Reaching well beyond my grasp

I am here because I have been inspired. The Bloodbowl community has created some amazing customised teams and I have decided I'd like to try building my own team.

I have never done this before, my painting skills are mediocre at best and my modelling skills....well non existent. This is in all likelihood a doomed journey. But I hope it gives others of my skill level and ambition the courage to try.

This is my first attempt at blogging, so some things I feel you should know.
The good blogs out there post on a weekly basis, yeah... this isn't going to be one of those good blogs.
Also I take terrible photos. Really. You have been warned.

UPDATE: I have added a Lessons Learnt page. Here I note little tips I learn as I go along. A summary of things that may help others who decide to give kit bashing a go.

Friday, 6 July 2018

Painted line up so far

It has been a long while since I posted anything. I have been slowly painting up the team and wanted to share where I am up to and some thoughts I had on painting in general.

First things first, I am not very good at painting. It is not part of the hobby I particularly enjoy. Because of this I tend to spend the minimum amount of time as necessary to get miniatures to the table. This time around however, I took a bit of time and even spent some time on the web to watch a few videos and to look at the best GW paint combinations to use for oranges and Orc skin.

My general method of painting is to do a light coloured base coat and then use inks and Glazes to finish off. I just find it quicker that way. This time I followed the layering method.

Photos have been taken with my phone, so I can only apologise for the poor quality and composition.

 This was the first team model I painted, a Lineman. I was really please with the way the orc skin shading and highlighting came out.  The "tiger" stripes were a bit too thick.

 The 2nd Lineman was a massive improvement on the first I felt. The stripes looked much better to me.

A Pair of Goblins for the team. I varied the areas that were painted black and orange compared to the Orcs. I also didn't give them any tiger stripes, it was more of a back ground decision. I felt that the Goblins would not have 'earned' the stripes the eyes of the Orcs.

The Goblins also gave me a chance to try a lighter skin tone.

I am really pleased with the four blizters.

Even though the Black Orcs were the first models I put together they ended up being the last to paint out of all the models I had put together.  I learnt an important lesson when trying to paint them. Most of them had face guards, or bits of amour on top of other bits of armour. When trying to paint these models I found the faces and upper body areas hard to get to with a paint brush. Obviously I painted inside and worked out, but it was still a bit fiddly. I guess I should have painted some of the model while it was still in pieces.

I have to say that I am really please with how the team have turned out so far. There are a few more touches that I need to do the models. Add transfers and numbers, base all of them etc.

I think these are the best I've painted and quite proud of them. I feel I got a little better with each model I painted. I began to notice little details in technique. The consistency of the paint, the size of brush to use, amount of paint on the brush, brush control, using the the point or the edge of the brush for different areas.

Using the layer method was also easier then I thought it would be. I think the key for me was when I realised where I wanted one layer to end and another to start. making sure each layer was visible in the right place.

I'm not an expert painter now, not even close, but I do feel a lot more confident in my own ability.

Next is to work on the throwers and then decide how I want to paint the troll.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Blitzer Lineman switch.

Painting the Lineman and looking at the rest of the team I decided to make a minor change in terms of team player aesthetics. The first lineman model I had done had an open helmet, so you could see the orc's face.

One of the four blitzers was a similar model to the line men. The other 3 all had full helmets and a bit more armour on. I want all the different types of players to all have a similar look. That way it is a bit easier to identify what is what. To me the full helmet models looked more like blitzers and the open face models in the lighter armour were more like lineman.

Fortunately I hadn't glued on the barrel to the blitzer model. I put together another blitzer to match the other 3 and painted up the other model as a lineman.

So now I have 2 line man ready in the wings. Even though they are the same model I have made same minor changes in the paint scheme while trying keep the overall team colours. I haven't decided which I prefer yet, the black helmet or the orange helmet with stripes.

The 3 Blitzers that had the same type of armour. 

And the "new" model biltzer to match the others. As you can see this one has been undercoated so hopefully the blitzers will be painted soon.

Most people won't see or understand why I would want the different positions to have a similar look. But I really notice these visual details and think they help me see the board in play better. You certainly could argue that the fact that all the blitzers will have barrels on there back should have been enough to visually group them together,  but to me it makes sense for the models to all be similar, that way I have a bit of lea way when it comes to the paint schemes. I don't think an Orc's kit would be very uniform in colour scheme, so having that team uniformity in size and shape helps counter that.

All the Blitzers look physically similar.
All Lineman look physically similar.
All the Black Orcs look physically similar.

 This feels right to me.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Lineman lined up.

With my test paint models done I had a better idea of the look of the team I was aiming for and what I need to do and improve on to get it just right.

I decided that rather then continually practice on test models I would paint the first on team model. This way I was committed to the project of painting the team and was forcing myself to concentrate harder on the job in hand. No more test painting safety net.

Well.. sort off.

I came to a compromise with myself. I decided that the first on team model to be painted would be an Orc lineman. Now originally there were no line man in the team roster, but I figure in a league, players will get injured and need replacing, journeyman may be necessary, so a lineman or two seemed like a sensible ideas. Also I hope that with each figure I paint I get a little better, so logically the first models won't look as good as the last models painted for the team. I would rather have the line man look less well painted then the other positional players.

I like the split of Orange and Black on the model 

Using the plates of armour on the legs also works better than trying to do the stripe pattern in the knees and elbows.

I struggled a bit with the stripes. As you can see from the two shoulder pads I am still working on a tiger stripe pattern I can do well and be consistent with. I think the right pad has too think black markings. Not sure the left pad looks stripey enough.

Really happy with the black and orc skin in terms of shading and high-lighting. I wanted to try the model with an Orange helmet. I like how it looks terms of colour, but the stripes need to be much better. I need to improve how I control the paint on the brush and the amount of paint I put on.

I think this will be the template/ format for the rest of the team in terms of uniform.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Test paint #2

I had another go at trying paint the team colours/kit, as well as settler on the kit scheme.
This time I limited the orange to knees, elbows and shoulders.

 The legs/ trousers were also painted orange, although i am not sure whether there is enough contrast between the legs and knees.

 The tiger stripes I kept horizontal, still feel I need to improve on them, make them thinner.

I tried to not go over the top with the stripes, I think the shoulder pad came out quite well, I also like that it is only on 1 shoulder.

 I like the top of the helmet being orange, although in this case the stripes turned into small triangles. I might make some of the other models helmets all orange with stripes.

 Overall I think this is an improvement over the test paint #1. I think the balance between the black and orange is better. I may limit the stripes to the shoulder pad, purely because it is really tricky to paint stripes on small curved surfaces like the knees and elbows. I would like the helmets to have stripes too but not sure if that will work with every model.
I am thinking that I may leave the elbows as orange without the stripes, paint the knees black, and then paint the diamond flat pieces of plate armour above the knees orange with stripes. That might be easier to pull off.

I also wonder if some of the armour plate "patches" on various part of the mode; should be orange?

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Test Paint #1

I consider myself to be a below average painter. It is not a part of the hobby I particularly enjoy. painting time is taking up playing time is my general attitude.

I like to base coat, shade, dry brush, ink wash as quick as possible. Then I am happy to put on the table to play.

I have tried to improve my skill with the paint brush and tried different techniques. These days when I paint I tend to rely on ink washes and glazes. I find it quick and easy and gives a finish I am happy with.  I will start with a white undercoat and then apply a very light colour as a base. I then add wash after wash to the model. The ink adds darkness to the shaded areas of the model while the light base coat comes through on the highlighted areas, I then finish with a glaze or two to smooth out between the light and dark.

This works fine for models that are largely one colour and have just one type of surface ( i.e. scales, armour, skin etc.) Using my usual painting technique  with the Orcs would be trickier and slower. Because I wanted to do a tiger stripe pattern I didn't think it would work very well. I also wanted to try my hand at the GW method of layering.

The primary colours for the team would be black and orange, and of course green for the skin. I watched some you tube videos, and checked some GW painting guides and websites.

I went and got the following colours to paint in the layer method.
Ork Flesh:
Waagh! flesh (base); Warboss green(layer); Skarsnik green (layer); Bei-tan green (ink shade); Waywatcher green (glaze)

Abaddon black (base); Eshin grey (layer); Fenrisian grey (layer); Agrax earthshade(ink shade)

Jokaerg orange (base), Troll slayer orange (layer); Fire dragon bright ( layer); Lugganath orange (egde); Reikland fleshshade (ink shade); bloodletter (glaze)

I wasn't sure if I would use all the of them, particularly for the armour there would only be hard edges and I didn't think there would be much need for multiple layers.

I wanted to practice painting black, as I haven't really painted with black very much.

I started by giving the model a black undercoat then base coating the skin, drum and drumstick

The Chain mail was dry brushed on and pants were painted.

I then did a ink wash on the skin, drum skin and orange bits.

Applied the base coats again over the raised areas and did the first layer of edge highlights for the black armour 

A lighter shade of green was applied as a layer on the areas I thought would be lighter.

Lighter layer for the orange.

A final layer of highlights was added and some details picked out. I tried to get the thinnest, cleanest, sharpest lines I could for the final edge high lights on the black.

I have to say, at this point I was really pleased with how it came out. That is one of the best paint jobs I have ever done. The black looked clean and the highlights looked sharp. I really surprised myself with how well the skin looked. I honestly didn't think I had the skill to produce something like that.

This had given me a lot of confidence to work with black, and to use the layer style of painting. I realised my past mistakes when attempting to paint like this. After the ink wash shade I would apply the first highlight layer, rather then reapply the base coat. 

So with the painting test a success so far I decided I would try having a go at painting the stripes I wanted the team to have. Normally It would be black on orange, but with the model it would be orange on black, it would be interesting to see if that would work.........


Ugh! So my stripe painting needs a lot of work. Probably less stripes and limit to shoulders, knees and elbows ( and maybe helmet too). Definitely black on orange too.

Hmm.. I feel this practice was mostly positive. The orc skin layering came out really well ( for what I can normally achieve). I feel a lot more confident when working with black. The stripes, while coming out pretty bad, have helped clarify what I need to do and how I want the paint scheme to look like

So I think another practice paint attempt is needed with what I have learned.