Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Of Nick Bibby...

Ohhhh dear, where has the time gone? Over two years since my last entry, two years of no hobby activity (aside from some purchases and a KS campaign or three.) The first year was an abstention through necessity (no time to spare, in other words), the second because model hobbies are all but impossible when living out of a suitcase. I should rename this blog: Diary of a Relapsed Painter!


Enthusiasts of Golden Age Citadel will know all about Nick Bibby. On many occasions I have wondered what he has been doing for the last 20 years, with little evidence of him on the internet. A few years ago I learnt that he has been dedicating himself to sculpting wildlife subjects, and eBay listings sometimes turn up these pre-painted cold castings of animal dioramas like wolves and eagles.

So what has changed? Turns out he is on Facebook. Not sure how long for, but I've been following him for over a year, maybe two. His work is nearly all about life-sized bronzes, and it is incredible stuff. As worthy of blogging as this all is, it pales next to the news of what he is now doing...

Yep. Its a dragon alright. I think this might be his first since the 90's. Waste no time and visit his FB page for more images. For the ardent hobbyist, he has described his method for building the wings. This is VERY interesting and one day I will apply this method to the Great Spined Dragon.


Friday, 17 May 2013

Art from HellFire

16th May 2013
HellFire Promotion - for the rest of the month players of Hellfire can gain disciples (i.e. new players) and both get a special reward. If you have a tablet or phone and like the look of the game, I would really, really appreciate it if you added my game name (serotin) as your referrer.

Next update: Links to the artists of HellFire
March/May 2013
HellFire, the Game
HellFire is a game app for iOS and Android devices. I tried it out last November and since then its become something of a hobby. Or addiction. Its a simple enough game to play - basically a glorified 'paper toss' - but I was taken in by the art, and every week something new comes out and I want see what the developers are going to serve up. Not unlike the old thrill of getting a weekly comic as a lad.

The game is based on obtaining and evolving cards, then using them in boss fights. Each card evolves from a basic Level 1 card by merging it with a duplicate, making a new card with higher stats and better art, which can then be reinforced with other, lesser cards (or food, as some call them). Cards are used in fights that have to be won to progress further into the basic game. And then there are the regular Raid events, and more recently Dungeons.

Art That I Like
I have been a fan of fantasy art since my schooldays in the 80's - my library is stuffed with books by artists such as usual long time suspects Vallejo, Frazetta, Whelen, Achilleos, Foss, Burns; to more recent names like Brom, Clint Langley, Paul Bonner, and not forgetting John Blanche for Citadel-philes. There is an ever growing number of artists producing great fantasy/sci-fi/concept art these days. So, this dedicated post is a placeholder for some of my favourite pieces from this game, and links to any art I can find on the interweb to share with fans.

There is a way more art than I can possibly put here at once, so these examples are some of my standout faves.

The Golems

From clockwise: Earth Golem, Water Golem, Fire Golem, Death Golem.
The format of the game means that the artist is working to a small format, unlike print. If they were for print it would be equivalent to a traditional trading card size, like those produced by Fleer, for example.

Despite the small format, these kick ass and I would love to know who the artist is. The green Earth Golem is pick of the bunch (and to be honest, is very reminiscent of a Space Marine), Death Golem is close second. The low resolution captures of my antique iPod don't do them justice. I just love the feeling of power in them.

The Djinns

Another awesome bunch. These are ubiquitous in the game. Advanced players will know that they kick hard.
Clockwise: Djinn of Growth, Djinn of Vapour, Djinn of Flame, Djinn of Ire.


Designated a 'Super Rare' card, I think this was the image sealed it for me (this was during the first War of the Mages). It feels so epic. It reminds me of Victorian era art, but I can't put my finger on what or who, and my memory could be playing me false. Will visit the National Gallery for research some day.


Simply beautiful. The artist uses a lot of photo manipulation, taking real landscape photos and turning them into atmospheric backdrops, or possibly using landscape generators like Vue, and in the first card photographing a life model and digitally painting her. I think there are specialist Photoshop plugins that can produce flames.


Have to wonder about the tiny figure that looks like it has a staff and a pointy hat.

War of the Roses

Clockwise: Jealousy, Wrath,  Scorn, Ecstasy. What has been very apparent to me is the direction HellFire has taken, going away from massively implausible monsters that feature in many of the first wave of cards (like those in Rage of Bahamut for example) to encompass old world gods and fairy tales. 


Wednesday, 15 May 2013

A Year and a... 5 months?

Now 6. Not quite a resumption of normal service. I've cleared away my workspace as part of a general rearrangement and tidy-up in preparation for the sale of my flat. No painting since Xmas ;/
All my wip's are lined out along my window sill. The past years new work still arranged on top of a drawer unit, but will have to be stowed if and when I have viewings.

So this entry is a composite of unfinished postings, wip's and previously unseen odds and ends. Painting figures is what this place is all about, so I'll get on with my modest eye candy.

This is a view of my (now former) painting station, plenty of WIP's going on, ideas a-plenty for the future, but the owner is in dire need of motivation...

(ok I can't find the photo, will get back to this later)

It gets a bit higgledy-piggledy from here on...

Olde draft:
"10 year WIPs, months old, weeks old... coming up to a full calender year since I started blogging. This is a selection of almost very nearly finished WIPs. Lets see if I can't finish most of them before end of November...

Priority: Sergeant Centurius and Brother Ezekiel - 12 bloody years they've been waiting!" 

And still they wait. To be fair though, I did some weathering on Centurius. It looks a mess in close up, but a good kind of mess.

Cut and paste from Project Ogre update (27-12-12)

Chaos Ogre. This overtook the Mutant Ogre in my painting queue.

One more for Project Ogre. A bit green. I used to have one years ago, and that was a positively psychedelic green. Far more subdued, this one, in keeping with my use of 'realistic' hues. Not totally finished, but enough to put varnish on to protect it, just need to find a larger shield (or sculpt my own maybe) and put finishing touches to the sword. And base it of course. The gold chaos symbol on the knee is totally unconvincing and needs to be non-metallic.

Mutant Ogre. I took inspiration from Paul Bonner's art book on this one.

I read, probably from an old White Dwarf, that this was notorious for shredding the molds it was cast in. No surprise that it was omitted from the 1988 catalog. Not as collectible as it maybe should be - so can be acquired at a reasonable price - probably on account of its sheer ugliness :)


For a future, sewer based diorama. Thanquol is already done, Felix and Gotrek are acquired. Might try ambient light effects, if not actual lighting in the scene, so putting this aside until when.

Now some actually finished paint-jobs:

AD&D Liche:

A bit dowdy, then again it was intentional to make it look like a denizen of a dry and dusty tomb. Needed a dark background but I can't be arsed to take a new photo.


This had been knocking around for decades. Base coated with a Humbrol Metalcote (gunmetal). Its a bit shit tbh. Depending on reference, the colour is either a decent match or way off. The fragile limbs meant I dare not attempt stripping it, so I stuck with it, black wash, black on the bits, no highlighting, just wanted it done. It was weird when I dotted white on the eye stalk - it immediately gained the essence of Dalek. Though I since realised the iris bit on these classic Daleks are double ringed. Bugger that for attention to detail.

Oh yeah. Chaos Marauder warband in progress:

This lot poses a problem: making them all look distinctive.

And this is what I have to show for a year and a bit of painting. Ignore the stuff at the back. Its not much but I'm pleased with them.


P.S. The next post will be a departure from miniatures, but it will be art related. I decided it wasn't worth starting a whole new blog just for a few piccies and links.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Freaky Cast

A filler post while I get a proper one ready.

I've seen mercifully few ropey casts, always examining the goods before purchase, but it wasn't until I undercoated this Marauder that I fully realised what was wrong with this mini. It had been bare metal since the 80's, and I had noticed there was something not quite right, but couldn't put my finger on it. But here it is, plain as day, all one piece, just a bit skew-whiff. I imagine that the halberd of an intermediate cast used for the production moulds broke off during the press stage. Needless to say I corrected it.

First post since Xmas ;p 

Bear with me, haven't given up on this thing.


Sunday, 23 December 2012

Kingdom Death by candlelight

Having noted that the world of Kingdom Death is utterly dark, save for the light of fire and lantern, I thought it would be fun to experiment shooting by candlelight. I set up a couple of tea lights and a taller candle for these shots. Canon set on a tripod with manual exposure settings. I think it worked a treat, no image manipulation involved. If you play the game (when it eventually comes out), playing by the light of subdued lamps and candles has to be the way to do it.

Coming out of the darkness... Gorm!  O'O

Illumination of the lure accomplished by a Maglite from below.

I haven't varnished this yet, otherwise there would have been glossy reflections on the eyes and maw. Will retry this set up at a later date.

My apologies in advance if this gives you nightmares...



This is for Ilias, who requested a list of colours that I used on Gorm. The palette was quite small.
Liquitex Concentrated Artist Colour - Mixing Grey, Pale/Light/Deep Portrait Pinks, Burgundy, Unbleached Titanium.
Vallejo - Sky Grey, Dark Sea Grey, Red.
For the maw I used Alizarin Crimson (combined with the Light Pink) which ought to be in any good range of acrylic (mine is from a defunct range)
An old Bone colour from Citadel, but any bone will do for the teeth >> that Titanium colour was used to highlight it, but can equally be used on its own. I applied a little blue-grey around the eyes and stalk, the bulb with as bilious a green as I had and lightened with white.

Things to note: this model is BIG compared to its human KD relatives, so big it's like painting a fat hamster. Don't get caught up with tiny details. I would suggest not gluing the stalk until you are near the end of painting.

It took a good while to start painting. I stared at it. It stared back  O'O
I had to make some sort of commitment, so I started by applying Mixing Grey to the body in a wash and lightly wiping most of it off, leaving grey in the skin detail. This was more to help visualise the colour scheme, but it helped to have it as a base coat anyway. The head had to be pink - I  could see no other way of doing it, so how to phase the colour into the body? For some reason I just went for the Red and laid it on the neck and belly, thinning where appropriate. I'm very glad this Red has a 'natural' quality, distinct from something purer like a Cadmium Red.

The rest of the body is painted with the greys with added Deep or Pale Pink. The head with pinks and some red to help blend the transition.