Dogs of War

On The Bench - 5th July

I've recently been made aware of a painting competition over at Good Games at Top Ryde, and being a sucker for these things I've shelved my current work to give something a go for it.  I've started to paint one of my Giants of Albion, yep sticking with the retro figures.  I love this model and have always wanted to paint it.  The pictures here are mostly for the face.  I'm playing with new colours for faces at the moment, reds and purples on top of skin tones to give him a really gaunt and unhealthy feeling.


I've also been working on my eye process, dotting the pupils and colouring the iris to give him  more colour and make the eye a little more catching.  I'm quite happy with the result on this guy.


Finally, looks like I've lost the hands for this model so I'm trying my hand at sculpting a replacement.  It's only half way there, layering up small bits of green stuff at a time to get something that resembles a hand.  It's really hard to do and very new for me but so far I'm happy with my first effort.


And that's what's on the bench.

Horatio, Magus of Glee

I think he must be happy on the inside
— Anonymous


Horatio, famous Magus of Eugedral, is best known for his unusual gait as he apparently skips across the battlefield earning himself the nickname "Magus of Glee".  Don't call him that to his face though, his apparently joyful progression masks an insincere and grumpy persona more likely to fry your entrails as a game than to offer a helping hand, well at least not without the right amount of gold.

This guy is a Guild Ball model that I have been meaning to find time for for a while.  I wanted to give him a cold persona so I've blended the purple colour all throughout the shadows of the model, most clearly seen around the face.  

The first thing my wife said when she saw this completed model was, "Why is he skipping and look so angry?".  Thus he was named, Horatio, Magus of Glee.

The glowing pink orb on his staff was an experiment, and I'm very pleased with the subtle results.  I used fluorescent paints from Vallejo to produce the effect, layering up from red, to fluorescent pink to white.  The highlight is just glazes of red and fluorescent pink mixed over the already highlighted cloth in areas that would likely be hit.  The fluorescent paint was also glazed over the pre-shaded metal to highlight and indicate reflective surfaces.

He's on a 20mm base but it's slotted in a 60mm holder to allow transport without him falling over, he is metal and quite heavy after all.

My other blog posts cover my basing if you are interested. 

Socius Alcatani - The Alcatani Fellowship

I have finished my latest project, the Alcatani Fellowship.  

What is this world coming to! You can’t even deal with your own lazy good for nothing serfs without someone sticking their dirty rotten good for nothing noses into busi... NO I DON’T HAVE ANY LAST WORDS!”
— Baron Lorthrac

There are few mercenary outfits with a fame quite as large as the Alcatani, a renown earned through the defense of the defenseless, though perhaps not the penniless. Rodrigo, their one eyed leader, would rather take a contract to defend a bevvy of farmers oppressed on their land than a rich merchant's caravan on route through the bad lands.  Of course everyone pays, but we don't talk about that.  "Socius Alcatani" is their cry, it means "Fellowship of the Alcatani", a band of brothers, fiercely loyal to their brothers and their gold.

I've had these models for years half painted.  I've finally gotten around to restarting them and completing them.  I used the same basing technique I've been using across my army.  Every model in this unit is individually based.  Grass is applied using a static grass applicator I made myself and the flowers are all made by hand.

All the armour is non metallic metal done with the loaded brush mostly using English Uniform as the base, Armour Brown for the shade, Iraqi Sand for the highlight and white for the tips.  The spears I'm particularly happy with.  Their Khaki, then lined with Armour Brown and White, then inked with Brown ink.  I'm pleased with how they turned out.

Some freehand on the banner.  I'm not overly happy with the banner itself, making a banner with sculpy is harder than I thought, but I was please with the outcome when painted. My new Windsor and Newton brushes are worth the cost that's for sure.

Hope you enjoy them.

On the Bench - 16th of March

Now that the Wolf Knights are all complete it's time to start something new.  I was going to do a single model, something high quality, but I'm on a bit of a high from creating a unit so I decided to do another one.  Keeping in the Dogs of War theme I decided to break out the Alcatani Fellowship.  Had these guys for ages and I will probably rename and theme them once the painting is further through. 



Keeping with the non metallic metal theme I was going for a polished brass kind of look for these guys.  Vallejo English Uniform for the base, Armour Brown for the shadows, Iraqi Sand for the highlight and white for the tips. Sounds like a lot but with loaded brush it is a quick 4 step process.  I don't know if I'm all that happy with the blue pants though and I'll probably change that. 


Pretty happy with the helmet and plume.  There are two types of plumes, which is a shame because I like the Mohawk style one pictured here. 


Going to do about 20 or so for this regiment, count them as dogs of war for KoW and EoS spear men for 9th.   A second regiment will let me make a horde in the future, but one at a time.

Thats what's on the bench today. 

The Wolf Knights of Tyris Gate

The tunderous north can be an unforgiving place, and so with it’s people. Dorak trudged his horse through the icy plains following the quickly dissappearing tracks of the elusive wolves of the bitter lands. Today would be a better day, today his hunt would bring him fame and fortune. With the pelt of the wolf he would be accepted into the order and the Ice Queen would know his name and the chance to behold her beauty would be his.

Had a great time painting these guys.  They are old hammer knights of the white wolf.  So much better than any of the new knights from games workshop if you ask me, at least the empire ones. 

All the metal is done with non metallic metal with the loaded brush (a quick form of wet blending).  The base follows the same style as my halflings fighting cocks and there are nearly 200 of those lavenders, phew. 

I play 9th age and Kings of War.  The bases are interlocking individual bases that are the right size for both games.  Individual models can be removed (should have taken a photo but you can see the lines between the bases).

The Wolf Knights of Tyris Gate are the body guard of the Ice Queen of Tyris.  Their banner is modeled after her horse barding.  They roam the land selling their services in the search for fame and fortune and building their brand as brutal and unforgiving killers.

Thought I would try something else here as well so I shot a video of the unit to get a more natural feeling of the unit.  Would love some feedback if you watch it. 

Project Complete!   Lastly, here's a few photos of the bases before I put the models on. 



On The Bench - 1st March

Slow hobby progress for the last few weeks as I've been on a little holiday.  Had a great time but little painting done.  I have done a little now I'm back, and started on the base for my wolf knights


The flowers are easy, bur damn there are a lot of them!!


Same basing technique as the halflings, but not in a skirmish style.  Regiment of knights for Kings of war or 10 knights for The 9th Age.  Lots of flowers to finish up and then the grass to add. 

Four of the knights are done, barring a little weathering and cleaning up that I'll do at the end.   All done in non metallic metal mostly with a quick loaded brush.


Not a great photo but you get the idea.  Started working on the unit captain too, love the old model and quite fun to paint


Still quite a bit to go, hopefully he'll look wicked when I'm done. 

So that's what's on the bench today.

On the Bench - 6th Feb

I want to take a few more in progress shots now and then so this is the first of my on the bench posts. 


Getting close to finishing the first of my wolf knights.  It's a little sketchy and I'm not overly happy with the blending but I'm painting an army here and indoubt I'll go back and fix it up.  I do have to weather and scratch it up though, that will blend it in well.  I've done all the horses though and I'll get through the rest of the knights over the next week or so. 



My bits finally rocked up, lion knights!  I don't like the warhammer chicken knights, but I do love these wolves.  Not sure about the rider, I'll be work on that. 

And that's what's in the bench.

The Ice Queen of Tyris

Ok so originally the Ice Queen of Kislev before her homelands were destroyed and she moved to Mantica.  I really love this model.  She isn't the fantastical animated glowing spikes messy elaborate giant of the new games workshop figures and I love her for it. 

I went with a very monochromatic cold colour scheme for the ice Queen.  Only 4 colours in total are needed to paint her.  Dark Sea Blue, Midnight Blue, Azure Blue Elfic Flesh.  Also a mix of black and white. 


The horse weatherbeeta (I think that's what it's called) was my first attempt at free hand.  From black I shaded the moon haphazardly with an airbrush, then masked it with a round piece of tape, shaded the sky, painted the mountain and trees, then dotted the stars.  One thing to note, White is very hard to freehand with, the stars are light gray and just dotted white. 

Had a ball painting this witch.  She has so much character!  I'm pretty happy with the result and plan to take her along to the scale model show tomorrow for a bit of fun.

Rolling Plains - Multibasing with Removable Models


My new army project is a KoM / Leave of Rhordia Mercenary army based on my old Dogs of War minis.  I have decided on a basing scheme of rolling planes of lavender and broken ruins overrun with greenery.  This is hard to do if you're individually basing all of your miniatures, which I want to do because I still play the occasional game of T9A and use the minis for dungeon games like Warhammer Quest and hopefully Dungeon Saga at some point soon.

First Challenge - Base

The standard GW bases have tapered edges.  These will create large gaps between my troops and make my base look broken so I ordered a bunch of 20mm square MDF bases.  They are laser cut and accurate with nice square edges.  

My base is made up of three layers.  

  1. The first layer is a perspex sheet, 2mm thick and cut into two troop sizes.  I cut a regiment size and then split it in half so that they would fit together exactly.  If you have 1mm perspex then you can just score and snap it so there is no wastage.
  2. The second layer is 2mm thick ferrous rubber (feels like rubber, but magnets stick to it), glued to the perspex and then trimmed to match the size exactly.  It's not strictly required but if you want to magnetize your miniatures for transport I'd recommend it.
  3. The final layer is the bases.  Each base has a rare earth magnet drilled into it.  My unit is a skirmish style unit so the MDF bases are placed on the ferrous rubber with their magnets spaced like a skirmish unit so that it will work for both T9A and KoW.  The gaps are filled with Milliput (don't use greenstuff, milliput sands better and fills like clay)

Lastly I placed some magnets in the joining ends so that they would stick together for when I use them as a regiment rather than two troops.   Final result looks like this.  Not much to look at but a good starting point for the rest of the process.

Gotta love magnets!

Gotta love magnets!

Second  Challenge - Scenery

I wanted a road through my base.  Even Halflings like to walk on stone every now and then.  I bought a green stuff roller from Laser Shark Designs .  I laid down a mat of green stuff over the joined bases and then rolled it over with the roller.  After trimming the edges I cut out the spaces between the MDF bases, removed them and let it dry.  A small amount of trimming was required one dry to slot the bases back in, but not much.


Rolling hills are rarely flat.  I wanted a messy small edge of a hill dirty and rocky.  Cork is great for that.  I got mine from spotlight, a few bucks for a bunch of coasters.  Cut them up a little and stick them down with superglue and they look good.  Cut out the edges of the MDF bases once dry just as with the road and it's done.


Time for a spot of paint.  The airbrush is great for bases, saves lots of time and give you good effects without much effort.  This base was German Black Brown, highlighted with Khaki and then final highlight with Bleached Bone.  I'm happy with the results.


Step 3 - Grassing

Two types of grass were used on this base.  Firstly I made a bunch of tufts.  Rather than buy these at a premium I made my own static grass applicator.  It's not hard and it works well and you can find a video on how to do it here.  I used 6mm grass for my tufts that would end up being lavender bushes and darker green than I was going to use for the rest of the grass.  I stuck the tufts along the road and along the edges of the hill where I thought they looked good.

For the rest of the grass I applied this directly to the base using the applicator.  I used a grass mix from Noch, Summer Meadow I think it's called and it's a mix of 4 different lengths in varying colours.  Once applied, I trimmed it in appropriate areas so it wasn't too tall where it shouldn't be.

I think the outcome was good.

Added a halfling for impact.  Isn't he cute?  Just ignore the base I forgot to slot into it's hole at the back ok?  Bet you didn't see it at first did you?  Damn, why did I call attention to it?

Added a halfling for impact.  Isn't he cute?  Just ignore the base I forgot to slot into it's hole at the back ok?  Bet you didn't see it at first did you?  Damn, why did I call attention to it?

Third Challenge - Lavender

This was surprisingly easy to make.  

  1. Take a single bristle of a coarse paint brush (best to use a large one for painting walls) and paint it green.  
  2. Once dry, dip the tip in white glue (PVA for us Australians) and then into fine white sand.
  3. Again once dry, paint the sand dark purple and then highlight in light purple.  
  4. Once dry, dip the other end in white glue again and then slide it into a tuft of grass.  Slide 1-6 of them into each tuft depending on density needs.

I'd suggest sticking down the tufts in their desired location before adding the lavender or other flowers and using tweezers is essential unless you have tiny fingers and not the clobbery ones I have.


End Result

I'm very happy with the end result.  There are 75 lavenders on the base, I did them in two batches and in total it probably took 1.5 hours for the lavender.  I painted the base with an air brush and  a quick dry brush that took less than an hour and the grassing took roughly 30 mins.  Comments, questions and feedback are always welcome here or on Facebook. 


The Fighting Cocks

Love the old Dogs of War models and finally Lumpin Croop's Fighting Cocks are complete, well minus Lumpin's shield but I've lost it so I'll need to make a new one so that's a project for another day.

Lumpin, Ned and his Fighting Cocks are all painted with Non Metallic Metal.  The Leather is painted with preshading and glazes and the rest is simple layering and glazing.  I found the eyes were really hard to paint, not because of the size but because of the molding or the casts.  The eye balls just weren't all that well defined.  Other than that they were a pleasure to paint.

I am going to use these guys for Kings of War and 9th age so the basing has taken both into account.  It's shown in the picture, the base is slotted for 6 20mm bases in each but designed to fit together in a single design.  I'm quite happy with the result but would love your opinion.  The larger base is two troop sized units and they are inset with magnets to lock together as a single regiment as well.

I will do another post on the basing, but just for this one there are 75 hand crafted lavender sticks, 20 hand made grass tufts, cork, milliput and greenstuff that has gone into making the base.


The Captain - Non Metallic Metal Adventures

Finally finished the captain.  He didn't take all that long, but I got held up waiting for the right tools to finish his base.  He's a 28mm model from the Heresy miniatures line in white metal.  I normally prefer to paint plastic and resin, but this model is one of my favorites.  He has so much character and so nicely crafted I just couldn't wait to paint him.

The metal is entirely NMM (Non-Metallic Metal).  White to Dark Gray to Black for the metal plates, White to English Uniform to Burnt Umber for gold and White to Dark Sea Blue to Black for the sword.

The base is just cork, green stuff for the cobblestones (I got a green stuff roller from Laser Shark Designs, great web store), static grass (woodland scenics I think).  The lavender is made from bristles of a paint brush (a big one for painting walls) painted green then dipped in sand.  The sand is painted purple and then they are just stuck into the grass tufts.  Really simple.

I had heaps of fun painting this guy and learned a lot about NMM.  Questions, comments and criticisms are always welcome.

Project Complete - Dogs of War - Volands Venators

So this project started out as test to see how quickly I could paint non metallic metal using the loaded brush technique and an opportunity to practice my loaded brush wet blending.  I never really expected to be totally happy with the results due to the speed at which I wanted to paint them.

Credit where credit's due, Painting Buddha is an excellent site where I learned so much about how to paint with this technique and one of the main reasons for giving it a crack.  Please visit their site and check out their videos, or even better donate or join so that they can afford to keep it running.

I'm fairly happy with the results in the end, especially on Voland himself and I've really enjoyed painting these models.  There are actually 7 of them, I've only posted 5 because they photograph better.

Non Metallic Metal - Practice Practice Practice


Non metallic metal, or NMM,  is a daunting endeavor.  Almost every video you see will look painstakingly difficult and time consuming.  The outcome looks fantastic and best of all you don't have to work with metallic paint.  I hate working with metal paints because the clump, they are hard to get even and in bright light they they are so reflective it's hard to see how you are painting.  They also get into your water and infect your other paints of you don't change your water.  

My Dogs of War / Kingdoms of Men / Empire of Sonnishtal are largely heavily armored humans and I want to paint a whole army with NMM, so with that in mind I needed a faster technique.  I stumbled across the loaded brush technique and here I am.  

Completed first attempt  

Completed first attempt  

You can find heaps of detail on how to perform the loaded brush technique of wet blending on Painting Buddha, a wonderful site that you should really support if you find them helpful.  They make amazing videos. 

So the trick with this technique is practice practice practice.  Learning how wet to make the brush, how much highlight to put on the tip depending on the size of the material and how bright you want the highlight and the right thickness of each of the paints.  When you do it right the results are amazing and right now I get it right 1 in 2 or 3 (or 4) attempts. 


So to practice I'm painting a unit of Knights.  The pictures on Here are the WIP, and almost the whole model is done with the loaded brush.  They are far from my best work, but it is quick, maybe half an hour for the metal on each horse, and I'm getting faster.  Please (pretty please?) ignore the shoddy work on the extra bits like gloves and faces, like I said these are practice models for the NMM look and otherwise paited up to "battlefield" quality.

Final horse, obviously not complete but the armour is

Final horse, obviously not complete but the armour is