Today I arrived at my uncle’s in Canberra for Christmas. I will be staying in his basement for the following days which also acts as a gaming room. Exploring some of the cupboards allowed me to unearth some interesting games and figurines my uncle had collected. Amongst these were a series of collections of Warhammer; shown below. I found them particularly cool. Apparently, you can use armies you’ve collected to play in battles however the process of building and painting each figure was what captivated me the most. Further research informed me that, although mildly expensive, there was a shop nearby having a Christmas sale. I went and purchased a small unit. I was fortunate enough that my uncle is willing to lend me his supplies so I only need to pay for the unit itself and none of the additional expenses like glue, paint or brushes.
Since choir has ended for the year I wanted to find a new CAS initiative that I could partially commit to over the holidays to ensure I was meeting the creative requirements of CAS. I believe this will be a successful CAS initiative as it satisfies learning outcomes 1 and 2. In an attempt to improve my basic painting skills, due to the meticulous attention to detail that is required, I will have demonstrated my interest in undertaking a new skill in addition to developing areas of weakness. Furthermore, I can ensure involvement will be regular as the task of developing a full unit needs to be spaced out across several time intervals due to the time taken for each coat of paint or glue to dry.
With little to do on Boxing Day, I decided to open and start the initial stages of construction. This mainly consisted of cutting out the individual pieces and gluing them together. Unsure as to how much was an appropriate amount of glue I separated my 10 characters into two groups. The first was a sample group that I would apply what I thought to be a sufficient amount of glue and the second a control group that I could redo if the glue used on the first group was unsuccessful. Thankfully, I applied the right amount of glue, enough so that the figurines would mold but not have any runoff glue that distorted the shape of the model. After this, I used Chaos White - a spraypaint for miniatures - to coat the figurines in a white underpaint that would allow me to paint over the top. This is a necessary step as, otherwise, the paint doesn't stick to the plastic figure.
Today was the first attempt I made at painting my figurines. I watched several online videos by Games Workshop that instruct people new to painting miniatures how to best maximize their chances for success. This included having the right room temperature conditions, using the correct brushes based on the desired effect. Below are the results.
Having completed the unit I am happy to say my first effort at completing the unit went successfully. There were several finer details that I hope to eradicate with future efforts. Notably, testing the durability of the spears resulted in one of the spearmen becoming warped and the spear bending sideways. However, beyond this, I am hoping to develop better layering and washing techniques to make the colors seem more realistic. For example, the hilt of the spears all being one color, in my opinion, gives a bland or fake feeling. I aim to find a way to create a darker and more mixed silver so that while parts were shiny they could be contrasted with more metallic and rusty parts. This is the same for the armor. If I buy the same, or similar, unit. This will be my main goal of improvement before the holidays conclude.
In the past week, I was able to purchase and redo another similar unit of high elves. This time I paid particular attention to improving the quality of metallic work on the elves. This unit was similar in that they were footsoldiers covered in armor, this time they had axes instead of spears. This meant I was able to focus on developing the same skill but with a slight variation that meant the task wasn't repetitive. I attended a painting session at the store. These are sessions where you come with your miniatures ready to be painted and the staff walk around and give individual feedback as to how you can improve your painting. After discussing my problems with the store staff I received helpful advice. They said that using wash paints will help create a contrasting effect on weapons and using a technique called highlights will help exaggerate details on the armor. Wash paints apparently coat the paint in almost a liquid that is concentrated in some parts and less so in others. This means that some parts of the paint become darker than others to create a contrast in shades of color or hue. Highlights are different. It is a technique that is more difficult but helps make the model's features more noticeable. It means using a lighter or darker shade of paint around the edges of details to create color contrasts that create boundaries and highlight the shape of a particular feature. While this was hard and took work it had an overall positive effect on my painting. The overall unit, the final model particularly, as shown below all looked significantly better. The final model especially looked better. I was happy that the individual armor plates could be more easily seen as I applied a dark wash that soaked into the crevices between each plate thus separating each silver square and making them more distinct. Furthermore, the effect highlights and washes had on the edge of the axe blade was impressive. This allowed me to create a rust-like effect and accentuate the blade's edge.
Warhammer is a time consuming and expensive hobby. It is unlikely I will continue to engage in this CAS activity during the term. However, during term breaks when I have additional time and have had the opportunity to accumulate savings I am eager to continue to develop new techniques and skills to better paint miniatures.