Showcase: Masters of the Deep – Cog Automaton

Big, clanky and full of personality!

That’s how I’d describe the Cog Automaton I had the pleasure of painting this weekend. If you saw my previous blog-post you’ll know that I won the chance to paint a prototype from the game Rivals: Masters of the DeepSet in a Steampunk world of underwater adventure, this forthcoming game is packed full of fantastic miniatures.

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WIP: World of Rivals Cog Automaton

Clunking out of the abyss lumbers an automaton of the Cog Empire.

Rivals Cog Automaton 3Dprint 1Rivals Cog Automaton 3Dprint 2

Well this is exciting! Here at Technasma we’re amongst the first people in the world to own this miniature. I was lucky enough to be sent a 3D printed prototype of this World of Rivals: Masters of the Deep miniature by entering a competition via their Instagram.

As a rapid prototype, it’s a little rough around the edges, but undeniably an awesome mini. This week I’ll be breaking out the file and putty to get this guy ready for painting. The models themselves are quite large (see shot below for reference with a £1 coin) and present an interesting challenge to paint.

Rivals Cog Automaton 3Dprint scale

The Masters of the Deep miniatures have a cartoon style to them with lots of smooth curves and flat surfaces. Some of the characters have a chibi-vibe with big heads and exaggerated proportions. Coolest of all is the game’s nautical Steampunk art direction!

Rivals Cog Automaton 3Dprint 3

Keep posted to see how I paint up this mini. I’m currently deliberating whether to go for full brass with steampunk metallics, Non-Metallic Metal or try a more cell-shades look like the Necrons we’ve done…

You can see more about World of Rivals via their Instagram and be sure to check out their relaunched Kickstarter that goes live tomorrow!

SHOWCASE: Canoptek Scarabs of the Derelict Planet

Mindlessly driven by deconstruction protocols, the chittering swarm of Canoptek Scarabs decends on its prey in a horrific multitude of monomolecular razor-claws and particle cutters. Rendered down to its very elements and its atomic energy harvested, no trace of their prey is left behind when the swarm ascends.

The third installment of our Necrons of the Derelict Planet arrives today, ready to atomically flense your pathetic organ-bodies and short-circuit your primitive computer-comms arrays!

Our Canoptek Scarabs hover above an oxidised wasteland, illuminating the debris of the battlefield with the blue glow of their anti-grav repulsion fields. Amongst the debris are the radiation-blasted remnants of Necrontyr structures and warmachines.

The derelict exoskeleton of a Necron Warrior languishes on one of the bases. Its ocular circuits flicker as reanimation protocols are rebooted by the galvanising energy fields of the nearby Scarabs. We wanted to add some dioramic elements to these miniatures. As part of the rather venerable Necron Warrior kit, Scarabs can look a bit plain and boring compared to newer miniatures if just clumped together on a round base.

If you’re interested you can see the Necron Warriors and Catacomb Command Barge for this army and some info on how we came up with the colour scheme.

Your cognition-signals and bioelectromagnetic stimuli sustain us! If you have a point of view on our Necrons then please leave a comment below to be harvested for our mechanical overlords…

SHOWCASE: Age of Sigmar, Aelf Realmscout spotted!

Lithe as quicksilver and as elusive as the wind, the Aelf Realmscout is ever but a fleeting shadow in the peripheral vision of her quarry. What is it that drives this exiled traveler to stalk the nebulous hinterlands that link the Mortal Realms? Does she seek truth behind the legends of vanquished gods or to avenge the shaming of her sundered race? Perhaps she seeks only to survive…

 Aelf-Realmscout-2

This week I’d like to share one of my favourite miniatures from my collection. Age of Sigmar really encourages players to open their imaginations, and the cannon of the Old World is no longer a barrier to creating your own narrative. Here at Technasma, we love playing Pathfinder: Adventure Card Game, and this figure is inspired in part by the fabulous Iconic Characters illustrated by Wayne Reynolds. She started out as more of an RPG type character, rather than anything from the established Warhammer lore.

There’s a bit of Xena, Warrior Princess, Merisiel from Pathfinder, Arragorn and even a hint of Link from Legend of Zelda! 

She’s converted from predominantly Warhammer 40,000 parts, so it was a fun challenge to make a miniature that didn’t look out of place in a high fantasy setting. To make her battlegear more lowtech, I opted for leathers, ivory and metallics, but picked warm bronzes and golds for an exotic aesthetic. To compliment this I opted for bright textiles – jade green for the cape and trousers with a splash of lilac for the sashes and fletching.

I used True Metallic Metals (NMM style but using metallic paints) on her weapons; a lethal looking scimitar and paired dagger known to the Aelves as glimmerblades. Under her hood you can see her defiant expression and a few locks of blonde hair.

    

Games Workshop certainly design their models with converting in mind. There’s such cross-compatibility in their kits, that its very easy to create something unique and special without hours of cutting, filing and putty work. My Realmscout is living proof of this – a product of six kits from two gaming systems. Finishing touches were applied with a ruined statue from a Scibor Basing Kit and some Agrellan Earth.

Have you been using the creative freedom of Age of Sigmar to kitbash your own iconic heroes and villains? Let us know in the comments – we want to see pictures too!

Head over to our Instagram to see work in progress pics of some of my other Aelf Iconics.

SHOWCASE: Necron Catacomb Command Barge

Manical from an eternity of stasis-slumber, the Phaeron of a long-forgotten dynasty rides to war. Behind him, vast and implacable hordes of machine-vassals march in unison. Once again the galaxy will face the wrath of the Necrontyr!

Time for the second installment of our collaborative project – The Necrons of the Derelict Planet – inspired by the fantastic artwork of Pascal Blanché! It’s back to 40K this week as we present the superb Necron Catacomb Command Barge. If you’re into vehicles then this is a real joy to paint. It has organic curves – perfect for fades and blends – as well as crisp edges for sharp highlighting.


As with the Necron Warriors we painted the Command Barge together over a few sittings. The colours are intense and vibrant, built up in successive layers initially using sponge and drybrush, with more controlled glazes and edge highlights deployed towards the end.

The underside of the Command Barge is left the dark teal green colours of the basecoat and picked out with Sotek Green. The style is inspired by the bold colours of Pascal Blanché’s Derelict Planet art, but we hypothesise that the underglow is from the craft’s grav-repulsor force-field. (That or it’s just a pimped out ride, fitting of an insane Terminator Space-Pharaoh!)

The Necron Phaeron was a perfect opportunity to try out some advanced painting techniques. His War-Scythe and Ressurection Orb were embellished with glowing blue non-metallic metal effects. We’re pretty happy with how they turned out. We used the iPhone app Snapseed to work out how to light the War-Scythe before painting it, to ensure the lighting looked correct. We’ll feature this in a future blog, but here are some close ups.

 

As ever we’d love to know what you think of our work, your feedback sustains us! 

Also, we’d like to thank Pascal for tweeting our blog last time – great to have some engagement from such an inspirational guy! We highly recommend you check out Pascal Blanché’s art on his blog or excellent art book Derelict Planet. 

SHOWCASE: Bestigor Warband

When I was a kid first getting into Warhammer, Chaos armies used to be eclectic collections of all sorts of weird and wonderful creatures. Beastmen marched to war beside hunchbacked Chaos Warriors, enigmatic Chaos Champions and outlandish Daemons that were only available via mail order! Chaos is at its most magnificent when it is truly undivided. The opportunity to take wildly divergent units and unite them with a strong colour scheme is the perfect hobby challenge for me. So this time I’ve been working on some Bestigor as a bodyguard for my Great Bray-Shaman.

Most people paint their Beastmen with rusted and corroded battlegear, as if scavenged or primitively made. I’ve painted mine in the same shimmering bronze as my other Tzeentch aligned units. Although they aren’t how I picture Tzaangor to look (that requires a lot of modelling putty), I like how they fit into the rest of the army.

I imagine that their loyalty to my Chaos Lord has been bought with the newly forged armour that they wear. By contrast their foe-rending Great Axes are worn and dulled with the blood of countless battles.

I painted their tabards in the same blue as the Runeshields on my Chaos Warriors and chassis of my Chaos Chariot.

I’m pretty happy with how these guys turned out and will be adding the command group next!

Do you like your armies to look uniform, or do you prefer the unfettered chaos of many colours? As ever, if you like what we did or have comments/crits then please drop a line in the comments 🙂

Call of the Wild! Great Bray-Shaman

From the dark heart of his forest lair steps the Great Bray-Shaman. This malign prophet of Chaos has a soul as black and twisted as the benighted realm he heralds from.

When The End Times: Glottkin came out I was pretty happy that you could build an army using all of the Chaos factions. The Beastmen have some great models including this guy, the gnarled Great Bray-Shaman, and I was glad to have an excuse to add him to my collection. I painted him up in the same magenta that I used for the wizards and heroes in the rest of my army.

I converted his staff with an icon of Tzeentch from the Burning Chariot kit, the eye of which glows blue with clairvoyant power. If you look closely you can see blue Object Source Lighting from the baleful eye glaring out from beneath his hood.

I freehanded runes onto his hood, inspired from designs found on the Chaos Warshrine. Here’s a better view of the Chaos Star over his left eye. I glazed his cloak with Reikland Fleshshade and Druchii Violet to create a patchwork of flayed skins.

I really pleased with how this model came out. To me he’s a real throw back to the creepy old 80’s artwork from Slaves to Darkness and the Lost and The Damned. In fact I enjoyed painting him so much that I got a unit of Bestigor bodyguards for him too – more to follow! What do you think of him – tell me in the comments below!

SHOWCASE: Necrons of the Derelict Planet!

Under the glare of a blood red sun a legion of immortal warriors march through the remnants of a derelict planet…

Sometimes all it takes to inspire a project is one idea. In the case of our Necrons, that seed of inspiration came from stumbling across the beautiful art of Pascal Blanché – art director at Ubisoft. His blend of post-apocalyptic and mythological themes, vibrant use of colour and techniques that span CG and digital artforms are beautiful to behold.

“Danu” ©Pascal Blanché. Used without permission. See more at http://derelictplanet.blogspot.co.uk/

“Sanctuary” © Pascal Blanché. Used without permission. See more at http://pascalblanche.deviantart.com/

Struck by bold, three-dimensionality of his work an the transition of contrasting colours we realised that this had to be applied to miniatures. And what better faction than Necrons to capture the alien marriage of corroded machine and organic shapes!

These Necron Warriors were painted surprisingly quickly. Keen to emulate the transition from dark teal green to oxide red we sketched the colours in with drybrush and sponging techniques. We began with a blue basecoat of Necron Abyss, working up through Stegadon Scale Green to Sotek Green. Successive red layers were then applied from above to simulate a vibrant red light-source. The final layers of orange were applied using thin glazes instead, and edge highlights picked out to give definition. We picked a cold blue as a contrasting splash colour for the glowing eyes and energy canals on their Gauss Rifles.

We’d love to know what you think of our Necrons. Have you been inspired by the art or ideas of another in the same way? Tell us in the comments below.

Also, we highly recommend you check out Pascal Blanché’s art on his blog or excellent art book Derelict Planet. Maybe you’ll find your next inspiration there!

WIP: Chaos Knights of Tzeentch

Doom Knight1

Thundering out of the Chaos Wastes on roughshod hooves ride two mighty champions of Tzeentch!

Here’s a work in progress on my unit of Chaos Knights. I decided to go to town with these guys and try some new painting techniques to convey the eldritch glow of their Ensorcelled Weapons and Marks of Tzeentch. I referred to the excellent tutorial by Garfy on Tale of Painters to get the glowing NMM style I wanted.

Doom Knight2

The Doomknight is gifted with a gribbly arm mutation bestowed upon him by his patron god. I converted this from 40K Possessed arm and a few of the mini tentacles which you can see poking out from under his pauldron.

Standard Bearer

The Standard Bearer is a personal favourite of mine. Once again I used a bright magenta to mark out the command group models and used a converted icon of Tzeentch from a 40K Chaos Space Marine kit. To paint the War Steed I blocked in the skin areas with Charandon Granite and washed it back with Drakenhof Nightshade. Mid tones were picked out in the base colour and then hightlighted with glazes of Stormvermin Fur followed by a thin edge highlight of Baneblade Brown. The longer hair was highlighted with Rackarth Flesh and Pallid Wych Flesh instead.

Standard Bearer3

The freehand on the banner was inspired by the runes found on the Chaos Chariot and Chaos Warshrine kits. I wanted to use this to tie together different parts of the army. I use runes and apotropaic symbols on my models to convey the fickle aura of sorcery surrounding those that bear the Mark of Tzeentch.

Standard Bearer2

When this kit came out I was blown away by it – the War Steeds looked straight out of an Adrian Smith painting. Compared to the new Chaos Chariot though, it’s starting to show its age.

Ensorcelled Weapon

A close up of the Doomknight’s crystalline weapon wreathed in claws and tendrils. As a Champion of Tzeentch I imagine this to be constantly shape-shifting from sword to glaive to axe, his body wracked with convulsions as the power of change surges through him!

Ensorcelled Weapon2

The Standard Bearer carries a vicious pick imbued with the daemonic essence of a Lord of Change.

Run For Your Lives! Chaos Marauder Horsemen!

Another unit completed – this time it’s a roving band of Chaos Marauder Horsemen. These brutal raiders are the vanguard of my army, riding ahead with Barbarian Flails to bludgeon down any who would resist the tide of Chaos!

Despite painting these miniatures in my usual Tzeentch army scheme, the exposed skin on these guys meant I could try out some new colours. I used Rakarth Flesh shaded with a very thin wash of Drakenhoff Nightshade and then glazed up with Pallid Wych Flesh. At this point they looked a bit like zombies so I applied a thin glaze of Reikland Fleshshade to add some much needed warmth and humanity to the palette.

I already have another unit of Marauder Horsemen with javelins and axes so I wanted to converted this unit to make it stand out. The Hornblower got a head from the Chaos Lord on Manticore kit and a handflail from an Empire Flagellant. I think the bare heads gives this unit a real sense of personality (although considering all those flails swinging around they probably would have been better off with helmets!). Looking at the Age of Sigmar rules for these guys I’ll probably add a Damned Icon Bearer too at some point.

I did a bit of converting to the Horsemaster, starting by heroically re-posing his Chaos Steed so it is rearing up. I imagine that he has risen to fame in his tribe by hunting the mutated horrors of the Chaos Wastes and bringing back their corpses as trophies. To this end I rebuilt his shoulder armour with a baroque horn from the Chaos Helbrute kit to complement the pair that adorn his horse’s chamfron. Clearly his deeds have earned the capricious attention of Tzeentch who has gifted him a twisted horn of his own – perhaps one day he will become the hunted not the hunter?

I love the savage hooked flail on this guy. These models are really dynamic and full of character. As early CAD sculpts they have lots of very smooth areas but this is good to practice blending gradients on.

I’d love to get your feedback on these miniatures – please let me know in the comments. Do you reckon I should embrace round bases?

SHOWCASE: Chaos Chariot of Tzeentch

Hot on the heels of my Chaos Warriors is my Chaos Chariot. It’s a fantastic model and at the time of release, it really was a harbinger for the newer, chunkier style of Chaos that we’ve seen with the recent The End Times and Age of Sigmar kits.

I painted the Chariot and War Steeds’ armour in the same way as the shields from my Chaos Warrior unit. The larger areas meant I could get some really nice blending on the highlights. I use several drybrushes then glazes of Vallejo Field Blue over GW Cantor Blue to build up the intensity. Edge highlights are done by adding white and Vallejo Dead Flesh to Field Blue. Based on this, I’m thinking of painting the Chaos Warshrine soon – what do think? Let me know in the comments.

As kits go this was particularly fiddly due to all the thin components. I painted the War Steeds and Charioteers separately to the chariot and added the reins at the very end (accompanied by much cursing!). The result was worth it though – simultaneously brutal and intricate

I magnetised the Charioteer so that I can replace him with other characters from my army. I used a classic Warrior of Chaos head to visually link him back to my other unit. Zenithal highlighting techniques were used to add depth to the armour with glazes of Drakenhof Nightshade in the recesses. Given the angular style of the miniature this resulted in an almost cell-shaded look.

New Chaos Warriors of Tzeentch!

Shiny new Tzeench Chaos Warriors spotted! Well… not so new actually. I’ve been collecting a Tzeentch army for a few years and have been wanting to blog about it for ages. In fact, I’ve taken so long to that Games Workshop moved on and released Age of Sigmar before my army was ever ready for a game of Warhammer! Regardless, here is the first of many new posts about my enduring Games Workshop addiction.

Dating back to 2004, the venerable Chaos Warriors kit still looks awesome. Each Warrior inscrutable under their horned helms, marching in lock-step behind towering runeshields; an inexorable force of ruin and devastation. With my unit’s dedication to Tzeentch in mind I decided on a very limited palette with lots of blue tones. The models started off with a dark blue basecoat – Cantor Blue or the old Necron Abyss. To offset the blue I opted for bronze armour and trim which I built up with drybrushes and glazes of Vallejo Bronze. Once the other base colours were in place I gave each model a liberal wash of Drakkenhoff Nightshade to give it a blue cast.

Here’s the unit ranked up in the traditional way. To be honest I won’t miss ranking models up, but I still think it looks great. To denote the command models I opted for a splash colour of magenta – another colour typically associated with Tzeentch. The banner designates their alignment to the Architect of Fate – a kitbash using a standard top from the Chaos Chariot and an icon of Tzeentch from the 40K Chaos vehicle kit.

The Aspiring Champion is converted to make him a bit more imposing. I particularly like the bone amulets hanging from his armour.

The freehand on the standard is based on the design found on the amulets around the necks of some of the Chaos Warriors. I figured it could represent the symbol of their clan, or a blasphemous rune of protection.

The Hornblower glowers from behind his Runeshield. As I love the eerie anonymity of the Warriors I used a Chaos Knight head so that he can actually blow his horn without taking his helmet off!

The Chaos Sorceror was great fun to paint. Throughout my army I’ve used a glowing blue for everything magical and arcane. At some point I may freehand some runes on his robe, what do you think?

Here’s a view from behind so you can see the cloaks. I used cold, desaturated colours fitting for these Northern barbarians!

I have several more units to share which I’m excited about. I hope you like them, what do you think?