Dragon Commission begining

Almost a year ago I was asked by a friend of mine to  put together and paint his high elf dragon. Well with moving countries and one thing or another its taken until now to get around to him. To be honest I’ve hit a bit of a brick wall on my space marines so I’m using this as a distraction and inspiration.

So here is what I have to get started with.

Starting pieces

Starting pieces

If you have a look at the kit itself you’ll see that what I have is actually missing a few pieces. Both sets of feet and claws have been clipped off, the head is missing the tongue, jaw horns and the ‘ears’, so already I’m going to either have to buy or create what is missing.

The other thing was that I was asked to add a seat feature as well so that’s another thing to add to the to do list 🙂

First task –

The first thing I wanted to tackle was the head. With a few pins to add length and allow me to create an angle I was able to add a little more character to the beast.

Second task –

Adding the ‘ears’ was next to be addressed.

I used the horns from a chaos knight shield to form the top, plasty card to form the flesh and wire for the  supports. I’m still not sold on the plasty card and might change that before I go to paint.

After a little bit of green stuff to secure things I put this aside for the night.

Next post – controlling the beast



Commission work

I’ve been lucky enough to have someone else trust my skills to deliver them the army they want to see on the field of battle. The last piece of work was a Slannesh Chaos army for a warhammer tournament last year. The client wanted to go all out with a purple, pink and yellow colour scheme which I was a little unsure of to start with but after a test model or two things looked much better than I expected.

Here is a link to the gallery of the work

My client was good enough to take these pictures for me as a favour as I wasn’t cataloguing my efforts back then.

It is a hope of mine that I will be able to get even better as a painter and be able to open up some time for commission work in the future.


Conversion work

One thing I love to do is convert models. Don’t get me wrong, the models that companies produce are works of art but there is something even nicer about being able to put out your own vision of a model.

One day I will have a go at creating something from scratch but not quite yet.

Conversions can be big or small, subtle to the eye or completely redefining an image  into the model you want. My keys to making a successful conversion are three things. First is a planned out final image in my head or on paper  and I keep to that as it has a purpose unless something special happens.

Next is getting the best parts and on a budget is not about buying something brand new but getting the part that will complete what I want to achieve. I have happily used bits of sprue, pen tops and other bits for the shape or size over a pre-moulded model part and been very happy with the results.

Finally is having a good set of tools. These range from sharp modelling knives to nail filing boards and either green stuff or milliput to shape or fill in any gaps or mistakes.

My Sons of Realm Space Marine Chapter has a heavy knightly theme. A lot of the images I have in my mind are influenced by my WHFB Empire army and I am going to be heavily using my bits box to add on heraldic icons, shields, scrolls and other things that will help convey my final image.

Here is my third company Knight Captain, he has a very specific look with his theme so to make it happen I have added in  a number of details taken from the Demi Gryphon’s and Knightly Order kits. His personal device is the Griffon which is shown on his helm and the back of his power fist and will eventually be worked into his company heraldry on his right shoulder when it comes to painting,

A second conversion I have done is my chapters chief librarian in power armour (terminator armour version is still a WIP)

Chief Librarian

Now this guy started off life as the Dark Angel Librarian from Dark Vengeance and when I first saw him I knew I wanted to change him enough to make him different but still recognisable as a librarian.

First off I wanted to do something with that open hand and that has now become a flame of ‘warp fire’ being thrown at the enemies of the Emperor. The second thing was removing the Dark Angle icons, which was easy enough but to do it cleanly I had to remove a lot of the robe under his neck so I have redressed that with green stuff. The last thing was the weapon arm. Now I wanted him to have a storm bolter and a close combat weapon but I had already marked on hand to be casting so I was stuck.

My solution came from a few Grey Knight parts that I had acquired in a trade. The arm was an easy enough fit with the storm bolter (having it wrist mounted adds cool points I think) but the weapon was the tough part. I originally wanted to use the great sword from the paladin sprue with the Nurgle daemon head on but I couldn’t get it to sit right, so with 4 separate pin joints, some cleaver cutting and green stuff for extra strength I was able to have him welding a spear with the decapitated head on the blade.

For me this model has achieved the initial brief I had and looks rather badass at the same time 🙂

I have other conversions I’m working on and I will post them up as I go.



Testing out the colours

I’ve finally produced a test model for my space marines and the process has been like being back in school.

One flaw in my painting has been the lack of development in my techniques and I really want produce the best painted army that I can so I’ve done some reading even before picking up a brush again.

The colour scheme I’ve chosen is a big step outside of my comfort zone as painting white on a large scale is not something I’ve had much success with at all. I also plan to have some technical elements as well, all of which will be new to me so research has been key. This blog has been my bible and I will refer to it frequently

A good foundation –

I’ve always primed my models in black. It was how I was first shown to do things way back when and I’ve never gone beyond it, well once or twice I have used white but I’ve never felt the results have been enough to switch.

So the first thing I have done is thrown that old habit out the window and switched to a light grey primer. No it’s not white but the biggest reason for giving this a try was the ease of painting white on top simply and effectively and it’s a good base for light colours and still gives definition on the model which helps.

The second thing I tried out was applying base colours before adding metallics. Again my past learning taught me to apply metallic paint direct from pot to model but applying a snakebite brown base for gold and a dark grey for the leadbeltcher has helped to cover up any small missed bits and made things tidier.

I may have forgot to mention that I’m a stay at home dad with two amazing children so my work rate right nw is slowed by the fact I can only grab an hour or two here or there.

First days work

Sm 2

Completed Work – Model primed grey, white armour done, soft armour done (Darkenhof Nightshade washed in twice), Metal areas based and painted. A good first go with the new primer and overall not bad, but a smoothness in my painting is still eluding me.

Second days work

Completed Work – Metal washed and highlighted, Gold based, painted, washed and highlighted, lenses done. I’m not happy with the gold at all so I’m replacing my old shining gold with the newer range and will be spending more time working on that but again I’m not unhappy with how the model looks.

Completed model gallery

Completed Work – Bolter painted and attached, back pack done, purity seals and scroll work completed, shoulder pads done. The shoulder pads have been coloured in as fillers as I’m not sure about the final designs but the model has turned out better than i expected but there is still a lot of room for improvement.

So…Lessons learnt – If you’re going to follow a tutorial make sure you actually follow it. I decided at the last minute not to do exactly what was shown in the painting white tutorial and ended up having to add more paint to cover up my mistakes. On the next model I followed step for step and it came out a lot better. Secondly plan what colours you are going to lay down when. This was important for the lenses and the soft armour as I had to go back and tidy up my mistakes with more paint. Model number 2 came out a lot better with some forward planning. Finally keep a painting diary. This allowed me to go back over what i had done the previous session as well as work out how to fix any issues I had when it come to the second model. I didn’t capture everything but that’s just a learning process for me.

Any thoughts or comments please leave them below or drop me an email.


Tutorial credit to Ron @ fromthewarp