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Brush Hour

Hello and welcome to the first instalment of Brush Hour – a weekly roundup of our hobby progress. If you’ve read our latest update it should come as no surprise that both Wash and I have started painting our Frostgrave warbands. But it looks like a few Space Marines have crept in as well!


I’ve chosen to create a model to represent one of each soldier type to start with. Obviously they won’t all see play immediately but having the option to bring any of them in later down the line is quite appealing.

These models were all created with bits from the Frostgrave plastic kits. I used the knight kit to represent the soldiers in heavy armour and the soldier kit to represent the soldiers in light armour. The apothecary was made using bits from the cultist kit and the wizard kit. Expect a post detailing the fluff for each of these models once they’re painted. There are still some models to be assembled as I plan to get hold of the barbarian kit to represent some of the more “rugged” members of the warband.

I also knocked together a quick recipe for the basing scheme and tested it on a treasure token. In Wraxia the Great Winter has given way to the Thaw and to represent this I wanted to combine water effects and snow on the same base. This was the result:

For those interested, the steps are as follows:

  • Apply a thick layer of Astrogranite Debris to the base. Leaving gaps where the puddles will later be.
  • Drybrush heavily with Grey Blue and then more lightly with White Grey.
  • Apply watered-down patches of the Space Wolves Grey and Wyldwood contrast paints, taking care to draw away any severe pooling with your brush.
  • If you are using them, apply the grass tuft(s) to the base with super glue or PVA. For my bases I use Deadland Tufts from Army Painter.
  • Apply mounds of Valhallan Blizzard to the base and tufts.
  • Use a dry brush to blend the corners of these mounds into the surrounding terrain.
  • Apply the contrast paints used previously to the drying snow to imply patches of ice and slush.
  • Apply AK Interactive’s Puddles to any holes that you wish to fill with water. My advice is to have a source of water near these puddles i.e. a melting patch of ice.

Aside from the Frostgrave warband, I also painted a marine from an unknown chapter. He was originally meant to serve as a test model for a Night Lord’s heresy-era scheme but I felt compelled to finish him. As a Death Guard player, I am a fiend for bone white armour so I was happy that I could sneak some onto a loyalist.

I enjoyed painting him so much that I snatched up one of the new primaris lieutenants from eBay and I’m using him as a palette cleanser between painting sessions. I’m taking a bit more time with his armour than I did with the test model as I really want to push the contrast on the blue armour panels.


I’ve been back to work recently, and that’s cut significantly into my hobby time. Nonetheless I have been hard at work over the weekends, and things are progressing at a decent rate. It has been elf mage central in the armoury for the past week or so. The most pertinent photo is of my burgeoning warband, led by an old metal Mordheim mage. The troops are GW shadow warriors with arms from Oathmark elf light infantry.

This was the first time I had handled any frames from North Star Figures, and I was reasonably impressed. The arms are superb, the torsos have a nice flow to their clothing, and the accessories are good. I can’t claim to love the heads, but for the price and given the slightly smaller scale I can’t really complain. Certainly some of the paintjobs I have seen online make them truly shine. Originally I had converted a mage for my warband from another old metal GW elf mage.

I had done an indifferent job of stripping him (I had bought him at the age of 12, and the paintjob reflected that), but I was pleased with the green stuff work. This was a mage I could get behind, a conversion that I felt reflected the best elements of the olf GW metal elves (which remain my favourite fantasy elf sculpts) and more modern detailing. Unfortunately, a combination of the residual paint from a decade ago and some dodgy weather conspired to create an undercoat which can best be described as “incurably bumpy”. I got a fair way through painting before deciding to throw the towel in.

It’s back to the paint stripper for you

This was something of a blow, so I returned to one of the other elf themed projects I have on the go – a small army of swordmasters. The aim is to use these as Lumineth Realm Lords, now the Eldritch Council have been retired. The swordmasters should make excellent stoneguard (both are warrior mystics who guard mages and place great importance on the perfect timing of a blow), with appropriate magical support. I painted up a test model a week or so ago, and he did well on instagram, so, you know, that gives me some nebulous sense of self worth.

The lack of extraneous detail made this swordmaster a pleasure to paint.

With the converted mage out of commision for either Frostgrave or AoS, I turned to another old High Elf mage. This was probably the second or third model I had ever bought. He was stripped down a year ago, and undercoated ready for a new life. He was then left. Much of the shading and highlighting has yet to be done, but I had time on Sunday to paint his cloak exclusively with oils. I had used oils extensively before on paper and canvas, but this was my first time using them on models as the base colour and not as a wash.

I’m pleased with the effect – the photos don’t get across the sheer vibrancy of the paint. Once the oils are dryer I will re-varnish and add some weathering with raw umber to the robes and cloak. The fire will be done largely with washes and contrast. It feels good to resurrect a model who hasn’t seen any table time for over 10 years. I’ll post pictures once he is done, hopefully with a retinue of swordmasters.

The Space Wolves are largely on the back burner – I’m toying with rebasing them on mud bases to match Krognak’s Death Guard, but I haven’t decided for sure. I have been working on some Eradicators, which, after the left arms were mislaid, I have converted to be holding lascutters.

With no prospect of gaming on the horizon, they’ll probably hang around for a bit. At the moment, I have painted forces for most systems I need (look out for my Frostgrave Lucanari in the coming weeks), so I can paint what I fancy. It’s a liberating position to be in, but I miss the focus brought by a specific project. Until next time!

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