More experiments…

Still trying to overcome the issues that Contrast paints have with armour plate (I mostly work on Space Marines, so I have an interest in getting this to work).


Like the rest of my GW paints, I’ve transferred these to dropper bottles. Makes it simpler to measure out ratios.


First up is Space Wolf Grey, two coats of 2:1 paint/diluted Flo-aid (20:1 water/Liquitex Flo-Aid), over a white Stynylrez prime.


And then Black Templar, two coats of 2:1 paint/diluted Flo-aid (20:1 water/Liquitex Flo-Aid), over a black Stynylrez prime/Grey Seer base paint undercoat (airbrushed, 50/50 mix with Vallejo airbrush thinner).


Two thin coats appears to be more effective than one thick one for armour plate; especially the SW armour. Seems to avoid the splotchiness. I’m still not 100% happy with this. Going to strip these test figs and try out a few more things. Curious to see how the thinned SW Grey and the Black Templar work over zenithal undercoating… Stay tuned.

More experiments…

If you have a bandwagon, then I want to be on it!

Tried out some of the new GW Contrast paints today. These are basically a heavily pigmented, translucent, slightly “thicker” (probably a bit of gel medium) wash. The idea being that over a light primer/basecoat, the pigment will gravitate to low points and away from the high points–giving you shadows, highlights, and colour in one step.

I don’t use aerosol primers (expensive, too dependent on humidity being just right, and not practical when you can’t use them in our long winter), so mainly what I wanted to test was how they would work out without using the specific GW primers/undercoat (which GW is more than happy to inform you that you MUST HAVE), with a variety of undercoats.

Here are the results of my experimentation today (all primer was airbrushed):

Guilliman Flesh over zenithal Badger Stynylrez Black and Stynylrez White primers.

Pretty happy with this. Took less than 10 minutes total to slap the wash on the flesh areas. I normally use five paint/wash layers to paint skin, so this is good trade-off for speed and quality.


Skeleton Horde over a Stynylrez Black primer and an undercoat of the GW Wraithbone base paint (cut 50/50 with Vallejo Airbrush Thinner and airbrushed).

Again, this is pretty solid, especially for a couple minutes of effort. Will certainly do the rest of this Shadespire Warband’s skelly bits the same.


Black Templar (shoulderpad), Flesh Tearers Red (leg), Gore-Grunta Fur (holster), and Gryph-Hound Orange (helmet), all over a Stynylrez White primer.

The orange was the most effective here, hands down, and the brown holster looks fine, too. This test setup was the one I was most curious about, as it didn’t involve any GW undercoats and only one coat of Stynylrez primer.


Flesh Tearers Red over a Stynylrez Black primer and an undercoat of the GW Grey Seer base paint (cut 50/50 with Vallejo Airbrush Thinner and airbrushed).

I think this looks really good. Very impressed for less than a minute of painting time.


Space Wolf Grey over a Stynylrez Black primer. An undercoat of the GW Grey Seer base paint in the first picture and Wraithbone in the second (both cut 50/50 with Vallejo Airbrush Thinner and airbrushed).

In the second picture, the leg facing forward is two coats of Black Templar diluted at 50/50 with the Contrast medium.

These are not so impressive.¬† ūüė¶


I honestly can’t see using these for Space Marines, or anything else that has large panels. Too difficult to get the coverage without it going splotchy and/or looking over-saturated.

Crying shame, as that Flesh Tearer Red looks great on that SM backpack and would be a perfect colour match for the Exorcists I want to keep painting for 40K and Kill Team.

I will continue to use an airbrush for marine armour.

However, Contrast paints appear to be a real time-saver* for anything with rough detail like fur, hair, etc. and anything “organic” like flesh and bone (as in the pics above). I do plan to use them to speed up getting my Shadespire warbands done, for sure. That orange over white makes me think I can get some GSC done faster, too.

*Drying time is a huge factor, though. These really are best for assembly line painting of rank and file, where –hopefully– the first one is dry when you get to the last one. I was seeing 30-40 minutes on straight out of the pot, and slightly longer when diluted with the medium.

If you have a bandwagon, then I want to be on it!

We are legion…

Like everyone else, I’m jumping on the GW¬†Kill Team bandwagon. Hoping I can use¬†this as an entry point to getting a small force of WH40K Exorcist successor chapter Space Marines done, using (mostly) figures I’ve already got…

Exorcists are interesting, as the fluff dictates that they have twice as many scout recruits than other chapters. This is because they chew through lots of them; daemonic possession is part of their rites of passage and there are many losses. Also, the chapter to which they are successors is a secret, kept quiet by the Inquisition (the assumption is that they are the only Grey Knights successor chapter).

So far I’ve figured out a 100pt core Kill Team, and I’m also assembling a few options (and the first couple of complete WH40K squads, since I may as well assemble, prime, and paint a bunch together).

I’ve also got plans to work up a GSC Kill Team as well (and I’ve already got enough Necrons, Grey Knights, and Space Wolves painted up to use, if I want, too).

We are legion…

UK Trip Highlights (Part One)

Flew from Winnipeg > Brussels > Manchester (left Winnipeg on Saturday, arrived Manchester Sunday morning)… Not the most direct flight, but the shortest amount of travel time, with less time hanging around in airports.

Sue had left the day before, for Ponta Delgada. She’s spending the first week in Portugal with a friend, and we’re meeting up next week in Wales…

Flying out of Brussels

The first couple of days were pretty relaxed – few small walks/drives in the area, etc. (with the required stop at a pub for a cheeky pint).

Warhammer World (Nottingham)

Wednesday morning my Dad and I set off for Nottingham…

Obligatory picture with the Rhino at WHW.
…and my Dad.

I didn’t take pictures of all WHW displays, but just those that were things that caught my eye (or of figs I own but haven’t painted yet).

Warhammer/AoS/Blood Bowl
Warhammer 40,000
“Hunt for the Assassin” and Bugmans Bar

We didn’t find him.

Then we had a quick drink at Bugman’s.

As you do, we exited through the gift shop. I picked up the photo book of the dioramas, a couple of WHW exclusive BB figures, a t-shirt and some other goodies, and the¬†Lietpold the Black figure from Forgeworld I’ve been wanting for a while (as a general for my DoW WHFB/Kings of War army). My Dad bought a book of AoS fiction (he likes fantasy novels, so he thought he’d give it a whirl).

Wargames Foundry (East Stoke)

Foundry is outside a village, in a fairly rural area. Last time I was there they were located in urban Nottingham.

I didn’t spend a lot of time there, but long enough to pick out a few packs of figs from my shopping list (Swashbucklers, ostensibly for Ghost Archipelago, and Brit WWII Paras), have a quick chat with the man himself, Bryan Ansell, and take a few pictures of some of the more well-known figs in the collection displayed there (especially the old school Genestealer Cult limos [!]).

We then set off for Bromley/Chislehurst in Kent. We stayed overnight at an excellent pub/hotel, the Bull’s Head. Had a great Italian meal at Due Amici. I had a few bowls of loudmouth soup, and we stayed up talking politics.

…and then the next day, the real highlight so far and a serious¬†bucket list item for me:

HOME OF CHARLES DARWIN – DOWN HOUSE

The sense of history and the weight of the importance of this place were overwhelming. It’s amazing to walk the same hallways and rooms as the Darwin family.

The house is set up as a combination of informative displays (including original journals and notebooks) and preserved/restored rooms (such as Darwin’s study, games room, and dining room). The staff were informed, friendly, and obviously had a keen interest and involvement in the subject. My Dad was very impressed with the facilities as well…

I spent some time in the house, and then went outside to wander the grounds. The gardens and greenhouses were restored, and included the experimental gardens and items of interest.

But, the absolute highlight was the Sandwalk*…

Perfectly, I was alone as I retraced Darwin’s steps around the path.

I was crushed by the emotional weight of being in such an important place and got quite teary-eyed, if I’m being honest. Greatly meaningful to be there, personally. Appreciate my Dad making it happen.

Today was pretty relaxing – I had my first night of uninterrupted sleep (always an issue when traveling), and we went for a nice walk in a nearby woodland area. Heading out to the local pub later and then back for dinner. I’m taking the train down to Cardiff tomorrow, to spend some time with my brother and sister, and also to meet up with Sue. I’ve been missing her, of course, so I’m looking forward to that (not to mention getting down on the floor to play Lego [literally or figuratively] with all the nieces and nephews).


*from Wikipedia:

“In 1846, Darwin rented from Sir John William Lubbock a narrow strip of land of 1.5 acres (0.61¬†ha) adjoining the Down House grounds to the southwest, and had it planted. He named it the Sandwalk Wood.¬†One side was shaded by an old¬†shaw¬†with¬†oak¬†trees, and the other looked over a hedge to a charming valley. Darwin had a variety of trees planted, and ordered a gravel path known as the ‘sandwalk’ to be created around the perimeter. Darwin’s daily walk of several circuits of this path served both for exercise and for uninterrupted thinking. He set up a number of small stones at one point on the walk so that he could kick a stone to the side each time he passed, so that he did not have to interrupt his thoughts by consciously counting the number of circuits he had made that day.”

UK Trip Highlights (Part One)

Um, Sarge… I don’t think those are Necrons

Picture by Tim Brown

Drove out to Saskatoon to spend last weekend with Tim, his family, and some other friendly folks, playing Shadow War: Armageddon. I didn’t take a ton of pictures, since I was playing, but Tim documented the fun on his blog:

On top of all that hospitality, conversation, and gaming, I had some lovely meals and “enjoyed” about 19 hours of driving on the prairies (good opportunity to catch up on podcasts; been on a true crime kick lately, so on the way back I got through 6 episodes of Atlanta Monster).

Um, Sarge… I don’t think those are Necrons