantly.

1 bare

I do like bones plastic over all, but the tiny filigree stuff on some of the models may as well not bother existing.

Camoshade wash:

2 underpainting wash

3 underpainting wash

First color is RMS Clotted Red (first shade color), and it’s immediately apparent the wash made a huge impact:

4 first color rms clotted red

5 first color rms clotted red

Honestly, depending on what level of painting you’re going for, this is already pretty well shaded. A highlight of a bright red of some sort and the skirt could easily be called done with the Clotted Red as the mid-tone instead of a shade and it would be a very nice tabletop level. I’m not going to call it done at that, though.

Next step for me was to deepen the darkest shadows with a mix of RMS Clotted Red, RMS Military Green, and a hint of black.

6 first shade clotted red military green small pure black

The difference after the shade is small, but it’s there, and I think it’s enough. At this point there are three shade colors – the mix of red/green/black, the red/camoshade, and the clotted red. Next is my mid-tone: a mix of RMS Clotted Red and VMC Carmine Red.

7 first highlight vmc carmine red rms clotted red

First highlight of  VMC Carmine Red

8 second highlight vmc carmine red

Second highlight of VMC Carmine Red and RMS Linen White

9 third highlight vmc carmine red rms linen white

Third highlight same as before, but with a little more Linen White

10 fourth highlight vmc carmine red more rms linen white

Next I began the skin (the purple on the tunic isn’t staying, I had quite a time picking the right colors on this model). RMS Rosy skin over the camoshade, RMS Flesh Wash to glaze in the shadows, mix of RMS Flesh Wash and RMS Rosy Shadow for final shadows. RMS Rosy Skin and Linen White to highlight. Then I finished her face. Blue irises, lighter blue in the bottom, linen white reflected light, lined with RMS Grey liner, clotted red lips, carmine red highlight, carmine red mixed with skin tones for blush. I also basecoated the metal RMS Stormy Grey and her hair Palomino Gold. I don’t see much effect here from the camoshade, but it wasn’t very intense in those areas.

11 rosy skin base shade with flesh wash mixed with rosy shadow

12 face

13 hair palomino gold

After that I washed her hair with GW Seraphim Sepia and began layering up the trailing cloth with RMS Linen White.

14 hair wash sepia cloth linen white gloves black

At this point her under-tunic and gloves have also been painted black, and I think it’s the right color finally. Originally, I wanted to make her a series of reds/purples, but it just didn’t feel right when it got down to it.

Sorry for the fuzzy picture. VMA Gunmetal on the silver, shaded with RMS Clotted Red (reflected color from the skirt), highlighted with VMA Aluminum. Her hair was highlighted with a gradually increasing amount of linen white in palomino gold.

15 tunic clotted red metal vma gunmetal shaded clotted red highlighted vma aluminum

16 highlight hair palomino gold linen white

Aside from picking the colors for her tunic and trying to paint that damned almost-invisible filigree, this model has been super easy and a lot faster than usual, especially to shade. The skirt took me less than 20 minutes total. I know the reds are all because of the camoshade wash, but I think I’ll have to do more (and better) underpainting to tell what effect it has on other colors. I plan to use this on the Be’lakor I’ve started in great detail to see what help it is in determining lights/darks/composition.