dinsdag 18 januari 2011

A league of their own.

Last year one of my clubmembers said he was going to enter an online painting competition called "Lead Painters' League".
Now I had never heard of the thing so after some online searching I learned it was quite an extraordinary event. Most of you may know it already and some of you won't but I'll explain it none the less..
The concept is to paint miniature "teams" over the period of 10 weeks, a new entry every week!
With teams being 5 figs at minimum that still totals at least at 50 miniatures (there are times I don't even paint that much in 6 months!)
Some challenge!

Now it doesn't end there, every week your team is matched up against another painters' team and then voted on by Lead Adventurers. Points given depend on the amount of votes and either a win, loss or the occasional draw. You get additional points for entering a new, previously unpublished entry and another way to earn some points are the bonus rounds.
These themed rounds allow you to enter teams in that specific setting and thus granting more bonus points!

At first I wasn't planning on entering at all! Painting that many figs in so little time, and to the best of your abilities to stand any chance in match-ups?! No way...
But then my paintbrushed started calling my name, and when I heard 2 TSA clubmembers and master bloggers (Societa's Tomsche & Creepy Andy) were entering I just couldn't refuse.
Without much thought or planning I entered "the League". Luckily our annual games convention "Crisis" hadn't been that long ago so I had bought a multitude of miniatures that could have their use in this league.

First round started as a bonus round themed "Conan the Barbarian", be it barbarians or peoples of Conan's world.
Now despite my considerable number of figs, nothing that really resembled barbarians or the likes...I would have to miss my first chance on bonus points! I nearly had another team ready when I vaguely remembered some Dungeons & Dragons minis I had bought ages ago! And hey, suddenly I had myself a team of Serpent peoples that had to be repainted faster than Superman can fly! And that would be round 1 of the infamous Lead Painters' League...all 10 entries can be seen below with their round number, win or loss status and miniatures used.

round 1 - win


Dungeons & Dragons miniatures

My very first and very last minute Serpent peoples enrty, good enough for some bonus points!

round 2 - win
Black Cat Bases/Grey Aliens
I added the sheep in the end while taking pics, this one was good for a few laughs!

Round 3 - win

Black Scorpion/Fantasy Pirates
Undead pirates
Black Scorpion/Pirates
Pirate girls
I just love these pirate figs! They will be part of my future Mordheim Pirate warband!

Round 4 - loss

Privateer Press/Warmachine
Menoth Choir
I collected Warmachine before, but sold it off. Bought these especially for the league and I think it wont be the last we see of this new Menoth army.

round 5 - win

Artizan designs/KissKissBangBang & thrilling tales

guards & Lily

Mantic games

Undead Ghouls

Aaah yes, zombies...who doesn't want at least a few zombie figs in their collection?! I do!!! Actually I ordered Wargames factory ones but that order didn't work out...so I was left with no zombies a week before round 5! (Again the bonus round proved a difficult task) I asked the store-manager for some alternative zombies and he kindly suggested these Mantics! Lil' bit of converting and zombie-esque paint job and these were good to go!!!

Round 6 - win
converted Orks vehicles
This round I had a new problem, photography! This can prove really difficult throughout the league and no matter how good you paint, one of the main things is to get those fancy painted miniatures decently photographed! My girlfriend took my super-duper-DLSR camera along on a trip and I was left with the small handheld thingie...so I collected all my biggest Ork vehicles 'cause there was no way I was gonna be able to take pics of itty-bitty figures.
Sadly that meant no new entry as my Orks were painted and published many times before.

Round 7 - win
Warlord games, German WWII Fallschirmjäger

Some figs I bought to get me started into WWII gaming, some of the more difficult figs I've painted I must say. Tried to copy the Jägers' camouflage costumes but it's very hard to see.

Round 8 - loss

converted Hot Wheels cars

I made these cars to be used in a board/tabletop game called "Wreckage"
A funny little card-based game with Mad Max like vehicles! Easy and sometimes highly entertaining!

Round 9 - win
Artizan designs/thrilling tales:
Sky Pirates & captain Villain

I had seen these before but it wasn't until we started playing PULP that I got these! They are really lovely miniatures and can be used in diffrent settings!

Round 10 - win
Victorian Science Fiction bonus round!
Arizan Miniatures/thrilling tales:
Sturm Battalion Zorn
scratchbuilt VSF walker and tank

My very first steps into VSF and I must say I love it! VSF shows so many possibilities for use of miniatures, tanks and conversions. Will definitly look into making some more VSF-stuff!

After a lot of hard last minute work, difficult photography and fiddling with scenery the daunting task of holding out for 10 rounds was over! I collected my share of vote- and bonus points and with some luck not meeting too much painter "big guns" managed to only lose two of my match-ups ending in a very respectable and though totally unexpected 5th place!!! It was great fun and there is a lot of cameraderie among contestants.

The main thing about the Lead Painters' League though is that it gives you the pressure to paint a lot of figs in a relatively short time, something you wouldn't possibly do at any other time, and it's very fun and exciting! I learned a lot through my 10 weeks and entering gave me a lot of new ideas, both from myself and other entrants. If I can I would definitly compete again...

On to the next League!

zondag 9 januari 2011

Mechanical Mayhem!

Something that had been on my to-do list for a long time was a looted Carnifex conversion for Orks!
Andy from the infamous "Creepy Corridor" blog kindly donated me a 'Fex from his Tyranid army, it was time to get started! (I will kindly return the favour, some way - some day)
First it had to be hacked apart, as it was already assembled...thus not handy to convert.
That done, the carapace had armour plates grafted on and one of the legs got a bionik treatment. The blades on the jaw were an initial idea but later on replaced with something better, this just didn't look right!
(Look at pics below every explanation)
I started to replace one of the spore chimneys for a belching exhausts, added a cog and bladed tailmace and started on the second leg. The first leg is only partially bionik while the second will be entirely mechanical. As you can see the jawblades made way for a better-looking iron gob!
At this stage, with both of its legs fitted, most difficult job was to get the pose right...too far down and I would have had problems fitting the arms in, too far back and it would look like it was gonna fall over. Some bits added to the base really helped here. Another chimney was replaced with an exhaust.

With most of the body work done it was time to tackle the arms, again as with the legs, one claw arm was bionically enhanced and the other entirely mechanical. The focal point on this being the huge powerclaw to give the fex that all-destructive close combat feel. Some of the ribs were replaced with steel pipes and bolts, addition of a bionic eyepiece and parts were riveted up. It already looked like it could crush everything and everyone!

A little bit of a jump forward, here it sits with a big new $@*?%- gun grafted to its second right arm. More exhausts were added, the positioning still giving it the Carnifex feel but transforming it more to a machine-beast. Painting well underway, I chose fleshy tones for the Fex to contrast with the metals and wiring.

Finished! The last gun-arm in place, everything painted up in scruffy metals and fleshy bits, and last but not least, a controle device receiver on top of its head. This will eventually be accompanied with a separate Mek model holding a controller.

At some points it was hard to se were this was going or what I should do next, but in the end it turned out great! This is easily one of the favourite models in my whole Ork army and will be used as an Ork Dreadnought.