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26
Feb

Crusader Keep

Before and After

It is clear where the stain stops. That’s just the bare foam on the right side.

 

I received a classic Hudson and Allen Tower Keep not long ago and as I am attempting to only store new finished terrain decided to paint it right away.  I have one I painted years ago in dark greys so wanted to do something different with this one, maybe go lighter.  Necron99 was looking at it and noted that with the warm brown color the foam had turned over the years it really only needed a stain and highlight.  Since the color would make nice base for ivory or tan I decided to test his theory.

 

First stage done

First stage done

 

After washing the piece, I began with an even coat of Agrax Earthshade directly on the foam, over the entire surface.  Next I drybrushed with a tan going fairly thick since it was the base coat.

 

Tan drybrush complete.

Tan drybrush complete.

 

Stage three was a lighter drybrush of ivory.  The various textures sculpted into different stones really changes the tone of the color.

 

Three-Ivory drybrush

The details begin to “pop” with a layer of ivory.

 

I went with a dusting of white as the final highlight to really get the most out of the wonderful textures and details sculpted into the surface.

 

A dusting of white before taking on the details.

A dusting of white before taking on the details.

 

I painted the non stone details before using Secret Weapon Washes to weather the tower.

 

Now that looks like old stone.

Now that looks like old stone.

 

Well, there you go, Necron99 called it right.  Pretty quick work, all in all.  Might have to add this to the Frostgrave terrain box.

 

Better get some archers up here quick.

Better get some archers up here quick.

11
Feb

The Abyss opens in my studio

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With the funding of their second edition of Kings of War Mantic Games was able to create two new armies, the Forces of Nature and the Forces of the Abyss.  The concept drawings of the demons, imps, and fiends that would inhabit the Abyss caught my attention from the first time I saw them.  I had waited patiently for the miniatures to arrive though with so many new troop types and sculpts it wasn’t easy.  My order included units of Succubi, Lower Abyssals, Molochs, Gargoyles, an Efreet, a champion, and a huge resin Archfiend.

Besides the monstrous infantry Molochs, the Effrit and Abyssal Champion figures are cast in metal.  The sculpts are very nice with lots of movement and options and the metal they are cast in isn’t as brittle as that which the spears from my set of Bulwarkers.  That is important when there are so many delicate pieces.  I’m looking forward to painting these guys and know I’ll need to order a couple more so I can build both variations.  Other than a cursory inspection of the Molochs I haven’t started my monstrous infantry so haven’t formed an opinion beyond,”Nice sculpts, clean castings” and, again, I’m going to want more of these guys.

 

Effrit and Abyssal Champion. Due to the volume of the flames I decided to paint the base separately.

Efreet and Abyssal Champion. Due to the volume of the flames I decided to paint the Efreet’s base separately. The bases? Secret Weapon Miniatures, of course.

 

What I was most interested in were the plastic sprues because I have really liked what Mantic Games has been doing with their plastic miniatures and the concept art for the new pieces was wonderful.  When I went over them in detail I wasn’t disappointed. Each sprue holds enough parts for five soldiers, details are sharp, there’s parts for alternate models, and every sprue comes with two Imps (for a total of four different sculpts).  That means every regiment of Lower Abyssals and Succubi comes with enough to make a unit of Imps.  That they are fun sculpts is a bonus.

The Succubi have two weapons each that can be matched or mixed up, as I am doing with the first unit I’m assembling.  While there isn’t an alternative unit there are extra heads.  I will say that some of the parts are delicate and a little fiddly to work with but worth the effort as these ladies look deadly.  Here’s the sprue before I started work.

 

Front Side of the Succubi sprue

Front Side of the Succubi sprue

Back side of the Succubi sprue

Back side of the Succubi sprue

 

The Lower Abyssals, on the other hand can be assembled as three different units; weapon and shield, great weapon, or fire throwing Flame Bearers and they also come with extra heads.

 

Lower Abyssal Sprue one side

Lower Abyssal Sprue one side

Lower Abyssal sprue other side.

Lower Abyssal sprue other side.

 

I have to say I’m really pleased with these.  I’ve already commented on the clarity of detail but the poses have movement, the faces have charm mixed with malice, while the Imps are so much fun I’m really looking forward to getting to work on them. I’ve already started on the Efreet, Abyssal Champion, and the Archfiend.

Oh yeah, the resin Archfiend.  This thing is HUGE and I love his face (those teeth!).  The pose is fun and this monstrous hero can be assembled with or without wings but really… wings are so cool.  Did  I mention the flaming hands?  This guy is awesome and really deserves a Secret Weapon Lava Fields Base ordered special.

Mantic Games' new resin Greater Abyssal Fiend.

Mantic Games’ new resin Greater Abyssal Fiend.

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He’s going to tower over the forces on the battlefield… when he’s not torching them.

 

In short, the new Abyssal army is full of fun, unique new miniatures that are a great deal for one’s gaming cash. Mantic Games has really come a long way in a very short time and I’m excited to see where they go next. There are Forge Father tanks in my near future after all. Despite this excitement to begin painting these minis I must confess to some growing trepidation as all the flames in their hands are really going to call for some serious amounts of object source lighting (OSL) and that is not one of my strengths.  Only future posts will tell if I am successful.

 

There are going to be a lot of options with these models.

They’re going to be slicing up enemy soldiersin droves.  I love the beckoning one.