Monday 23 February 2015

Chapter 3: The Annual Blog Returns

Finish me! Finish Meeeeeeeeeee!
Chapter 3: The Annual Blog Returns
Well geez, isn't this embarrassing? It's been a few days short of a whole year since I've put up some more of my painting shenanigans, and as you would correctly assume, alot has happened since.
Just to wet your appetite for pretty, here's my latest addition to my Carcharodon WIP army. Converted from a Dark Angel Librarian, and carrying the venerable Shield Eternal, this albino void hunter will be leading my pack of bloodcrazed psychopaths one day.... But not today (sorry mate).

Let's cut right to the chase!
40k is getting the business round these here parts, with my local gamers and I gearing up and sanctifying our war-gear in preparation for what can only be described as a headlong charge into 7th Edition Warhammer 40,000.

So what does this entail? And more relevantly, what does it mean for this blog? WELL! I'm glad you asked as otherwise I'd have nothing to talk about.

The Challenge
A prominent member of my local gaming group has taken it upon himself to muster a whole army of the newly released Harlequin forces from Games Workshop. Through discussion this has mutated into a desire to ally up with my own steadily expanding Eldar army for a large balls to the wall battle against my brother's steel and ceramite wall of a Space Marine army.
I will feature some of the units I have personally painted for Paul's army in just a moment, but the general idea is, BIG battle, MANY points, MUCH carnage.
Coming to a tabletop near me in about a month or two.

Here's some picture candy:
Magister Sevrin Loth, Psychic MG42

This fellow was a joy to paint, being a nifty Forgeworld specimen. I used a top-down approach to highlighting the armour, light to dark. I still think it needs some work to bring out the glyph details more, but for now he's rough and ready for battle.
What's more, with the advent of the 7th Edition 40k Psychic Phase, this guy can literally let rip with the psychic shooting attacks, more than any other character in the game as far as I am aware. He automatically knows all 7 powers in any discipline he chooses, and can cast them all in one turn if you feed him enough power dice! Luther Flamestrike eat your heart out! (Points for getting that reference)

Here's another bag of fun that'll be arrayed against me on the battlefield:
Tank Be Gone, laser Rapier Carrier
This was another Forgeworld item, and a very nice one at that. Fiddly as all hell to put together but its really impressive once it's done. The marines there have a similar highlighting effect to Mr Sevrin Loth, rather simple schemes as denotes their artillery crewman status.
One thing I really enjoy about Forgeworld's 30k range aesthetic is that the models seem to exude a strange sense of realism that lets you get away with very elegant but ultimately simple painting schemes. Plastic Ultramarines take a bit of legwork to avoid looking too cartooney in my experience.


The Ghost Warriors Awaken
Right, well, with my sworn enemy shown off a little, it's time to get to what I've been working on at full steam for the last couple of months.
My eclectic and mad-cap Eldar army has been a staple of my friendly matchups over the last several years, but they've never really 'worked' for me. And by that I mean I was confused about what I wanted them to be, or look like. So after a mega eBay purging of the unloved and unwanted, I was to set my sights on a Wraith Construct themed Eldar army with a penchant for Banshees (I'm a sucker for a strong, independent woman who could kick my arse in a fight), and a mean streak that sees them ally with their darker brethren on mutually beneficial raids.

A key part of this decision was getting hold of this for a total steal not too long ago:

A wall of wraithbone featuring 2 of my favourite Eldar units of old; the Wraithlord and Wraithguard.
These guys have forever been inaccessible to juvenile me, with my limited monetary funds.
But now they are PLASTIC, Hurrah! Also note the giant honking great big Eldar Titan...
I call it a titan, because that's what it essentially is. Don't let GW fool you into thinking they haven't put titans into regular 40k now, it's done. Imperial Knights are everywhere!

Here're some pre-painting shots of the big man himself, forming the core of my ghost army:

This big guy is the star of the show at the moment.
As I liked the shield and Suncannon loadout the most, I had to find a way of making use of those parts as well as keeping the sword.
Turns out the sword upgrade mechanically does very little for the guy, may as well use his bare hands to squish things.

So why not assume the sword IS it's regular attack method? It's purely for decoration in this way, but I'll be damned if it doesn't look good!

The sun cannon would have extended about 3 inches past his sword's hilt if I'd stuck to the instructions and strapped it to his sword arm, (Pfah! Who ever does that anymore!?), so I custom built it (stuck it with glue) onto the shoulder turret mount instead. What's more, as you can see in the second photo, the suncannon's targeter now sits flush with his shield arm, so that it captures a 'Predator shoulder cannon' targeting impression.

Fear the jazz hand of the WraithKnight, for if thou shalt be presented with such, plasma death is soon to follow!...

Finally, the base. That is indeed a discombobulated (that's a real word? Spell check, you teach me new things every day) Hive Tyrant. Rather than go insane and sacrifice a perfectly good Alien Overlord to the role of mere basing-fodder, this is simply the spare parts my Flying Hive Tyrant "Flappy" (Christened name) didn't need, namely the grounded legs and alternate head.

So SQUISH goes the Hivey, having been blasted to ribbons by a triple shot plasma cannon, the Knight is contemptuously stamping on it's head like a ripe melon as it forges onwards.
A little greenstuff work for the gribbly innards and a bunch of stunned/synapse shocked rippers scattered here and there and we have ourselves a base worthy of an Eldar Titan.

I am entertaining ideas about mounting a couple smaller Eldar infantry scurrying over the remains, purely to accentuate the scale of this thing. And it is HUGE... You'll see soon it if it happens.

Oh, and I've been making terrain!
This was a vibrant green rainforest until Sevrin had a picnic.
I'll give you a closer look at that stuff next time. It's exciting times though, as I've discovered the wonders of laser-cut MDF, used for the alien forest base you see here.

Well I think that's enough for now, I've a Liebster nomination to fulfill a year late! Sorry Pete. I'm on it, I promise...

Until next time.

Mark Ulrick

Next time: more ghost warriors, some Aliens get their pink on, and Terrain Terrain Terrain!


Feel free to contact me regarding this blog, project commissions, or simply to say "hi" and shoot the breeze with me, at:

Important legal blurb:
All images used here are the property of their respective owners. Images of my own work are strictly my own property, are dated, and protected under Copyright Law and cannot be reproduced for commercial gain in any way shape or form without my express permission.
IP's such as the "Warhammer" license regarding the models featured here, are property of Games Workshop in all respects. 23/02/2015

Sunday 16 March 2014

Changing Times, (and time for change?)

No, that title isn't my declaration of unswerving loyalty to "Tzeentch the Lord of Change", but is quite literally true. I'll explain.

So it's been about a month since i started this blog with my introductory ramble, and a lot has transpired. Most of which is, unfortunately, unrelated to this painting blog, though some of it very much is.
Enough mystery? Fine, I shall get on with it.

I alluded to my 'other' hobby of studying a degree in music in my first blog post. While I won't digress on the gory details of that here, it's at least worth mentioning that this current semester has me trying to juggle a series of co-writing projects with the need to fully produce five songs by the end of April. Suffice to say, this blog has been rudely shoved aside by a hurried workload without an apology. Still, with my recent escape/giving up/purge of Facebook from my daily routine (more on that later), I find myself almost immediately in possession of free time. Sweet, productive, free time!

And so, to the painting blog. My home studio of a room has undergone some 'upgrades' as of late that have allowed me to rescue my workspace from the horrors of clutter and negligence.
Behold! Shelves for the Shelving God!

Those shelves are already filled to the brim, where do I get all this stuff?

The reconquering of my workspace has allowed me to get some actual hobbying done, and so I present to you the image barrage: part two. (As before, WHFB = elves, WH40k = laserbeams)

This big fellow is a Daemon Prince from both the WHFB and 40K lines.

The red goopy stuff is a new technique I'm experimenting with by dying translucent gel with various acrylic colors to achieve cool effects. The paint used here was a turn-signal orange from Vallejo, used to represent lava. I then had to hand-paint in the dynamics and glow, but I'm overall happy with how it's turned out. The black rock is also a type of textured material that sets as a hard porous rock when dry. (Obligatory mangled Ultramarine helmets are of course included.)

Alternatives I have in mind include dying the gel with greens to make a sort of toxic waste effect, as well as metallics and browns for rusts and oil. I'll be showing off my results in later blogs.

Remember this fella'? Mr Maulerfiend is getting his stripes.
I am working from an image found online for the exact nature of the lightning bolt pattern on the armour plates. Here, let me show you.
Working from a reference point like this is a great way to add a sense of reality to something that might otherwise just end up a mess of white scraggily lines. Note the subtle blends of white to dark blue in the image. I'm three layers into the finished effect so far, likely many many more to go!

Spare any Change?

And with the beastie showcase over, allow me to ellaborate on another change I mentioned earlier.
I've come to realise that my use of social media, particularly facebook, has evolved (gestated?) into a routinely bad habit. No longer a place where I can contact friends when needed, yes 'Needed', and have fun sharing something I believe might brighten someone elses day, it's become more of a place that must be monitored, patrolled. I've felt like I've had to maintain a vigilant watch over it incase the threat of a notification or small tit-for-tat of information is aimed my way. Suffice to say, it has inevitably become a thorn in my side for maintaining focus, keeping my spirits up, and learning to cherish the real interactions I have with those closest to me even more.

Many other people have written VERY informative and rather entertaining blogs about their adventures in giving up social media for a week, a month, or whatever, so i won't use this one for the same purpose, look them up on google if you're interested in trying this self-improvement attempt yourselves. For now though, I will simply say that as times are a-changin', so too shall I try to change myself for the better.

Until next time.

Mark Ulrick


Feel free to contact me regarding this blog, commission requests, or simply to say "hi" and shoot the breeze, at:

Important legal blurb:
All images used here are the property of their respective owners. Images of my own work are strictly my own property, are dated, and protected under Copyright Law and cannot be reproduced in any way shape or form without my express permission.
IP's such as the "Warhammer" license regarding the models featured here, are property of Games Workshop in all respects. 19/02/2014

Tuesday 18 February 2014

"Big things have small beginnings"

Good Evening
It's gone 2 a.m. and I've a train to catch in 5 hours. Such is usually the case whenever I get a spark of creativity and insist on staying awake 'til dawn. But something about me seems drawn to the late night hours for working on those passions and hobbies I call my own. It seems the threat of exhaustion tomorrow is not enough to prevent me indulging. To quote the same movie twice in one blog; "The trick, Mr Potter, is not minding it hurts." I can handle a bit of sleepy-eyes in class.

Lamenting tomorrow's inevitable caffeine-assisted day of music degree studies aside, I feel a little introduction is in order. This being my first 'pwoper blog', and devoted to none other than my life-long painting and modelling hobby, t'would be irresponsible not to throw a few images of some of my completed works at you first, both past and more recent.
Here's an opening salvo for your ocular enjoyment:
(WH40K = Warhammer 40'000 range)
(WHFB = Warhammer Fantasy Battles range)

Heavily converted Maulerfiend of Chaos (WH40K)

Dark Elf "Butterfly"-styled Dragon (WHFB)

A Bizarre and pan-demoniacally coloured Cockatrice (WHFB)

Chaos Knights of Nurgle (WHFB)

A Chaos Nightlord Champion (WH40K)

I do hope you enjoy looking at these as much as it is a total blast to plan, create, and paint them.
I am an avid practitioner of the 'DIY' mentality and enjoy throwing the instructions away as a first port of call upon opening up a new model kit for a project.

Introductions over, I shall briefly lay out my intentions and goals for this blog.
In addition to serving as a useful record for me to make a visual progress tracker for my work, I intend to use this platform as a sort of portfolio for myself as a freelance modeller/painter.
I am open to commission work, and indeed thoroughly encourage it, as the challenge of meeting a customers unique request is a welcome one. I will be posting up more of the WIP or finished projects periodically as I make enough progress that I'd deem worthy of your eyes.

And with that my friends, I shall bid ye goodnight. Only 3 hours 'til I have to be packing up my guitar and getting myself out the door. Nescafé give me strength!
I'll see you again soon.

Mark Ulrick


Feel free to contact me regarding this blog, commission requests, or simply to say "hi" and shoot the breeze, at:

Important legal blurb:
All images used here are the property of their respective owners. Images of my own work are strictly my own property, are dated, and protected under Copyright Law and cannot be reproduced in any way shape or form without my express permission.
IP's such as the "Warhammer" license regarding the models featured here, are property of Games Workshop in all respects. 19/02/2014