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Made in us
Speed Drybrushing





San Francisco, CA

As part of their Your Club, Your Story outreach, Mantic gave Bay Area Kings of War (BAKOW) a very generous gift of six (!) warbands (starter packs and one or two expansions - quite a few minis!), dice, rulebooks, and even a few objective terrain sets to get folks started down the path of chronicling their hobby. We had just wrapped up an epic campaign with about 10-12 active players each playing up to eight or so games over three months, and thought we’d take August off and jump back in with another campaign perhaps in Sept, once the Ice and Iron supplement was out. I was all excited to play Undead (elves and undead are my KoW armies), but when I saw that Forces of Nature were included in our package - the starter and the blister packs for the Fire Elemental and the Gladewalker - well. I changed my mind! (to be honest… I just postponed the inevitable. The Undead warband stuff looks really good too!)

My friend Bart posted an unboxing video here.


This was just one of six warbands Mantic generously gifted BAKOW, dice, rulebook and terrain not shown...!

I’ve been a fan of Mantic’s Kings of War system for some time now, and their models are really coming along. These new FoN figures are no exception, particularly the cool salamanders (lizardmen). The starter set included 5 plastic salamanders, 5 plastic Niads (weird aquatic fishmen - I can’t decide how I feel about them yet…), 1 plastic netted humanoid “prisoner” (part of the Niad set), a metal druid, and 2 metal cats - animal companions.








The Gladewalker expansion is a single figure. He’s a big guy, who sits on a 25mm base (most Vanguard models use 20mm bases - all Vanguard models use square bases, so they are compatible with Kings of War). It’s a metal model. The model is very cool looking, but I’m also not quite convinced I’m going to use the included “moose ears”. I’m probably going to go with more branches, but the moose antlers just look a bit too weird for my taste…




And finally there’s the fire elemental. A resin model that sits on a 40mm base. And as a nice touch, Mantic included the cards for the other two elementals FoN can take: the earth elemental and the water elemental. (Editor's note: all data for the units can be found online at EasyArmy.com, where Vanguard stats are kept reasonably up to date - I don't even use the cards anymore) He looks like a pretty good big guy, and fun to paint. But lol, they got the art for him wrong - painting his fire backwards going from darker orange colors highlighting up to yellow tips (i.e., fire starts lighter, and gets “darker” as you move from the inside to the outside of the model. Maybe magical, fire-elemental fire works in different ways???)



Anyway, as I put these guys together and paint ‘em over the next month or so, I’ll update this blog. I’ve just gotten a bunch of GW Contrast paints, and am a big fan. I’ll be using those for the most part.

Thanks Mantic!

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/07/30 13:24:39


I play...

Sigh.

Who am I kidding? I only paint these days... 
   
Made in us
Speed Drybrushing





San Francisco, CA

I began with the blister packs, the Gladewalker Druid and the Fire Elemental. I've been playing around with Mantic models for years now, and these fit together surprisingly well. Very little clean up (no flash at all, just venting for the resin and metal) and the parts went together with no reshaping and no significant seams. Very nice! I couldn't handle the elk antlers for the druid (just too dorky), so left them off, and moved a small branch from his back to his ear. Thought he looked much cuter that way. I kept the fire elemental off the base for now, and primed him with paint-on gesso. The Druid got assembled, and primed in beige (GW Contrast Paints recommend Wraithbone somethingoranother, I have Army Painter Skeleton Bone which will have to suffice). I used Vallejo Sandy Paste for the bases, and swear by the stuff. It goes on with the consistency of toothpaste, is easy to shape and smooth, and looks fantastic when dried. I added a few small rocks for good measure.


They assembled amazingly easily and fit together perfectly. Very surprising for Mantic models!

Then I went to work with the (mostly) contrast paints. If you've been living under a rock for the past few weeks, these are really pretty darn good paints that supposedly go on in one coat and you're done. That's not too far off the mark, actually. I used Nazdreg Yellow on the fists and around the bottom of the fire elemental, and painted up the rest of the model in the much lighter wash ("shade") Cassandra Yellow. The Druid got started with Snakebite Leather and Militarum Green (both Contrast Paints) - I opted to let them dry at this point before continuing


Good to let your models dry between applications of Contrast Paints. If they mix together, it can bleed badly and look really crummy

The Druid then got some Space Wolves Grey on his hooves, some Wyldwood for his body, Aggoros Dunes for the leather straps on his weapon, and Basilicum Grey for the stones on the business end of his weapon. The Fire Elemental got his smokey bits painted up in Black Templar black. All contrast paints (well... The druid got a bit of green and brown used that weren't Contrast). At this point, they were reasonably battle ready. Including assembly, priming and painting with contrast, it was less than an hour per figure. Probably about 45-50 minutes for the druid (not including drying times) and a good bit less (35-40m?) for the fire elemental.


Colors used for the second round of Druid painting


I'm really impressed with Contrast Paints. Battle ready in no time. But of course, I have more work to do...

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/07/31 03:20:37


I play...

Sigh.

Who am I kidding? I only paint these days... 
   
Made in us
[DCM]
Enigmatic Exalted Daemon





Albany, NY

Contrast continues to shine for wood, flesh and white IMO pretty bad as a simple solution to flat areas (space marines?!) without thinning and attentiveness, but that's what other methods are for.

Anyway, good looking process, thanks for stepping through it with us! Particularly testimonials to what works for Contrast and what doesn't. (Are you doing the Sallies in red? Cause Contrast red looks great on lizard people)

BLOODFIRE: KOW SALAMANDER REPORTS 
   
Made in us
Speed Drybrushing





San Francisco, CA

Thanks! I love the new Contrast Paints, but haven't yet tried it out on, say, the hull of a Rhino or Grav Tank. I imagine there its unique properties would be mostly useless...!

I did like how the Black Templar Contrast turned out on the billowy smoke at the base of the Fire Elemental. Dark in the recesses, but somewhat lighter on the outermost parts of the smoke. But a warning to Contrast users (that you've likely heard already) - it does rub off! While I was painting the Fire Elemental, the black paint came off quite easily (this is after letting it dry overnight)!

Both bases got drybrushed in successive layers of Mournfang Brown, Snakebite Leather (the old color, not the contrast) and Balor Brown. I hit the rocks with three drybrushes of successively darker greys. The smoke billowing around the base of the Fire Elemental figure got a treatment with the same shades of grey.

I dry brushed the elemental in bright orange (not a contrast color), then a quick drybrush of a darker red (like Khorn red) around the hands an the base of the body by the smoke. I stippled a "burn trail" in black and nuln oil onto the Elemental's base, then glued him down on top of his trail.

I touched up the druid here and there, then drybrushed it lightly with light brown, then just a bit in parts with light grey. The eyes got a dot of bright green.

I glued a bunch of random plant stuff to the bases, and a few things to the Druid's body. I must admit, I'm not in love with the druid. He's just kind of goofy looking. I guess some might call it charming, but it just looks odd: he's a tree, but has hooves (and was supposed to have antlers) like a beastman or something. Just kinda weird...

But as far as I'm concerned, they're done! (I'll hit them with a varnish, to protect the Contrast Paints, when the weather permits)


My finished Fire Elemental and Gladestalker Druid

Which red would you recommend for the salamanders? I have Flesh Tearers Red which is pretty bloody and bright. Maybe the Blood Angels Red would be better?

I play...

Sigh.

Who am I kidding? I only paint these days... 
   
Made in at
Brooding Night Goblin





awesome posts! I am looking forward to read what will happen next!
And nice job on the minis and thank you for the detailed explanation on the painting and assembly part!
   
Made in gb
Dakka Veteran





Very nicely done, I must admit I particularly like the druid, I did the KoW vanguard kickstarter and have yet start on them so will watch this blog with interest
   
Made in us
[DCM]
Enigmatic Exalted Daemon





Albany, NY

 pancakeonions wrote:
Which red would you recommend for the salamanders? I have Flesh Tearers Red which is pretty bloody and bright. Maybe the Blood Angels Red would be better?
I was trying to find the post where somebody Contrasted some Sallies, but I'm pretty sure it was on FB, which means it's lost to the void. Thanks again for killing off forums, FB

BA Red is probably a nice base. Seems pretty bright but that isn't a problem for Sallies, and it is nice and rich.

BLOODFIRE: KOW SALAMANDER REPORTS 
   
Made in us
Speed Drybrushing





San Francisco, CA

Hey all, just back from some well needed R&R (although, with small children, vacations aren't really "vacations" any more...) and I'll be diving back into this blog again.

I'm gonna also got out and get me some BA Red Contrast paints...

Cheers!


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Huron black heart wrote:
Very nicely done, I must admit I particularly like the druid, I did the KoW vanguard kickstarter and have yet start on them so will watch this blog with interest


It's funny... I found the original model kinda goofy looking (hooves and antlers mixed with a tree man?) and it suffers from the Mantic issue of being kinda top heavy - they really like their models with BIG shoulders, BEEFY hands, and ittybittytiny feet. But after I built him, I think he looks cool now!


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Off to the races once again. This time, I'm building the Forces of Nature Druid and her two Animal Companions. These three figures are metal. The animals were easy enough to clean up, limited mold lines and venting ports. They come on a tiny metal disk that sits inside the circles on each of Mantic's bases. Then I added a bit of Vallejo Sandy Paste. The Druid is a much more interesting figure (and a better sculpt, frankly), but unfortunately had a bit of flash on her hair that was a pain to clean up. I'm not sure I did a great job... Oh well. Her arms also needed to be glued on, so I did that with a tiny bit of greenstuff to hold them in place while they dried. More Sandy Paste at her feet. Then primered them with Army Painter Skeleton Bone (again, I think I like the beige primer best for GW's Contrast Paints)

Let's see what happens next, shall we?


Assembled and primered - ready for some Contrast Paint love!

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2019/08/09 23:53:07


I play...

Sigh.

Who am I kidding? I only paint these days... 
   
Made in us
Speed Drybrushing





San Francisco, CA

A day or two later, and we can call them done! First thing was to paint the base edge black, and apply Cygor Brown contrast on the sandy dirt (very dark brown). Contrast is applied a bit heavier than most paints, so I had to wait while it dried between steps. I applied Aggaros Dunes to her dress and parts of her cloak - one animal companion got the same color. I used Black Templar on her hair (looks like dreadlocks) and on the other animal companion. The fur on her cloak and boots got Snakebite Leather Contrast, and her staff got Wyldwood Contrast (which I love - it looks really good as a dark wood base) being careful to leave the feathers the beige undercoat. I used Guilliman Flesh for her skin. At this point, the figures looked pretty good. Unfortunately, I could see I left a seam on her arm (and a smaller one on her leg) which was annoyingly pronounced. Oh well! The quality of the druid was nice; aside from the flash in her hair I mentioned above, I really liked her look, pose, and the quality of the cast. Good model! The animals look a bit goofy and cartoony. Not major, but they're not quite as nice as she is.



Contrast paints applied. These would be table-ready and acceptable in my home!

Once everything dried, I went back for details. The black panther was easy: two yellow dots for eyes, and a bit of tooth-action. Done! The lighter animal companion, I went for a Mountain Lion look. I think it came out OK. For the druid, I went back and hit a few metal bits on her arms and in her hair. Highlighted some bones on her outfit, touched up some leather straps and such, highlighted her dreadlocks with a blue-black paint (I think it's called Stegadon Scale Green, which always looks dark blue to my eyes... But was a nice, kinda weird, kinda cool highlight to her hair). The staff got a bit of love too (a bit blurry, shallow depth of focus I guess - sorry!). The base was overbrushed (using slightly more paint than your typical drybrushing) with Mournfang Brown then Balor Brown (both normal paints) and a few Army Painter tufts and some static grass was added. Done!

I didn't do her eyes; I hate doing eyes and am not very good at it. Many of Mantic's models are more "true scale" rather than "heroic scale" (i.e., their proportions are more true to life, rather than enlarging the head and hands to make them "look better" on the tabletop) and painting the eyes on truescale figures is just too much of a pain in my book. I much prefer heroic scale, but I did like this model. They look good!


And here I'll call 'em done. Good enough for me!

OK, on to the Niaids and Salamanders!

I play...

Sigh.

Who am I kidding? I only paint these days... 
   
Made in us
[DCM]
Enigmatic Exalted Daemon





Albany, NY

At first I didn't scroll down and thought you stopped at the Contrast step, and was about to command that you paint some details because there was no pop of any kind ... but duh, you had that covered with traditional paints Cat lady looks good, mountain lion and all.

BLOODFIRE: KOW SALAMANDER REPORTS 
   
Made in us
Speed Drybrushing





San Francisco, CA

Indeed. I may be a quick, sometimes sloppy painter, but dammit, those details gotta POP!

On to the plastic kits. Let's start with the Naiads because... I started with the Naiads. I wasn't really looking forward to these guys, as the pictures of them don't look that inspiring, and fish-men have never really been my thing. In pictures they looked slightly bow-legged, and just kinda blah. Like older GW plastic models that aren't very dynamic or interesting. Though I'm still not in love with them, I do admit they grew on me a bit. Like a fungus does... In moist environments...

I also do appreciate that Mantic tries hard to put lots of little goodies on their sprues. The Naiads were no exception - there's an otter and a frog to play around with, but this guy kind of took folks by surprise. What the...? A pile of pasta? Disciple of the flying spaghetti monster? And what in heaven's name is going on with his (lack of) head? Unfortunately, somewhere along the way in tooling this guy, about half his head was removed. I'm not a greenstuff sculptor (exhibit A below...), but a few minutes and a tiny blob of greenstuff later, and at least he looks whole. And with paint, you hardly notice anymore. I don't think there are any rules in Vanguard or Kings of War for using this guy, but he's fun. Or she. Maybe it's a female flying spaghetti monster cultist?


What the heck is this thing?


OK, at least this thing has a full head now

The Naiad sprues come with five Naiads. Torsos (or legs, in one case) are separate, with the single included sprue having options for five melee weapons (2 tridents, 2 double headed spears, 1 sword) and five harpoon guns. A few of the empty hands have options for throwing nets, which the Naiads use to harass their enemies (see prisoner, above). And here's another aspect of Mantic that kind of drives me nuts. The Naiads employ Tridents, and there are special rules for models with Tridents, and there are ONLY TWO tridents on the sprue... Even the guys who can be upgraded to carry harpoon guns for extra points, still use tridents for melee. Does Mantic include Tridents (so small, so easy to add!) on the sprue, just to glue on their backs or sides if they're carrying a harpoon gun? no! But there is a frog! And an otter!



And the old three - point - join... I'm going to digress here... and this isn't just a mantic thing. Someone needs to invent a cure for the three-point-join. Know what I'm talking about? 1) left shoulder to left arm, 2) right shoulder to right arm, and 3) one of the arms to the wrist/hand holding a 2-handed weapon. Inevitably I get glue everywhere, and no matter how hard I try, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, 2 of the 3 joins are good, one is a disaster. So I've learned that you just pick a shoulder and put a tiny blob of greenstuff in place, and it'll squish to more-or-less fill the gap. Once the glue sets, after a few minutes, you can go back and scrape out or shape the excess greenstuff. Such a pain!



I'm going for a quick paint up of this faction with Contrast Paints. The irony of this project is that... My next warband will be the undead (I have elf and undead KoW armies, and my elves went 5-0 in our campaign, 8-0 if you count our practice games. The elves were BEASTS, but it's time I learn to lose graciously too...), so these guys are just for fun. Which is why I was horrified to find out that when I primed them, the damn stuff (Army Painter Skeleton Bone - I still haven't managed to get my hands on a can of GW's Wraithbone whateveritscalled) dried up with a crusty, sandy finish. I HATE that, and find it's pretty common here where the humidity can be really bad, Western San Francisco less than a mile from the ocean. These were supposed to be FUN to paint! Just for kicks! Putting paint on this sandpapery finish just tears up paintbrushes, and the primer kind of drinks the paint, so it doesn't seep into the recesses like it normally should. Awful. But as I mentioned above, I'm quick. And I'm sometimes sloppy. Stripping the finish was out of the question. Onward!


My assembled Naiads. If you zoom in, it's not hard to see the fine sandpapery finish on much of the models. Maddening.

The bases I did the same way I did the other Forces of Nature dudes, above. I used Talassar Blue Contrast Paint for the skin of the Naiads, and since they're skinny little fish-things, they didn't have much in the way of muscle or really any features to take advantage of the Contrast paints. The otter, prisoner, the harpoon gun rope and the netting got Snakebite Leather Contrast. Except for the smooth otter, it looked fine on the nets. Would have looked better if they weren't all !@$@#! sandpapery... But where I really liked these guys was the armor. It's very weird, and looks mostly pretty good. As you might be able to see, I wasn't always able (or, frankly, interested...) to get the mold lines off, but they're thankfully faint on these models. No flash either, so that was nice. I used Scale 75 metallic paints (If you don't know them, and like painting, for crying out loud, get some! They're great: https://scale75.com/en/66-fantasy-games-range) I used Kunzite Alchemy for the 'pink/purple' metallic bits, and Emerald alchemy for the 'greener' bits. I washed with Privateer Press armor wash, which is a bit darker than I'd like sometimes, but keeps the shine of metals OK, and finished by edge-lining and highlighting again with Emerald. I really like Scale 75, their metallics are great, and the range of colors is awesome. I paint and play primarily fantasy, and being able to use these weirder colors for armor and such, without having to make my own, is really nice. Highly recommended!

So they came out OK after all. A bit darker than I'd have liked perhaps, and I'm still annoyed at how Army Painter let me down (OK, and maybe my skills at using AP too...), but at this point, they're table ready:


My finished Naiads. Despite the horrors of sandy primer, I think they came out OK


I play...

Sigh.

Who am I kidding? I only paint these days... 
   
Made in us
[DCM]
Enigmatic Exalted Daemon





Albany, NY

They look much better than I would have expected from a spray mishap! Good recovery And that really is a nice Contrast blue.

I keep hearing really great things about Scale 75 metals, maybe I'll get a set for my birthday or wintermas or something. In the meantime I've been making due with P3 Pig Iron tinted with various AP washes (Dark is bae but Strong/Soft make for nice brass or even muted gold). I've rarely heard good things about AP's sprays though, they seem to be very temperamental and require a TON of shaking. I'm switching to almost all airbrush priming now, after my own bad white prime the other day (luckily on single piece metal so I just striped).

As for the spaghetti monster / tangela, props on giving it a head It is totally supposed to be dragged behind one of the Naiads with a net. I had a hell of a time finding a photo of this actually happening, so here's a render from the KOW2 KS:

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2019/08/16 18:10:26


BLOODFIRE: KOW SALAMANDER REPORTS 
   
Made in us
Speed Drybrushing





San Francisco, CA

Hahaha! I had NO idea that was what was supposed to be going on... The feet are set up to stand the prisoner up... They look a little odd like that when the figure is on the ground, but knowing how weird the head looks, I totally get it now!

I play...

Sigh.

Who am I kidding? I only paint these days... 
   
 
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