[PLOG] Apocalypse Drow!

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direweasel
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[PLOG] Apocalypse Drow!

Post by direweasel »

Welcome to my PLOG! This will be a video archive of my collection and paint projects from about 20 years of collecting and painting Dark Elves, with varying degrees of success and skill. It is obvious to me how much I've improved in my painting, I hope it will be to you as well.

As I said, I've had some of these models for a long time, and my initial forays into painting them were both uninspired (I really just wanted to play the game, and saw painting as a necessary evil) and unskilled (I had no clue what the hell I was doing!) Over time though, both my attitudes and abilities towards painting have improved, and I hope that shows up in the photos.

Some notes on my color scheme. Any good army has a color scheme, especially with a race so regimented as Dark Elves. There should be unifying colors and thematic elements that draw them together. Mine is no exception, but over time as my painting has changed, the uniformity of the color scheme has become ... shall we say frayed. I will work on correcting that over time.

That said, the primary color of this army is a dark red. It's not always the SAME dark red, though, see the "frayed" remark above. My current paint in use for my dark red is Privateer Press's P3 "Sanguine Base". That color did not exist when I started painting my Dark Elves, and to be honest I don't think I knew about any paint except Citadel when I started, so even if it did exist, I wouldn't have known about it. :) In the past, I used a lot of GW's Scab Red, and there was also some use of Crimson Gore. For a while I think I even experimented with GW's "Warlock Purple" on a few crossbowmen, it was a reddish purple. I don't think any of those paints exist any more either.

The secondary color you'll see in there a lot is a darkish purple. It was originally GW's "Liche Purple". Nowadays it's GW's "Naggaroth Night" with a "Daemonette Hide" highlight. I am having trouble getting that to show up especially on pictures, so I am still experimenting with that. I may end up trying the Hide as the Base color, with a still lighter highlight and the Naggaroth as a shadow. I do really love the richness of the color of the Naggaroth though, so I might just stick with it.

You'll see a lot of Boltgun Metal (which I use interchangeably with P3s "Pig Iron"). You'll also see all my chain mail done in GWs "Amethyst Purple". Back when I started GW made a line of colored metallics, and I liked Amethyst Purple. To me it looked very Dark Elven, and it also reminded me of Adamantium, and I thought maybe it would help with my armor saves. (Not so much, by the way!). When they discontinued that color, I bought the last 4 bottles at my old game store (may it rest in peace) :(. I'm betting it wouldn't be hard to remake a pretty reasonable facsimile of it though if I had to, with a normal metal and purple ink, for those who actually are interested in replicating the look.

My original Flesh tone was, appropriately enough, GW's "Elf Flesh", but now I use P3 for that as well, a trio of "Midlund Flesh", "Ryn Flesh", and "Khardic Flesh". You see, when I started, I thought shadows and highlights were a silly waste of time. Why paint a section of a mini 3 times when one will do? Just slap some paint on it and get it out. And mixing colors? MIXING? That would take some kind of palette or something right? If GW didn't make a color, I didn't need it!

Over time, I've come to the realization that I spend many more hours preparing my armies than actually playing the game, so I may as well try to enjoy that aspect too. And now I really do. I can use it to relax, I go down to my "man cave" basement, put on some music, and spend some quality time with my brushes. When I started, I painted minis so I could play the game. Now, I paint because I want to, and the game is a nice side bonus that allows me to use the minis and display my work. Funny how perspectives change. :)

I also want to mention that I go to Gen Con Indy every year, and one year, I actually took the year off from gaming entirely and signed up for mini painting classes the whole 4 days. I wouldn't want to do that every year, but if any of the rest of you go to similar shows, I highly recommend doing that at least once. It made a huge difference in my minis, and taught me some lessons in using the proper tools that I never would have gotten on my own. I've already told some people on here about wet palettes, I learned about those from there. For those who don't know, they are awesome tools for minis painting, and for $10 and a roll of parchment paper from WalMart, you can really make the process of mixing paints and keeping them from drying out MUCH easier.

Edit: Since writing this, I've also been asked to write up a tutorial on the use of the Wet Palette, which I have done. You can see it here:
http://druchii.net/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=75680

At any rate, I will post on here some of my oldest pieces, and over time you'll see that I am in the process of re-painting a lot of them. So hopefully we can see some "before and after" type pictures over time, as minis get the "Simple Green" paint removal treatment to be redone with an eye for improvement, and also just to help rebuild the color uniformity.

Enough chatting, what's a plog without pics of minis?!

Here's my work in progress Malus Darkblade for the "Avatars of War" contest ongoing right here on Druchii.net. More will come soon, I promise!

Image
Last edited by direweasel on Sat Sep 20, 2014 2:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Chinese Relativity Axiom: No matter how glorious your triumphs, nor how miserable your failures, there will always be at least one billion people in China who don't give a damn.

Apocalypse Drow! Plog: http://druchii.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=75360
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Re: [PLOG] Apocalypse Drow!

Post by Amboadine »

Looking forward to seeing how you progress. Nice intro.
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Re: [PLOG] Apocalypse Drow!

Post by CitizenKhaine »

Great start, I am looking foward to seeing those old models!
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Re: [PLOG] Apocalypse Drow!

Post by r1d3 »

Thanks for the good introduction. I`m eager to see more and good luck in the competition!
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Re: [PLOG] Apocalypse Drow!

Post by direweasel »

OK, so this first one is going to need a little explanation.

Back when I started, don't ask which edition, but it's whatever one was current in '94, there was a wider selection of monsters you could put your characters on. I got in the habit a few times of putting my general on a giant scorpion. They were fast and cheap, and it kind of fit with my preconceived notions of dark elves, which are largely from d&d. So drow on arachnids speaks to me.

Sooo we have lord Scorpios:

Image

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I am fully aware that his paint is chipping and that the scorpion is missing a pair of legs. He is on the list of stuff to give a makeover to, but since he's not exactly a legal choice for the army any more, he's pretty much at the bottom of the list. :)
Last edited by direweasel on Fri Sep 19, 2014 11:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Chinese Relativity Axiom: No matter how glorious your triumphs, nor how miserable your failures, there will always be at least one billion people in China who don't give a damn.

Apocalypse Drow! Plog: http://druchii.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=75360
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Re: [PLOG] Apocalypse Drow!

Post by direweasel »

The next one is a piece I've told some of you about before. When I started in Dark Elves, there was only one way to get a Cold One Chariot in the Dark Elf army, and that was by fielding Malekith. As a result, they didn't make a miniature for it.

A friend of mine was playing dark elves too, and wanted to field him for a minor event we were having, and he and I put our heads together and came up with a conversion. There was an undead chariot called the Liche King's Chariot, pulled by skeletal horses. I found a link to what was included in that:

http://www.solegends.com/citcat1994/cat1994p048-02.htm

We figured if we took that and added some of the old Marauder Cold Ones he had on the front, and came up with a middle piece that wasn't all bony, it would work. He put it together and painted it, but he later got out of Dark Elves and sold it to me. We call it "The Batmobile" because it kind of looks like the old Adam West style Batmobile. I love this model but the paint job is horrible, he and I were both of the opinion back then that painting was what you did to get the mini on the field. I fully intend to get the paint stripped off of this and do it again, when I do I will post it here. For now, here is the Batmobile:

Image

Image

Image
Last edited by direweasel on Fri Sep 19, 2014 11:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Chinese Relativity Axiom: No matter how glorious your triumphs, nor how miserable your failures, there will always be at least one billion people in China who don't give a damn.

Apocalypse Drow! Plog: http://druchii.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=75360
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Re: [PLOG] Apocalypse Drow!

Post by direweasel »

GW is getting a lot better about this nowadays, but they used to have this super annoying habit of releasing an army list and having a ton of options in it that they didn't make models for. There's nothing like creating this huge demand for a product, and then refusing to supply it!! :?

Anyway, for the longest time there was no GW Hydra, so I eventually found this bloody huge resin hydra. I think it was a Ral Partha fig but I don't remember for sure. If anybody does know the source of this guy I'd love to know.

Edit: I did find it.

The manufacturer is called "Scotia Grendel Productions". The description there says "resin and metal". They may have redone some parts of it since I bought it, but I don't remember ANY metal parts at all. At any rate, I bought mine at least ... what ... 15 years ago, so yeah, it's possible they've changed a thing or two about it. :)

Anyway, here's a link to the listing on their store. You might be able to find it cheaper elsewhere. I was just looking for the maker, to be honest, I'm somewhat shocked to see it still in production, and the company to still apparently be in business. I'd never heard of them, or seen anything by them since.

http://www.scotiagrendel.com/Products/i ... ts_id=2801

He doesn't fit on any GW base, but I still use it. I have another of the somewhat newer hydras (but not one of the current ones that is also the K-beast model) that I will put pics up for eventually, but for now, I hope you are interested in this one:

Image

Image

Those are 3 monster bases glued together underneath her. :)

I was sooo proud of that when I was finished, it was easily the best mini I had ever done at the time. Now I can see lots of things I would do better, but since I don't know ways to take paint off of resin figs, and I have lots of other things to paint, she's not super high on the redo list either.
Last edited by direweasel on Fri Sep 19, 2014 11:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Chinese Relativity Axiom: No matter how glorious your triumphs, nor how miserable your failures, there will always be at least one billion people in China who don't give a damn.

Apocalypse Drow! Plog: http://druchii.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=75360
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Re: [PLOG] Apocalypse Drow!

Post by direweasel »

Last but not least for tonight, I present to you my old block of metal spearmen. I have about 15 more of these to paint, and of course I have several command units, but I will show those another time. For now, these guys pretty much speak for themselves.

Not my best work, especially now, but I'm not UN-happy with them either. I figure when I paint those last 15, I'll these guys in the back rows and they'll be good enough. :)

Image
Last edited by direweasel on Fri Sep 19, 2014 11:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Chinese Relativity Axiom: No matter how glorious your triumphs, nor how miserable your failures, there will always be at least one billion people in China who don't give a damn.

Apocalypse Drow! Plog: http://druchii.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=75360
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Re: [PLOG] Apocalypse Drow!

Post by Amboadine »

Some interesting models you have collected over the years.
Scorpion surfer is an interesting one. :)
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Re: [PLOG] Apocalypse Drow!

Post by cultofkhaine »

Great to see you post this up Direweasel, 20 years is in deed a long time, you would have seen a lot change over that time!

I love these old school models, I have quite a collection myself that were painted many years ago, will get around to repainting them one of these days.

I especially love that Hydra :)
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Re: [PLOG] Apocalypse Drow!

Post by direweasel »

Yeah, I usually get double takes when I pop him on a table against somebody for the first time. :)

Thanks for the comments guys. Hope to get more pics up next week. And Darkblade is almost done too. :)
Chinese Relativity Axiom: No matter how glorious your triumphs, nor how miserable your failures, there will always be at least one billion people in China who don't give a damn.

Apocalypse Drow! Plog: http://druchii.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=75360
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Re: [PLOG] Apocalypse Drow!

Post by Khazmando »

Nice collection. I love the old metal models. The plastics are far easier for conversions, but the metals are pure art.
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Re: [PLOG] Apocalypse Drow!

Post by direweasel »

Khazmando wrote:Nice collection. I love the old metal models. The plastics are far easier for conversions, but the metals are pure art.


It can still be done. The "batmobile" is all metal. And the corsair standard bearer I'm going to take a pic of soonish is all metal too. I took an old Manowar piece and put it on top of a standard pole. It was painted once, poorly, and has been stripped down with pine-sol and is awaiting a new look.
Chinese Relativity Axiom: No matter how glorious your triumphs, nor how miserable your failures, there will always be at least one billion people in China who don't give a damn.

Apocalypse Drow! Plog: http://druchii.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=75360
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Re: [PLOG] Apocalypse Drow!

Post by r1d3 »

Its good to see these models.
When I started with warhammer in the mid 90ìes I was a teenager and thougt every model would be available, I just had to find the right shop or wait till the model gets released from GW. Once one owner gave me the list and said thats everything there is... Before that I would always got to shops of which someone said, they have GW models.
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Re: [PLOG] Apocalypse Drow!

Post by direweasel »

I have NOT forgotten about this Plog! Most of my free time this last few weeks has been spent on the Avatars contest, and then next week is Gen-Con so I have prep work to do for that. After that, I intend to spend some time getting pictures back on here. Stay tuned! :)
Chinese Relativity Axiom: No matter how glorious your triumphs, nor how miserable your failures, there will always be at least one billion people in China who don't give a damn.

Apocalypse Drow! Plog: http://druchii.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=75360
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Re: [PLOG] Apocalypse Drow!

Post by direweasel »

OK, it's finally time for some long-promised updates to this Plog. I told you I hadn't forgotten. :)

My next presentation is my assassin model. This was before I learned how to do skin tones right, so his flesh if very flat looking. It's also before I learned how to do black right, so his cloak is also very flat looking. I'll want to re-paint him eventually, because I know I can do better. But it won't be any time soon.

Also, I don't field assassins very often. This guy sees a Blood Bowl field more often than a Warhammer battle. :)

Image
Chinese Relativity Axiom: No matter how glorious your triumphs, nor how miserable your failures, there will always be at least one billion people in China who don't give a damn.

Apocalypse Drow! Plog: http://druchii.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=75360
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Re: [PLOG] Apocalypse Drow!

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My next item for show and tell is not a dark elf, nor is it a warhammer mini.

So why am I putting it here? Great question. The answer is that she makes a PERFECT medusa. I only thought of it last week when I was putting together my "Show us your horde!" picture for this website.

It's a mini from Reaper's Pathfinder line, and that's what I originally purchased her for. She's a "Lamia Matriarch" from the "Rise of the Runelords" Adventure Path. Ask one of my friends about her - she turned his character to stone, and then threw him over the edge of a tower, where his "statue" crumbled into a pile of rubble. :)

But that's another story entirely. Anyway, I need to put a proper Warhammer base under her, and I am going to work on that in the coming days. I think I'm going to take one of my little "familiar" models and try to paint it up like a stone statue for her base. Should be cool.

The best part of using her for a Medusa? Check out this link and see for yourself:

http://www.miniaturemarket.com/catalog/ ... /rpr60010/

Anyway, here she is.

Image

To be totally honest, I think I like this fig better than the GW one. And at this price, it's truly no contest AT ALL. I haven't fielded her as a Medusa yet (as you can see, with no base, she's not really legal yet), but I am looking forward to doing so. I highly recommend her to anybody who doesn't play in a location that is anal about GW-only stuff.
Chinese Relativity Axiom: No matter how glorious your triumphs, nor how miserable your failures, there will always be at least one billion people in China who don't give a damn.

Apocalypse Drow! Plog: http://druchii.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=75360
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Re: [PLOG] Apocalypse Drow!

Post by direweasel »

This next one is in SERIOUS need of a repaint. I don't know what is up with that skin - I know it didn't look like this when I painted it. However, this is a nice mini that I do like. Trouble is, she no longer has an actual USE in our army anymore. You can't field Beastmasters on foot, and our beasties don't need handler minis any more either. I could put her on the base with that monster resin hydra, but it's certainly not a requirement.

I know Lion of Flanders was commenting recently that these are hard to come by. I KNOW he would do the mini more justice than I ever would if I repainted her a hundred times.

At any rate, here she is:

Image

All I can say is, when I repaint her, it will be nice to see this as a "before" picture so I can show that I have improved a lot as a painter, even if I still have plenty to learn. Because in her current form, I'm not terribly proud.
Chinese Relativity Axiom: No matter how glorious your triumphs, nor how miserable your failures, there will always be at least one billion people in China who don't give a damn.

Apocalypse Drow! Plog: http://druchii.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=75360
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Re: [PLOG] Apocalypse Drow!

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Last one for tonight - this is a work in progress, although it's nearing completion.

This is going to be my a champion for one of my Dark Rider units. It's one of the "original" Dark Riders, a Nazgul!! I'm way more scared of this guy than our usual fast cavalry. And he comes with the right base too. :)

It does feel wrong to ever field him with a crossbow though - I can't really imagine him shooting one. At any rate, here he is so far. I'll post more pics when he's finished.

I've finally learned the "proper" way to do black. His base is a dark grey, Reapers "Stormy Grey" to be exact. Then I've run several layers of GW Black Wash over him. This is way better than just doing black, because you don't lose all the neat shadows and detail in the flowing rags of the cloak. Then just put the dark grey back on the edges and the overall effect is still dark enough that your eye thinks it's black, but you still see the depth.

Pretty happy with this guy so far. I think he looks suitably menacing for his role. Tell me what you think!

Image
Chinese Relativity Axiom: No matter how glorious your triumphs, nor how miserable your failures, there will always be at least one billion people in China who don't give a damn.

Apocalypse Drow! Plog: http://druchii.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=75360
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Re: [PLOG] Apocalypse Drow!

Post by direweasel »

Time for some updates - more coming too. I am motivated to try to get a lot of stuff on here. We'll see how quickly that happens.

Tonight we begin with another chariot - not nearly as much personality as the "Batmobile", and in need of some repair. It's been in storage for years and apparently did not weather that well:

Image

As you can probably tell, this is back before I really understood the concept of highlights and shadows, except for the wheels. I did put brown ink on the wheels to bring out the wood grain.

But that metal and those cold ones look so flat to me now. And I was pretty proud of this thing when I did it. Anyway, I have a brand new one just like it still in the box. I'll assemble and paint that sometime, and have a "before and after" thing going with this, and we can see if I have learned anything since then. :)
Chinese Relativity Axiom: No matter how glorious your triumphs, nor how miserable your failures, there will always be at least one billion people in China who don't give a damn.

Apocalypse Drow! Plog: http://druchii.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=75360
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Re: [PLOG] Apocalypse Drow!

Post by direweasel »

Next item is a Bretonnian Sorceress on a Steed. She originally had some happy looking Eagle thing on top of her staff, and I cut that off and glued a skull on there. Some black paint and a dark horse and hey, she was a Dark Elf, as far as I was concerned. :)

Image

Image

As you can see, the skull has since fallen off. I'll give her a new one sometime soonish. I might use a beastman skull like I did on the base of the Malus Darkblade I have in the first post of the PLOG. I only have a limited number of those, though, so I have to be judicious in their application.

And again, no depth to the model at all. That was also back when I thought putting some GW Flesh Wash on their face and in their eye recesses was good enough, and I didn't really need to bother painting eyes at all. I was happy with her at the time... so much work to do.

The good news is that I definitely DO still think that in the hands of a painter that knows what they are doing, this model could work as a decent dark elf sorceress. Easy and yet useful conversion.
Chinese Relativity Axiom: No matter how glorious your triumphs, nor how miserable your failures, there will always be at least one billion people in China who don't give a damn.

Apocalypse Drow! Plog: http://druchii.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=75360
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Re: [PLOG] Apocalypse Drow!

Post by direweasel »

A couple more before and after projects here - this time with sorceresses on foot.

Image

The two on the left are the ones I currently use while I'm working on the other 4. Not my best work, but passable for now. The next two are your standard sorceress on foot from a few editions ago; the first a work in progress to replace the second. The last two are actually a vampire mini that I think works just fine as a dark elf too, with before/after in progress shots. Hopefully someday soon I'll have those two in progress ones finished, and I'll be happy to have them up here. :)
Chinese Relativity Axiom: No matter how glorious your triumphs, nor how miserable your failures, there will always be at least one billion people in China who don't give a damn.

Apocalypse Drow! Plog: http://druchii.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=75360
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Re: [PLOG] Apocalypse Drow!

Post by direweasel »

Last one I'll put up tonight. This is actually a Reaper mini, and my attempt at doing the "Drow" skin look. I'm going to put her on a proper Warhammer-sized base sometime and field her with my Army as a Darkshard Champion or hero. I'm pretty happy with the skin, but I do think I should maybe do another highlight layer or two. Not quite enough contrast yet. Anyway, tell me what you think.

Unfortunately, not the best picture yet for now either. I'll get a new pic next time. It looked OK in my camera's viewscreen.

Image
Chinese Relativity Axiom: No matter how glorious your triumphs, nor how miserable your failures, there will always be at least one billion people in China who don't give a damn.

Apocalypse Drow! Plog: http://druchii.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=75360
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Re: [PLOG] Apocalypse Drow!

Post by Amboadine »

Thanks for sharing the update. Rattled through a few more models since my last visit.
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Re: [PLOG] Apocalypse Drow!

Post by Trilobite »

Love your writing! I really like some of the old models a lot, exp. the old chariot, although the Cold Ones are really loking more sad than menacing.
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