Warhammer AoS – Learning New Tricks

40 thoughts on “Warhammer AoS – Learning New Tricks”

  1. Some nice progress! The kneepad is right on for a coppery tone, especially next to the gold it’s clear there’s been a material change.

    The GD results are pretty mind-blowing, there is an incredible pool of painting talent in Europe, and it showed there. I need to look into recent books from the heavyweight painters. I have a really good book published by the top French painters from when I was really into display painting in the mid 2000s, and it has a lot of really good fundamentals covered. It is 16 years old at this stage though so probably a bit out of date πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I’m really glad to hear you think so, Nic! I wasn’t convinced by the copper until the very end but its very reassuring to hear others think it looks good.

      I couldn’t agree more on the level of talent. I have no plans to travel to England to enter there and quite frankly, I’m even less likely after seeing these results! As far as books go, AK Interactive has two large and expensive books that might be of interest to you. One is by Arnau Lazaro who I mentioned above and the other is by Kirill Kanaev. Both are absolute miniature painting masters in my book! Here is a link for them: https://ak-interactive.com/product-category/scale-modeling-publications/scale-modeling-books/books-faq/. The only downside is the cost. I can only imagine how much they cost in Oz because here in the US, I think they’re both over $100… I hope to get one or both of them in the future but it might be a little while due to the price.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. As usual I find myself agreeing with you mate. Some brilliant work on display there and it is great to see folks get some exposure as well as provide inspiration to others. I am as a big a fan of conversion work as painting.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Glad to hear you enjoyed it and converting miniatures is something I’d like to try to learn and get better at. I think it might be a way to elevate my painting even further too.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Haha, well a good kitbash definitely stands on its own. I just got a bit for a kitbash the other day and that may be my next Warhammer project when I’m ready to get going on it so you’re in good company!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting reading through your painting stuff! πŸ™‚ Whereas all the GD winners are excellent I wouldn’t say they’re any better than minis you paint (same for a lot of the other minis I see on the blogs I follow as well – I like most of them more than GD winners actually)!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I’m glad it wasn’t too boring, John! You’re very kind to say that and I think you may have a soft spot for us due to your familiarity πŸ™‚ If only the judges were so kind!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m being honest here! I can look at minis I see on blogs and think “Oooh I really like that” but I could look at GD winners and think “Well it looks OK but it doesn’t really do anything for me”!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. That makes sense and I believe you! There is certainly a subjective component to all of this where we have our own taste and can not like something that is perfectly well-executed too. I think that is a good point to remember when looking at miniatures painted or otherwise!

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Your work on that Stormcast continues to amaze me. How do you process the information from the patreons that you, er, patronise? Are we just seeing the fruits of a load of practice done on other unseen minis, or is this actually your first attempt to put it into practice? It’s amazing either way. I will also admit to a little chuckle when I see the shot from the rear and it’s bare plastic compared to the artwork on the side where you’re working!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Cheers! In this case, the author makes PDFs that show each step with the paint combinations and what it looks like. He doesn’t indicate how many glazes he applies to get those results though which is where I started to deviate from those steps. Also, when you’re glazing, you can’t really follow someone else and apply the exact same number of glazes because your paint isn’t going to be the same level of thin that theirs is. Some painters would not like this and they expect a guide like many Youtube videos where if I follow the instructions exactly, it should look exactly like in the guide.

      Your second question is a tricky one to answer. The Patreon gave me the paint combinations but the skill to execute them has been developed over time. Without the skill, NRMPaint’s tutorials would be not very helpful, if not useless.

      If you want to paint well, the best thing you can do is try to paint each mini as well as you can. Getting feedback on each mini and learning as much as you can is a huge part of this too but you’ll see growth and improvement over time (often from miniature to miniature) if you do this. If you look at the Display Miniatures page on here and start from the bottom (oldest) and scroll up (newest), I think you’ll see what I mean. The stuff I painted a couple of years ago is noticeably worse than now, as you would expect.

      And yes, the backside is a total mess right now and it is pretty funny. Of course, it won’t be funny if I get to the end and it isn’t dramatically better but I would guess that is what makes seeing these WIP threads interesting as opposed to having to read whatever I yammer on about πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I think the beginning part of this post is the biggest step for you Jeff, keep trying new things and experimenting with colours, as this will increase your tool base on later projects as well. I know a lot of people use NMM but I have also seen some truly amazing results with TMM (true metallic metals) and it’s not used as much so tends to stand out more in competitions, TIM (Dave) could probably tell you more as I’ve seen it a lot at shows he would attend.
    As for conversions, they have featured heavily in Golden Demon, for many years, I always look at as taking a good model and making it awesome ! LOL
    As for the sculpting, you need to come over for a month, and I’ll teach you all you need to know ! LOL

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I strongly agree with you, Dave. Trying new things and being proactive about it is key to improvement in our hobby. I’ve heard the sentiment from a Golden Demon winner that TMM and NMM are equally valid in competitions, you just want to make sure you do your very best with whichever you choose and I do believe it. I use NMM because it photographs more easily. I used to use metallic paint until around 2019 or 2020, I would guess and I felt like it took quite a bit of effort to find paints that were easy to work with. Citadel metallics, for example, are not very forgiving and don’t blend well. There are way more paint products on the market now so I’m sure its easier than it used to be. One day, I ought to challenge myself to paint in TMM again and see how I feel about it now I know the light and shadows of NMM pretty well.

      I can do a month! Just let me know which airport to fly into and I’ll be there πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

      1. From what I hear, scale 75 sets are the best metallic’s for TMM from the competition crowd.
        London Heathrow would be the easiest, and I could pick you up from there.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I’ve heard great things about Scale 75 as well. I’ll certainly give theirs a look in the future. Heathrow it is! I’ll see you there πŸ™‚

        Liked by 2 people

  6. I think you NMM is looking really nice, I like the secondary lighting on the gold and the copper
    are both excellent.
    I found your comments on the GD very interesting, especially the differences between the events are both sides of the pound.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks, mate! I’m really glad to hear it. It is kind of wild how different the competition is between the UK and the US. I wouldn’t have guessed it prior to this year myself.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. More painting, yay! I’m not sure if you’re completely done with the knee cap, but it looks a little washed out (at least in the pics). I think you’re definitely on the right track, but judging from the second pic it needs some darker shadows. But what do I know, I slap some drybrush over some crows and post, lol!

    The secondary highlights on the armor are looking really great. I’ve tried doing that stuff in drawings and paintings, but it just boggles my brain. So hats off to you! Really looking forward to seeing your work on the cape!

    Golden Demons … the first one I wasn’t crazy about. Not because it’s an Elf, but it looks like so many GW mini models that I’ve seen before. Although I guess I didn’t realize there was so much conversion work in there. That’s the rub, as someone not familiar with the models isn’t going to know all the work that went behind it. Is it painted extremely well? Yes! But it just doesn’t sing to me, there is no story or emotion I get from looking at it. If that makes sense?

    Second one. More GW stuff, but this one really leapt out at me. First off, there’s that glorious fire (which I have taken note of, next time I have to paint fire, well the next next time…)! The fire feels alive and blazing hot and I love the way it’s lit up the imps. The 5th one would seem a miss as well, so much brown, but yet it still remains interesting.

    The third is good and I’m surprised too. But the 4th and 5th are really shocking. The 4th one is an amazingly understated job and I would have bet money against it getting any sort of award at GD. So cool that it did though, as I would love to see more work like this!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I think the copper isn’t quite dark enough too potentially and I will try and take a look at some photo references to determine that. I should probably do it sooner than later before I feel like I forgot how I painted it now that I’m thinking about it. I’m glad to hear the mini is looking good overall too!

      The elf mini that won the Slayer Sword has to have pieces from at least 6-7 different pieces of other miniatures so it is a pretty creative piece. I would have never thought to use the various pieces like he did as well. If I could fault the piece, I don’t love the elf’s face. I like proud elves but I don’t quite understand why he’s so mad. I think that goes into the storytelling part of it. Since this was a single miniature category, it didn’t have to tell a great story like a diorama does but I think it might have been nice to see more.

      The fire came out really well on the second one. He showed all of the sculpting he did on Instagram and it is very impressive.

      I really like how the 4th and 5th tell a story and show you a scene. Many entries at GD do this but single miniature categories do not have to do this like I mentioned above. Heck, what I entered in Warhammer AoS didn’t tell a story at all and I made the first cut so that says it all! With that said, the dioramas almost always make up for that. Even the dios that didn’t win anything at Adepticon were really impressive and told a cohesive story.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Have to admit, never paid much attention to Golden Demon awards before this year, the models never really interested me. Now I know what to look for more, I kinda have an interest now but still the models don’t interest me as they are for display vs gaming. Do like when conversions are involved, that adds a detail that shows the overall skills of the person entering the figure.

    I admire your desire to improve on all parts of your hobby, and of your skills to execute them.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hopefully that means my enthusiasm is infectious! If nothing else, you’re very qualified to look at and judge Middle Earth because you know the range well. I believe conversions that are well-painted should generally be elevated above a miniature that is well-painted and is “stock”. I say this as someone who basically never converts. For that reason alone, I feel like I need to at least start trying some kitbashing and that sort of thing to see what I can come up with.

      No matter what you do in the hobby, trying to learn new things and getting better is always worthwhile, I reckon. Someone can be an amazing tabletop standard painter for example which is an impressive accomplishment. Its easy to be on autopilot or only try something new occasionally and there’s nothing wrong with that but it seems like a worthwhile endeavor to try and do your best at what you enjoy to me anyway. I think that drive runs in my family and I realize that not everyone’s got it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think my biggest problem in doing something new in the lotr realm is the size of my unpainted pile. Last thing I tried was GW’s contrast paints which I wasn’t totally too thrilled with.

        I am trying to expand my limited skills with the alien colonial marines and camouflage, as soon as I get the courage to try it. πŸ˜„

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Contrasts paints on LOTR might be tricky. The details tend to be so small that I could see that not working well. I’ll have to think about something new you could try on LOTR minis. It is tough with them because the details are smaller and they tend to require a steady hand.

        As far as camo, you should definitely try it! I’ve painted camo once on a space marine and it was fun and came out well. I Google’d the marines in Aliens since I’ve never seen the movie and I suspect you might want to go with something more modern military than a couple of videos I’ll link below but these will give you some ideas.

        I’d try searching for WWII or Vietnam camo painting videos if you want something less futuristic. That is really my advice all the way around. Keeping looking for tutorials until you find something you like the look of and feel like you can tackle.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I agree that the only way to get REALLY good at something is to do it often and repeatedly while trying new techniques to build up the skill base. It’s why I am so good at…. 😝
    Good luck on your journey of becoming a better painter. I think you’re off to a great start already. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Haha, very funny! And thank you for the kind words as always πŸ™‚ I sold some LOTR minis yesterday to someone in the Sacramento area. Are you using an alias to get good deals from me? And are you making a triumphant return to LOTR? I doubt it, but I certainly raised an eyebrow when I saw where they were going.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh my poor neglected Lotr collection. I should get that out again sometime. β€œWhere is the horse and rider?”
        But no it wasn’t me of course. I only focus on Gondor and Mordor. πŸ˜€

        Liked by 2 people

      2. You should! ThΓ©oden is calling for you πŸ™‚ It seemed unlikely to me that you have started an elf force but life has a way of surprising from time to time.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Coming along great, Jeff. The secondary highlights certainly add some depth and further realism to it. I can’t wait to see what you do with the back of the cloak, as it appears the main feature from that angle.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. First up, nice work! Your technical skill continue to improve and I like the smooth blending on the gold and especially the smoothness of the red on the cloak.

    If you want some *contructive* criticism from a judge-like perspective as opposed to friendly fellow blogger and hobbyist, I’d ask where the orangey highlight is coming from on the forward shin and foot in the reverse shot, and also why the under-reflection of that same leg is orangey (the ground) when the surface undeneath is the grey stone ruins.

    I’d similarly ask why some of the left leg in the front photo under-surafce of the armour has orangey reflections while other parts have none, particularly the “calf muscle” part of the plate. In fact, the dividing line on the left leg seems odd as the right side of the top of his foot is still facing the sky but has a ground (orange) reflection on it.

    – No need to justify or answer ANY of those points to *me*, but maybe something to consider if you’re looking at the model as a potential competition piece.

    Technically, it’s amazing but when you start getting into the nitty gritty of NMM including the ground reflections then judges are going to be looking for where those light sources and reflections are coming from.

    And I do recall some bloke talking about how conversions have been stated to be important in GD competitions from years ago. πŸ˜‰

    Maybe they’re less evident in the Adepticon competition because fewer conversions were entered and painted to that top-tier standard? A literal question rather than an attempt at a rhetorical one – I wasn’t there, after all!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the kind words, mate! In regards to your constructive criticism, I agree with what you’re saying on the secondary highlights. My original plan is to do a jungle/forest base and have green secondary highlights where I think those are appropriate (which means some of the orange ones will be painted over). I was going to wait until later to add them in, after I’ve got the base worked out a bit more. So some of the orange highlights you see now will likely get changed.

      With that said, I will be in uncharted waters if I do follow through on that. The painter whose guides I’ve been using does not use multiple secondary highlight colors in the miniatures he paints which surprised me when I went back and looked. I have done some digging and I haven’t been able to find a good source of info as to how a painter (miniature or otherwise) should handle this sort of thing. So all this is to say, I don’t know exactly how things will shake out but if I can find a solution to this realism problem, I will certainly do my best to solve it. Fortunately, not that many entries at the Chicago GD even attempt secondary highlights so I think this mini will stand out at least in that regard.

      I can only speak to the most recent year’s GD at Adepticon but conversions were not as common as in the UK one where some winners pretty much sculpted their own unique minis and won a trophy with them. This model would be really tough to convert because it is a “beginner” mini but I do have plans to learn more about conversions and try to incorporate that skill into Warhammer display projects. My next project will have a kitbash element to it so at least that’s a step in the right direction πŸ™‚ That is assuming of course, that I even understand the difference between kitbash and conversion haha!

      Like

      1. That’s what I mean – the lack of conversions in the US comp doesn’t mean that conversions don’t work – just that the US contingent that paint at that top tier that get a nod tend not to do them – and the Spanish and Italians and French and Brits tend not to fly over to Adepticon for the local comp (otherwise the US entries would likely get that shock if a Spaniard or Italian came and cleaned up wth conversions and (re)sculpts in the comp.

        As for the secondary highlights, if I were in your situation of wanting to paint model(s) for a high-end competition, I’d simply start a new model to use as practise. Use a cheap Stormcast (since the armour design will share much of the same cues as this guy) – probably something cheap and push-fit from Dominion/eBay and without going all-in on “winning” level paint, go in on practising your secondary highlights in various forms – directionality, multiple reflections, etc – rather than on your comp model. With your objective not to paint award-winning models, but to see how good (or not) various refelctive aspects look.

        Essentially the same thing that you see me do regularly with boardgame models and Reaper models – the whole “I experimented with the…” “I tried out…” thing, but with a specific technique in mind.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m probably stating the obvious but if more of the big European painters who generally don’t bother start coming to Adepticon, it would definitely make it hard to win. There are already a decent number who do travel and win trophies over here for what its worth.

        I think your approach is a great one. There are a few cheap Stormcast floating around so it is very doable. When I started this project, I had intended for it just to be for learning purposes but at this point, its looking like its going to take two months to finish it. When you consider that there’s 12 months between each GD, unless I somehow surpass this mini in the next eight months, it is likely going to be my Age of Sigmar entry in next GD. Anything’s possible but that’s where things are trending. Having said that, I think your approach is a good one and I do try stuff out in a similar way but often with a GW mini. I’ve found with this mini that not worrying about it being an entry at GD has made it so that it isn’t too stressful to work on. I just have to focus on making it as good as I can instead.

        Like

      3. Oh, in the old days a kitbash was a model made from parts of multiple other model kits. A conversion usually involved more work, whether it was cutting up metal models, sculpting, etc.

        With the prdominance of plastic kits these dyas the line has blurred a lot, though I guess there are still very obvious examples of both

        – a Space Marine made from stock bits of 5 different marine kits simply glued together is still very much a kitbash while the Great Clean One (look it up) is obviously a conversion since it doesn’t involve any other kits, but does involve a bunch of sculpting…

        Liked by 1 person

      4. That’s kind of what I was thinking about kitbash versus conversion but I wasn’t completely sure as I don’t do much of either. I have seen the Great Clean One (which is pretty wild!) and I think it illustrates what a conversion is really well.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s