I’ve been alone with you inside my mind
And in my dreams I’ve kissed your lips a thousand times
I sometimes see you pass outside my door
Hello, is it a weekly Warhammer painting and accountability blog you’re looking for?
Well then you’ve come to the right place! Let’s start this week, the most unusual and challenging of all the weeks, with a look at the scorecard.
Well, well, well, would you look at that! After 19 weeks, we finally have our first red on the scorecard.
I really did go back and forward on this one, but decided to err on the side of the purely factual rather than making myself feel better. If you remember back to the start of this quarter, I set the Green Knight as one of the quarterly rocks, and also as being worth 10 Hammer the Backlog points. Do keep in mind that Hammer the Backlog points mean nothing to anyone, other than the fact that 5 of them are about a week’s hobby time for me. That makes 10 points the equivalent of 2 weeks of hobby time, about enough time to paint up a special character like Greeny here without going down the rabbit hole of spending a month on him.
I could have easily counted the horse as 5 points worth of models completed. But he isn’t a full model on his own, is he really? Is he? No really, is he? Can I change it? Of course, the slight blemish of the red mark this week will be cancelled out in a few weeks when I paint up the rider and the full 10 points goes on the scorecard.
THIS WEEK’S MODEL
So the only thing I painted this week was the horse for the classic 90’s Bretonnian special character The Green Knight, very kindly gifted to me by Andy at Mediocre Hobbies as a “reward” for completing my starter set Bretonnians six weeks ago. The Green Knight was made famous by the legendary Games Workshop painter Mike McVey, with one of the greatest and most influential paint jobs in the history of the hobby. I won’t link it here, but look up Mike McVey Green Knight and you will see what I mean.
The original model was 90’s white metal. It has a reputation for being a beautiful model, but I can’t imagine it being anything but a knightmare (pun intended) to work with. For one thing, I am absolutely certain that Mike McVey made up about three quarters of the fine detail on it. I find it very hard to imagine that metal models moulded in the 90’s could have been that crisp.
The real challenge of this week was that my version was finecast. If you were around in the early 2010’s for Games Workshop’s first attempt at mainline resin figures, you will know it was a bad, bad time. At one stage, store managers were practically having to give away replacement figures to people who had bought duds.
There were three main challenges to fixing up Greeny. The three F’s; Fit, Finish and Fucking Bubbles.
The fit wasn’t too bad to deal with honestly, and probably easier than on a metal model. There were some enormous gaps, but gently cutting away excess and sanding joins was probably easier with finecast than it would have been with metal. When I did get everything flush, he was quite wonky. His legs were off at two different angles and his head had the tilt of a dog confused as to why you are upset with him for shitting on the floor. Again, this was probably easier to deal with than it would have been with metal (bearing in mind it would have been much less likely to happen with metal in the first place), I simply ran hot water, from the kettle, over him and pinched everything back in place. Then, while he was still warm and with everything placed properly, I ran him under cold water directly from the tap and everything solidified nicely. He still has a bit of a lean to the right, but it looks more dynamic than wonky now.
The finish was an interesting thing. This is an old model, hand sculpted, that has been cast thousands of times. How much of the original surface detail is there I cannot tell. Would a fresh metal version from the 90’s be crisper and smoother? No way to know! I was determined to get some smooth surfaces for the blend from green to white and as a nice canvas for the freehand to follow, particularly around the horse’s hindquarter, as it is the largest, flattest area. I think I managed to get it pretty nice with sanding, filling with liquid greenstuff, sanding again, priming, sanding, filling again and repriming.
The worst problem with finecast, in my humble opinion, was the bubbles. The figures that GW were casting in 2012 in finecast were not designed to be moulded in resin, and the biggest problem that caused were air bubbles. Many a face, sword, haircut or gemstone were ruined by an air bubble. The air bubbles on this were bad, but not terrible. I had to resculpt the horse’s mouth, lips and teeth from scratch. Luckily, they are hard to see, because no great sculptor am I.
The real knightmare (pun intended) was the tail. It was more bubbles than detail. It was very hard to fill without losing the illusion of strands of hair. It turned out ok in the end, but it was not a fun part to do.
After all that was done, I primed him white and washed him repeatedly with very diluted Biel Tan Green, trying to leave more and more lighter colour at the natural highlights. I think I overdid it slightly and lost too much of the green to white contrast, but I am happy enough with the result.
The swirls and thorns were surprisingly easy, if time consuming, to paint. Mistakes would have meant basically starting over, so I was very (too?) cautious.
I am not going to go straight on to the knight next week. My version didn’t come with a shield or the banner flags, so I am going to go back to lizardmen for a few weeks while I track down some replacements.
I also scratch built a door for my Zitardes tower this week, using only coffee stirrers and green stuff. What fun! In particular I was proud of how close a colour match to the original tower I was able to make. Sadly, I used 32mm as the height of the door, forgetting that figures come on bases which add substantially to their height. I guess I could say the door was built by Dwarves?
Thanks for reading this far, I know it has been a slightly longer one than usual.
Please do join me this time next week for the first 5 orange crested green skinks and the story of how I just dropped and smashed my two studio lights! Damn it!
Cheers, you’re good eggs!