The following miniatures are the first I’ve painted with the W&N Series 7 brushes that have been languishing in my work tray since Christmas 2013. They were a gift from Hark’s grandmother, and since they were EXPENSIVE and a GIFT and need PROPER CARE I’ve been trepid about actually using them. However, my Army Painters ain’t getting any less knackered and so I bit the bullet and tried them out. I didn’t use them for everything (after having to pluck a few loose fibres from the size 1 while working on the barbarian fellow) – the Army Painters are still broken out for messy, rough work like priming, drybrushing and washing – but the W&Ns have seen some use on everything I’ve been painting this week.
The Houseguard Thane was executed almost entirely with the new W&Ns. I wasn’t 100% sold on them until I painted his gun and eyes, which went off… perfectly. Absolutely perfectly. First time. Everything stayed perfectly crisp, no bleeding of thinned paint into other regions – nothing of the sort. I don’t know if it’s because I was concentrating harder, being fretful about being slapdash and ruining the brushes, but no – I usually take care with eyes and they often still need two goes.
The W&Ns also saw some use in layering this Eldritch’s skin (a couple of goes over with Vallejo Ghost Grey) and armour (thinned P3 Radiant Platinum). One thing I have noticed is that the thinner paint and finer brushwork really brings out the ugliness in under-sculpted models like the Sythyss (left) – that potato face is seriously not attractive and there’s not much for the brush to bring out, unlike the severe lines of the eldritch’s musculature.
This Generic Fantasy Barbarian (TM) is about half done. By contrast to the figure above, he saw almost no attention from the W&Ns, apart from the chains, sword and girdle. I tried picking out the individual lines on his bearskin and hair with the larger of my two W&N brushes, but was rapidly dissuaded when the fibres started to trail and straggle, with a few danglers needing to be plucked off the tip of the brush. Mindful of the time I ruined an Army Painter Hobbyist brush on the first go, I left off after a few minutes and went back to the stalwart AP Wargamers for a spot of drybrushing and inking.
Nightmare – who was a bit of a sod to snap in the unexpected January sunshine – is another testament to the quality of the W&N brushes. All the runework on his armour plates flowed beautifully once I started to put some faith in the quality of my tools and take my time. The colour scheme’s a bit of an experiment too, as I wanted it to look at least partly ethereal and ghostly-like; the slight mottling that comes from only using a single layer of Vallejo paint over the grey-and-ink primer seems to be helping in that regard, although I’ll need to go back and glaze or at least black-line the plates in its hands. After that… green glow on the facial grille and engine and it’s pretty much done.
I’ve also been taking care to only pick up paint on two thirds of the brush, give it a little twist after rinsing to keep the point, all the stuff you’re supposed to do for brushes but which I need the added slap on the wrist (these were EXPENSIVE and a GIFT don’t RUIN them) to do. I haven’t bothered with actual brush soap but I do give them a going over with squeezy gel and a more gentle rinse than the Army Painters generally receive.
The hobby queue currently stands thus:
- Bane Lord Tartarus, 2x Soulless Escorts, Garryth – one area basecoated
- Issyria, Witch Coven, Khador Rifleman, objective markers – primed, inked, ready for basecoat
- Bane Knights, Cephalyx and Drudges – primed, ready for ink
- Fell Bats, Varghulf, Nobz mob – need repairs/finishing/priming, although I’m in no hurry on these – they’re just there to nibble away at when I feel like it
- Retribution starter box – needs buildin’
Once I have Issyria and the Soulless painted my next priority will be banging through those Cryxian infantry and Tartarus at a goodly rate of knots – my Cryx are very much a workmanlike, impressionistic project, rather than the more crisp and cartoonish style I’ve adopted for the Retribution. I’d like to have the Cryx totally done by the time Iron Kingdoms Unleashed launches, as I’m interested in that as the first small-and-self-contained project of the year. More on that in my next Frugal Gaming post on the House of Paincakes, I reckon.