Completed – Blood Bowl Underworld Team

Ok, so this is a massive cheat! I recently completed my Goblin team but for a long time have had an urge to play Underworld a bit more. I nearly played them in my league last year and nearly took them to the NAFC. My Goblin team is mainly made up of GW 2nd Edition models and I’ve been collecting Skaven from the same period so the logical thing to do was to paint up the 6 Skaven that are needed to create an Underworld team. So I finished stripping these models and have painted them in the same colour scheme as my Goblins. I may well end up painting the rest of the 2nd Edition Skaven that I have in the same scheme further down the line.

Blitzers

Throwers

Linerats

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Completed – Blood Bowl Chaos Dwarf Team

I posted details of two very recently completed teams yesterday and when I was scrolling back through the list of completed teams I realised that I hadn’t shared any details of my Chaos Dwarf team. So here I go…

I’ve always admired Chaos Dwarves, and by “admired” I mean hated facing them. I picked up the Black Rock Dwarves from Impact! a while ago and painted them earlier in the year. I can’t remember when exactly but it was around the time that I was painting a few Warhammer High Elves and I do remember posting a few pictures on Twitter. I digress. The Dwarf blockers themselves are probably the nicest of the all the miniatures that I’ve had from Impact!. Unlike almost all of the others they actually have three dimensions and some clear detail and definition of area. Most of the Trollcast figures are very flat and one-dimensional, the hobgoblins that come in this set being a prime example of that.

I took inspiration from – or copied – the fantastic teams done by James Wappel. I love his style and the customisations that he does. I can’t possibly hope to get to his standard, but I like to bold and bright style of his Blood Bowl teams. I’m a fan of the crazy, cartoonish Blood Bowl world rather than dark, gritty and realistic.

I can’t remember the exact technique that I used but I think adding white to the base coat colour was the basic technique for the highlighting. I want to add a minotaur to the team but I am not a fan of the one that I got with the team. I like the idea of the old Zy-Nox model with this lot. That would meaning getting hold of another one though since he’s already earmarked for my future Chaos Pact All-Stars team.

I really like this team and I think it is this team that helped cement my painting style and technique and what I want my Blood Bowl teams to look like.

Chaos-Dwarf-Team

Blood Bowl : Current Team Painting and Modelling Projects

I was sorting through the Cave the other day doing a general tidy and reorganising some stuff when about half way through the process I decided that putting all of the outstanding Blood Bowl team projects in one place would be very useful. Makes sense right? Get all of the models, conversion bits and sprues needed for each project and put them in marked tubs or boxes. Makes perfect sense, especially to someone who loves organising as much as I do (it’s the thought and act of initially organising that I like, I’m not so good at keeping things organised).

The "Shelf"

The “Shelf”

So after all of that here’s what I have on my plate! That’s EXCLUDING the Chaos Dwarves that I am currently painting (more on them later) my Chaos Pact and the three, yes three, teams that should soon be with me from the Impact! Miniatures Kickstarter; for what it’s worth I got Khemri, Wood Elf and I don’t remember what other team (it’s been so long).

The High Elf and Nurgle teams are going to be my attempt to create teams by converting Warhammer Fantasy plastic miniatures. I’ve never done this sort of thing before so am expecting mixed results. I think the Nurgle team will end up looking the best. Although they are both team that I want to play on the tabletop, they are low down my lost of hobby priorities. This is mainly because I currently equate progress to painting and these won’t be ready for paint for a long while. A change of mindset is needed here.

Partially built High Elves

Partially built High Elves

In Progress Nurgle conversions

In Progress Nurgle conversions

The Goblins and Skaven are out of my love of 2nd edition miniatures. I had a few goblins and a few skaven but not enough to make full teams and had already purchased an Underworld team. I’ve added to the goblins with some 3rd edition models, which I am fine with as their variation looks good in contrast to the pretty boring 2nd edition poses. I still need to get some more skaven (and already have a painted 3rd ed team anyway). I’m thinking that I’ll use the same paint scheme for both teams so that I can combine them to another Underworld team should the mood take me in the future.

Goblins :)

Goblins 🙂

2nd Edition Humans have recently been stripped and will be my next painting project. I only did them a while ago but my painting have improved quite a bit since I finished them and I wanted to redo them as I will probably take them to the NAF Championships (NAFC) in May.

Humans. Next on the list.

Humans. Next on the list.

The Meiko skaven and Underworld only arrived in the post a few weeks ago so they’ll stay there for now. I was originally going to take Underworld to the NAFC but think the Humans will be more forgiving.

Dwarves are dwarves. I’ve got no real desire to play them (I will have to one day) but I do think that they will make an interesting painting project. There are a lot of them and there are a lot of different models in the collection.

Primed Dwarves

Primed Dwarves

Then there are the Undead and Necromantic teams to paint (oh and 2nd Ed Orcs). They are pretty much ready to go, except for a few pieces that I need to stick to a base and prime. Not sure when I’ll get round to these. I’ve not played with either of these teams and at the moment they don’t have any desire to play them. I don’t know why though.

Undead/Necro...and some Orcs

Undead/Necro…and some Orcs

So as you can see, I have got more than enough to be getting on with. Probably two or three years worth of painting project based on the last couple of years. I don’t need to buy anything for a couple of years either. Not full teams anyway. There are still a few Star Players and a couple of odds that I would like 😉

You may have noticed from the title of this post that it was about the teams that I have to work on. There’s a whole load of other things that I would like to work on…but that’s for another post 🙂

Completed Blood Bowl Norse / Amazon Team

I got the Valkyrie team from Impact! Miniatures several months ago now, when the cave was finished and I was braving the world on non-GW miniatures for the first time. They arrived and I took a look and wasn’t impressed and got stuck into other projects, and as with most hobby deliveries they stayed in their original packaging and sat on the shelf.

Fast forward to the summer and I assembled and primed several team, including the Valkyries, in readiness for the winter when I can prime less and paint more. Skip forward again to just a few weeks ago when, having not had a real painting project for a while, other than trying to improve, I surveyed what was ready to go and picked them up of the shelf; being able to play the team as Amazons and Norse was a factor in them being selected but I also though that they would take the blue and white colour scheme that I had been using on the Warhammer High Elves.

I applied the same lessons that I had learnt in painting the elves both in terms of how I built up the colours and the technique used, to the overall process of working on a few models at a time, the brushes used and way that I held the miniatures while working on them.

The more that I worked with the models, the more that I came to like them. The detailing is very poor compared to the GW plastics that I have been working with a lot recently, but they do come together well and at £22 for a whole team you can’t complain. I made the decision not to go into some of the very fine detail that I would attempt on better models. My skill level isn’t at the level yet where I could attempt that on these miniatures and get decent results.

I am really pleased with how they turned out. REALLY pleased. I think that they are my best looking team and I can’t wait to get them out on the pitch. I like that I can see a definite improvement in the quality of my work and yet I’m sitting here looking forward to bettering it on the next team 🙂

(I will do some better photos)

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Painting-by-numbers

A few weeks ago, I decided to make a real effort to get better at painting my miniatures. I posted about how I’d found a painting tutorial series that I liked and how I was copying the technique step-by-step on my Warhammer Fantasy High Elves. I really enjoyed the process, didn’t find it time consuming or technical and above all was really pleased with the results.

Well I’ve not painted anything for a while for a variety of reasons but a couple of days ago I knuckled down and put paint to brush again as I started work on my Impact! Miniatures Valkyrie Blood Bowl team. The valkyries are a team of female fantasy football players that can be used as either Norse or Amazon on the pitch. I need to paint about 18 miniatures in total to be able to get both teams ready for the pitch.

Blue and white are traditional Norse team colours and with a few embellishments would work well as a well dressed Amazon team. A quick image search online confirmed that these miniatures had been done in these colours by many others and they looked good, so I picked a few images to use as a guide. The other benefit of this scheme is that I could use the same step-by-step process that I’d learnt and used on for my High Elves.

I’ve spent a few hours applying the base coat to 4 of the players and 1 of the model that I will use as my snow troll / yeti. The first thing that I have noticed is how well I think they are turning out! I had always thought that my painting was limited by my eyesight, by brush control and patience; physical/mental limitations. It turns out though that a large part of my poor painting is colour selection and knowing how to build up from base coat to the final colour.

Using the same tutorial on an inferior model is still giving me good results. I can paint to a pretty good level, I just don’t know how to paint. Now this may seem obvious to most, especially now I have pointed it out, but it is a little bit of a revelation to me. I can paint. It’s odd because I’d always though that the more I painted the better I would get. This is partially true and looking back at the teams that I have done recently I can see progress, but the end results are generally the same. The High Elves are a significant step above anything that I have done before. Too great a step up to be associated with brush control. The improvement comes from the use of colour, when to apply washes, building up the highlight layers, picking details out carefully.

I think this represents a break through in the quality of my painting output. If I put in more effort upfront to determine my colours and find tutorials that I like (preferably the GirlPainter ones as I like the style) I can follow those instructions line-by-line knowing that I will get good results.

It means that I will never have the most unusual teams but they will all be painted to a higher standard than I would have thought possible a few weeks ago and that makes me happy 🙂

 

WIP on the Valkyries WIP on the first valkyrie

 

Trying to get better at painting

I recently finished painting a 2nd Edition Blood Bowl Dark Elf team. I’m not even sure how I got started painting them. I had no intention of painting them, it just happened. I based and primed a number of figures ready for the winter and the next thing I know I am slapping paint on a team and they were done. The result isn’t terrible but it’s not great and as I finished them I cam to the conclusion that I need to make more of an effort to improve my painting.

Since getting back into the hobby I have slightly improved my painting results but this has mainly come as a result of painting more things rather than anything I’ve tried to do. The more you do something, The better you get at it.

Blood Bowl teams are only very limited in terms of the number of miniatures so we’re not talking huge armies to get ready between games or tournaments. I should have enough time to dedicate to each model to do a better job. There is no need to rush, although my natural impatience generally makes me to just that.

I think that the best way to make a change of this nature is to do it wholesale. Sometimes making small changes, tweaks, to your technique or environment are needed. But in this case I need to fundamentally change my approach and break the old habits and mentality. For me this would mean changing the models that I paint, the way I paint and the environment that I paint in.

I ordered a small painting station and rearranged some of the hobby bits in the cave. I decided to practice on models that are different from my usual metal Blood Bowl figures. I watched some of the many online painting tutorials. I looked at how I was holding the model and how many models I painted at once.

My normal – old – technique was more of a production line. I’d paint the base coat of one colour on all models, then the next colour and then next all the way through to the final details. It always felt nice as lots of models had paint on and they were all finished at the same time. But, I got bored, I wanted to get things finished and probably, truth be told, ended up cutting one too many corners. So 1 model at a time for me now from start to finish (as I did more I ended up with running 2/3 at the same time).

I’d been looking at the primed Warhammer Fantasy High Elves on the shelf for many months now and decided that they would be perfect for practising with. The models are plastic and very well defined. There were also plenty of guides and tutorials for me to consume.

I found some brilliant tutorials from GirlPainter and I followed these to the letter. I converted the paint colours to the new Citadel system but followed the process as described. I watched the video a few times and wrote down the steps, colours and mixes so that I could repeat them.

I picked up a Swordmaster and started painting. I mounted the model on a paint pot to change the way that I could hold and rotate the miniature. I cleaned my brushes and I was away.

Straight away I noticed the difference in the quality of the miniature. It felt like a really nice mini to paint. The different sections were well defined and by following a tutorial I wasn’t afraid of how and where to put colour. By painting different colours it naturally meant that I was dipping my brush in the water more. I was also using an old plate as a palette which helped to keep the paint at the correct consistency and the brush not loaded with pigment. This in turn lead to the quality of the brushstrokes being better. It was all working together to be a better overall paint job.

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It all came together pretty quickly and the finish is probably – no, without doubt – the best that I have ever done. All of this at the first attempt. I’ve since started to repeat the process with more miniatures, each time trying to get better and better. Making the details that bit better each time. Trying to blend better each time. There’s still a lot to learn and a long way to go but I’m really enjoying the process and am so enthused that I want to paint up the whole High Elf army over the next few years.

I’ve got some more Blood Bowl teams being delivered at the end of the year and I’m looking forward to trying out my new skills on those over the coming months.

Getting better at painting is possible. Don’t be afraid. Give it a go.

I’d love to hear any painting advice, techniques or resource that you may have to share.

 

Quick hobby update

I’ve just looked at when I last posted here and it wasn’t that long ago although for some reason it feels like it has been months. I’ve got a few things that I want to share shortly but thought that for now I’d briefly update on the progress that I’ve made.

Since I last posted I have primed nearly 70 Blood Bowl miniatures ready for some winter painting. There’s an undead team as well as dark elves, chaos dwarves and norse. They join the dwarves on the shelves ready for some painting. I put dark elves in that list but I have since painted them! I’ll do a separate post with some pictures but they were done very quickly using some classic Blood Bowl colours. I don’t have a plan for playing them in the near future so they have gone back on the shelf but this time with paint on.

Talking of my shelves (interesting I know), I needed to buy some more of the little plastic display cases that I have been using but saw that they’ve massively increased in price. So much so that I started to look elsewhere and found a really cheap glass display case from Ikea. I picked it up last weekend but haven’t put it together yet. It’s going to mean a little rearrange of the cave again (which I love anyway).

I’ve not been paying any FUMBBL but quite fancy playing a game or two again. I’ve been spectating again which is a good start. Gaming and tabletop-wise I am playing at the Exiles tournament next weekend and will be taking my Ogres. I was hoping to be able to take my custom pitch but am waiting for the final version to be printed following the changes that I made. The changes were minor and the kind of thing to expect when printing a large mass of colour on such a large scale on a slippery surface. I am still hoping to be able to get a pitch to the winner of ExeBowl which is now only a few weeks away. I’ve not played any other games; summer is a quiet time at the club.

On the hobby side of things I have made a decision to try to get better a painting. I’m never going to be brilliant but would like to try to improve given the amount of time and money that I spend on the hobby side of things. I have been watching some painting tutorials online and am using my Warhammer High Elves (remember them?) to practice on. I’ve done one and numbers two and three are underway. So far I am really pleased with my progress. I’ll going to share my experiences here and will post more regular updates. I hope that we’ll be able to see improvement between posts 🙂 I’m enjoying the process so much that I am probably going to paint a whole High Elf army and have been looking online for nice miniatures to paint.

That’s enough for now. There are likely to be more posts over the winter as I get back into my evening routine of football on the radio and NFL on Sunday evenings.