by Games Workshop
Conversion Report part 1-1

Painting Report Part 1-1 >>

After some years of spending no time on the hobby I rediscovered it after seeing the confrontation mini's on the Internet, and my girlfriend who told me to start again (probably after having spent hours listening to me going on and on about the fact how I liked converting and painting :) !). But while converting the Grave Guard (Project III) I realized it was 2 years since I did any painting at all! Therefore I took an old mini from my bitsbox and turned it into a little diorama to be the mini to test my rusty painting skills.

click the thumbs once for a full view!!


This was going to be an 'in between' project, and I didn't follow my normal routine. Normally I get inspired by fantasy art, a movie or book for example, in this case I spent 10 minutes digging in my bitsbox and found an 'old' GW mini that came (free) with White Dwarf issue No. 238, Aenur, and was meant to be a part of a Mordheim warband. A mini with probably the most beautiful sculpted elven face I've seen. Furthermore, a plain big cloak to practice blending, and a lot of fine detail, perfectly to put my painting skills to the test!

The inspiration for the base came from the article in the above mentioned White Dwarf, I chose a dark street scene. I wanted a cobblestone/flagstone kind of base with 1 object next to the mini, something like a pile of garbage, a rat or something similar."Less is more" would be the thing to keep in mind, nothing fancy.

After further examination of my pile of plasticard/-tube/-rod/ etc. I came up with a piece of plasticard with a cobble- flagstone effect, and after a trip to a local hobby store I found a plastic antique looking streetlight, this would fit perfectly into my little street scene, and an even bigger test of my painting skills, because I had to do some really difficult shading!


Click the thumbnail for a larger view!

Click the thumbnail for a larger view!

I used the same type of wooden base I used With the Grave Guard, a wooden table leg end (these are used at the end of a steel pipe table leg!). I sawed the top off and using a file and sandpaper (grit 60-120) to get the shape I desired. After that I took my hobbyknife and cut out a piece of cobblestone effect plasicard following the different stones, to fit on top of my wooden base. I glued that onto the base using superglue, and filled the transition areas between wood and plastic with 2 part filler. I use this 2 part variant primarily because of it's fast drying ability! After 10 minutes of drying time (the filler was a little harder now, and didn't stick to my tools by anymore) I made some texture with a toothpick and a small steel brush into the semi hard filler. After that I drilled a little hole into the bottom of the base and screwed a large screw into the hole. That screw would be used to hold the base when staining it. Because the original wood color is quite light I like to stain it with a darker color, just using water based stain. Apply it in like 3 coats and make sure it dries thoroughly and use grit 400-800 sandpaper to sand between coats (no after coat 3 you DO NOT USE THE SANDPAPER Duh :)!!) When you do that you end up with something like you can see at the pictures at the left!

At this time I came up with the idea to add a drain hole. I cut out a square, a little bigger than Aenur's foot, following the line the stones were in. Using my scalpel and a file I made the edges curve inwards, towards the hole that I made, and after that sanded them (grit 800-1000). Using 4 little pieces of plastic rod (I believe 1 or 0,75 mm diameter) (later Craig stocks pointed out that those bars should be flat instead of round, but after using greenstuff trying to correct the mistake and trying like 4 times (and finding out the amount of greenstuff was to little to stick to the round bars) I decided that the only way to try to correct this mistake was by painting it flat using reflections correctly. Even looking closely, the flat/round issue wasn't that big a deal, it hardly shows, because the very tips of the rods are a little flattened to make sure the greenstuff around the edges would stay in place, and no plastic would stick through the greenstuff when sculpting.) Then when those 4 small bars were glued in place I prepared a small amount of greenstuff and sculpted the edges, again nothing fancy, 4 straight flat edges.

Ok surface ready, drain hole ready, time to figure out the positioning of the streetlight and the mini. Using the drain hole as a reference point I made a small triangle, drain on one angle, streetlight and mini on the other two.

I measured the diameter of the street light and took a electric drill and drilled a 4 mm deep hole at the point I marked. I did not glued the street light into it though, because it would stand in the way when painting Aenur. This I did after the mini and the light were painted!


Click the thumbnail for a larger view!

The base was ready, streetlight was assembled, time for my focus point, the mini. The mini is quite finished and I decided that no big heavy converting was going to be needed.

First thing I did was removing mold lines, the cloak had a big edge in it, and it took a bit of filing and sanding (grit 400 800-1000) before it was gone. After that I did the usual 'sword sharpening' the blade was rather thick and heavy for the mini, so with a flat file I filed it thinner, and gave it a tanto style edge (this was, I have to admit, an accident, I filed a bit to rough and the sharp tip of the blade was damaged, so it wasn't until THEN that I decided to go for the tanto style :) !!) The mini needed no greenstuff really, I just gave him some hair extensions, hehe, I just lengthened his hair a little! (I just had to use greenstuff I suppose!)

All components were ready, the only thing to do was glue on the mini. The base was a good thing to hold the mini when painting, so I decided to glue the mini onto the base before painting (something I normally never do!) The position of one of the feet was already marked. So I drilled a 1 mm hole into Aenur's right leg and glued a piece of brass wire into that, after the glue was dry I clipped it leaving 5 mm sticking out of his right boot. That piece of wire was used to position Aenur even better, after that at the point I marked also a 1mm hole was drilled, I could place the mini onto the base and could turn him around only 1 point, the right boot! When the perfect position was found I glued the 5mm brass wire end into the hole and also put a little glue under his left boot to further fixate his position.

ALL IS DONE!! You see with almost no material and with minimal sculpting skills, a unique and beautiful base and mini. Took (without drying times of paint greenstuff and glue) maybe 3 hours of real work!