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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Raef Granger Interviews Me for The Hollywood Gamer Podcast Show

Raef Granger, one of the co-hosts of the D6 Generation, is striking out on his own and doing his own podcast now. He talks about why on his page here:

Some of you may remember when he started the "Jimmy Jango," era -- it was right after Russ confessed to the use of grease pencils, so quite a while ago.

My understanding from my chant with him is that he'd like to do podcasts at a more relaxed rate and focus on feature stories and interviews, profiling people in the business or key issues.

I was quite honored that he asked to interview me for his first podcast. You can find it in the link above, and download it specifically here:

And click on the "The Navin - Paintedfigs Interview."

In it, Raef and I cover:

- how to knee-cap GW's UK sales model using a VAT loophole in the Channel Islands
- Singapore and Dubai as the great pirate ports and money havens of Asian business
- 3D Printing replacing plastic injection and pewter casting, and coming piracy impact
- General notes on starting a business, and mistakes to watch out for
- What to do when you get conned out of all your money (and what not to do).
- Gyrcopter test piloting (I'm not kidding).

Give it a listen. Raef is incisive as always and he doesn't let me get away with anything. It was good to talk to him again, and I wish him luck with his new show.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - Winter Scheme Wood Elves and Ultraforge Treewoman

In 2005, Games Workshop re-released their Wood Elves army. Along with the earlier Tyranid re-release, it was the start of GW trying to take back their edge in sculpting over the upstarts Privateer Press. It was a shock for us because suddenly, GW infantry weren't easy to paint any more, and we had to up our game in terms of efficiency and techniques. To this day, the Wood Elf Glade Guard are among the most expensive, basic infantry we paint.

They're normally painted in woodlands greens and browns. It's a nice palette, suggestive of summer and greens work great with browns, and this allows you to use bright red for small or salient details. The problem for Wood Elves players though is that everyone paints them this way.

Fall (Autumn), Winter, and "Shadow Woods" are solutions people normally turn to and we've done all three. Sean here wanted us to work on some Winter scheme Wood Elves. He sent us a strong reference pic and left the rest to us.

The centerpiece here an Ultraforge Treewoman (sic). Ultraforge is a small company that has made a name for itself in recent years working on well sculpted, high quality, resin substitutes for GW models. They're stuff ins't cheap but it looks great. The Warstore offers their stuff at 20% off:

The Treewoman looks good but that's because the model looks good. The paint scheme we used was very simple -- the model stands out because its a good sculpt.

The rest of the painting was pretty straight forward as well. We had to use a lot of white to tie in the winter theme, but we chose to shade with blues rather than offwhites to give them a cooler toned feel -- all the way down to enchanted blue. We needed brown for the wood, but this was useful because we could tie in things like brown leather and brown hair. The cloaks on the old school bowmen threw their painter at first, till I pointed out we should just use different brown tones to pick out the leaves. He didn't do as many as I'd have liked though (I think three tones would have worked best. Two seems a bit sparse and little unnatural).

Gold and yellow stem naturally from brown, so that solved the problem of what color to use for armor and such. I think many people would have preferred silver, but this is too suggestive of High Elves too me, and I think its too neutral a color.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 - A Forest Goblin Army

We're working on an army of forest goblins right now, and every single figure is mounted on a spider -- a giant spider, or an Arachnarok.

Adam, a client of ours for many years, wanted a custom scheme for his spiders. The Arachnarok's had their own particular look he wanted, but its the giant spiders (not very giant when you think about it) that have a scheme that really stands out. We had to do tan and black markings on them, and I feel they came out quite well.

You'll notice the Arachnarok's do not have some parts or their crew glued on -- this is because of packing concerns. These minis have to travel half way across the planet and they're not going to do that safely if they're and awkward shape.

I haven't seen an army like this and was always wondering when we would. The all-forest goblin list has obvious appeal, all GW needs to do is make a forest goblin infantry set - perhaps with a few "all purpose" bits and pieces so they can be used as weapons crew or otherwise converted to replace other goblins, and that would be that. 

I've entertained fantasies of doing my own forest goblins force but that's largely been sated by my involvement with this order. I still like the idea though of making a small skirmish force. How an Arachnarok can be fielded with a skirmish force eludes me, unless its just used as a big beasty for a specific terrain board or scenario. 

All that would be needed for a forest goblin-themed board would be a couple of abandoned step pyramids form the before times, some jungle (cause lets face it -- these guys need jungle, not random trees from Nova Scotia), and we'd be set.

Idle thoughts perhaps. Perhaps not. 


Thursday, September 29, 2011


We built some dedicated sites (or "microsites") to promote painting services for certain products. So far, we've done:

Space Marines

Space Orks

And Eldar:

They offer the same services our main site does, but the advantage is that they should be easier to find and use than our main site, if one is looking for certain specific products. 

Check em out!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011 - Grey Knights!

We finally got some of the new Grey Knight plastics in recently, here are some pics of a set we did for Joan Company.

I wasn't too sure about the value of them going to plastic, until I saw the range of bits and the new codex - the kit can support a good range of builds. I hope GW plans on redoing all their plastic kits accordingly, so that people will be able to make any codex configuration with the bits available in any relevant kit.

Grey Knights are a good excuse for pulling out metal primes. Something useful to try is priming your minis in the same color that will be the dominant basecoat color - or at least as close as possible to it.

This allows you to do a much thinner, cleaner basecoat which means preserving more detail, and faster painting.

Brasses suggest the Adeptus Custodes, but copper or gold should work nicely with Grey Knights. Perhaps with washes of green and brown in to suggest the patina of age, and then highlighting in lighter golds (Burnished Gold?) or blends of golds and silvers. For no extra effort, that would make for a very distinctive looking Grey Knights army that would make everyone jealous. Yes, they wouldn't be grey, but then silver isn't grey either... A project I think I'll need to do myself some day.

Whether or not I'm keen enough on Grey Knights to get my own is one thing, but I'm definitely using their bitz. Their psybolt and psyflame gear is great for Ordo Malleus minis, and the teleporter packs demand to be used in any project you can get away with.

I'm a big fan of In the Emperor's Name, a new, elegant, rule set for 40k skirmish that rewards kitbashing, and the teleport packs work great for Imperial Guard special forces or kill teams.


If you're interested in working on Grey Knights for you, you can always look us up at