Old hobbies renewed…

I’ve decided to start posting on an old hobby I’ve just revived, and am really enjoying. After discovering Hero Forge and chatting with some pals, I decided to dust off my old paintbrushes and pots and have a try at miniature painting, something I did in my teens, which is quite some time ago now!

I’m happy to take on any and all criticism (hopefully constructive!) as I get back into this hobby. Bear in mind its been a long time, and my hands are a bit shakier than they were back in the day – and I wasn’t all that good even back then!

So, first off, I’ve been working on a mini I designed on Hero Forge. Here are some photos of the work in progress:

The face. Quite happy with this, and it seems my hands haven’t gotten quite as shaky as I feared!
The shield in progress. I’m watching a lot of YouTube videos on technique, and trying new stuff all the time. This was my first attempt at blending with glazes, and I got a chalkier finish than I was hoping for. I think this was from applying the next glaze before the old one had dried properly. Lesson learned for next time!
I tried a true metallic paint for the armour, but for fantasy and sci-fi minis, I tend to prefer non metallic metallic techniques. I washed this with a watered blue glaze a couple of times, but didn’t like the finish, so it’ll be repainted in NMM.
Overpainted the armour in preparation for NMM. Also painted the sword, which is the second part of the mini I’m really happy with. The NMM blade worked out way better than I’d expected, and the hilt looks pretty good too, although needs a little more work.
Painted the boots and fur, and started highlighting the armour in NMM style. Really struggling to work out the approach to highlights, despite all the videos I’ve watched on it, and articles I’ve read! Also playing around with a coloured background for the photos – sheets of plasticard I had lying around. Struggling with my exposure settings here, so sorry for the darker photo, but will continue to experiment. If anyone has any suggestions in this regard, let me know. I’ve a faithful old Canon Eos 400D (Digital Rebel). I know how to use all the settings, just not how to get them to work well for miniature photography!
Shield and floor finished. I think the NMM worked well on the shield corners, but I continue to play around with it on the armour. Photo has better brightness, but I cheated a little by using the exposure adjustment to bump it up 1 f-stop. I’d rather work out how to get it right using shutter speed/aperture while retaining as low an ISO as I can. I’ve also noticed I need a little more depth of field than I’m getting on f5.6, so will try 8 after the next batch of photos, which I’ve already taken!

So, now to the finished effort. I’m happy with some parts, learned quite a bit, and know I still need a lot of work on painting NMM armour. Also need to improve my photos, but I’m playing around with that too, so will hopefully have a better grasp of that soon!

Need to use a smaller aperture for more depth of field to get the whole model in focus…
I need to be a little more careful with model prep. I thought that seam line on the cloak would be hidden by the primer, but it made it more visible! I’ll sand them off next time.

That was a lot of fun, and remarkably relaxing! Next up is to work my way through a box of Space Marines, which I’m using as a project to practice layering and glazing to shade and highlight in different colours the marine chapters offer. Any tips and tricks for both the photography and painting are much appreciated!

Dragonslayer 2 – Excerpt

Tor have released an excerpt for Knight of the Silver Circle, the second part of the Dragonslayer trilogy. You can read it here:

I hope you’re all having a great summer,

Duncan

Dragonslayer out in the wild, and weekend promotion!

As you may or may not have heard, Dragonslayer is now out in the wild, available in ebook, hardback – which is new for me, paperback, and audiobook which is once again narrated by the awesome Simon Vance. You can pick up a copy in a format of your choice at the links below:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

To mark Dragonslayer’s release, and to shamelessly attempt to fill your summer reading pile with my titles, I’m giving away the kindle edition of The First Blade of Ostia, a swashbuckling fantasy adventure with tons of swordfights, for free this weekend. You can pick up your copy at the following links:

First Blade – Amazon US

First Blade – Amazon UK

Finally, if you enjoyed Dragonslayer, and have a moment to spare, I’d really appreciate it if you could leave a review over on Amazon, at either of the two links above. Aside from buying an author’s book (thanks!), the best thing you can do to help them out is leave a review!

I hope you all have a great weekend,

Duncan

Dragonslayer released today!

Hey folks,

I’m delighted to announce that Dragonslayer—Book 1 in the Dragonslayer trilogy—is now available to purchase in hardback, ebook, and audiobook. It’s been a long road and very different experience getting here with this book, and it’s hard to believe that the day I’ve been working towards for so long has finally arrived!

Dragonslayer is a trilogy about redemption, destructive obsession with power, and, of course, dragons! I’ve wanted to explore the idea and myth of dragons since I started writing fantasy, and this trilogy provided the perfect opportunity to do that. I feel that it’s my best work to date, so I really hope you all enjoy it. Once again, thanks for all your support, and for the interest you’ve shown in my books! So, on to the book!

The cover copy:

With the dragons believed dead, the kingdom had no more need for dragonslayers.

Drunk, disgraced, and all but forgotten, Guillot has long since left his days of heroism behind him.

As forgotten places are disturbed in the quest for power, and things long dormant awaken, the kingdom finds itself in need of a dragonslayer once again, and Guillot is the only one left…

Here’s a snippet of what Publishers Weekly had to say about it (my first big trade publication review!):

Hamilton successfully mixes swords, sorcery, and skullduggery with complex characters […] This is pure adventure fun with plenty for epic fantasy readers to enjoy.

You can order your copy of Dragonslayer now at any of the following links:

I hope you all enjoy Dragonslayer, and that you’re all having a great summer!

Duncan

Twas the night before… new book release

So, it’s the night before Dragonslayer’s release. It’s a feeling similar to the night before Christmas excitement, but with a liberal dose of anxiety added into the mix! Actually, it’s more anxiety with a little excitement added. Or perhaps just anxiety partially masquerading as excitement. This being my 8th book release, you’d think it’d get easier. It doesn’t…

It’s always something of a relief to get some positive feedback at a time like this, so I was delighted today to see Dragonslayer feature on Barnes & Noble’s Best Sci Fi and Fantasy for July, and on the Verge’s Sci Fi and Fantasy to check out in July. You can take a look at the snippets here:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/sci-fi-fantasy/the-best-science-fiction-fantasy-books-of-july-2019/

https://www.theverge.com/2019/7/1/18680132/science-fiction-fantasy-books-recommendations-july-kloos-clarke-del-toro-tremblay-wendig

Finally, there are still a few hours left to preorder Dragonslayer, and be eligible for a copy of The Drake of White Peak. It’s a great short story that I’m particularly proud of. All the details of how to get it, and some preorder links, can be found here:

https://read.macmillan.com/promo/dragonslayerpreorder/

Last Day to Get The Drake of White Peak!

I wanted to remind everyone that with Dragonslayer being released tomorrow, today is the last day for you to preorder, and get a copy of The Drake of White Peak!

Time has really flown and it’s hard to believe release is only one day away! Anyway, you can pick up a copy from any of the retailers listed on Tor’s Preorder Bonus page, where you’ll also find all the details of how to submit your proof of purchase and get your copy!

https://read.macmillan.com/promo/dragonslayerpreorder/

Dragonslayer eBook Pricing

After a number of comments from my readers who were concerned by the more traditional pricing for the ebook for Dragonslayer, and some discussions with the people at Tor, I’m delighted to be able to announce that we’ve decided to lower the ebook price to something more in line with my previously published titles – $6.99 or equivalent in other currencies, down from the original point of $9.99. Anyone who’s already preordered will only pay the new, lower price at release.

It’s very important to me that my work remains accessible to my longstanding readers now that I’ve made the switch over to the traditional publishing model, so I hope this drop in price puts it back within reach of those for whom it was too expensive!

You can preorder a copy now, over at Amazon:

Amazon US

Also, don’t forget about the preorder bonus, The Drake of White Peak. With only 2 weeks left before Dragonslayer’s release on 2 July, time’s running out to get your copy! You can find all the details of how to redeem your proof of purchase and get The Drake of White Peak here:

https://read.macmillan.com/promo/dragonslayerpreorder/

Dragonslayer Audio Sample

I’m lucky enough to have Simon Vance back to narrate Dragonslayer. He won a SOVA Award for Best Fantasy Narration for Wolf of the North back in 2017, so I’m delighted he’s narrating the Dragonslayer trilogy. Tor have put up a teaser for the audiobook narration, so you can now have a listen to the first 3 chapters of Dragonslayer over at this link:

You can grab a copy of Dragonslayer at Amazon, amongst others, but here’s a quick link for Amazon:

Don’t forget about the preorder bonus Drake of White Peak! All the details can be found here:

https://read.macmillan.com/promo/dragonslayerpreorder/

Dragonslayer Signed ARC Giveaway!

I’m running a giveaway over on Goodreads for 1 of 5 signed ARCs of Dragonslayer. There aren’t too many signed copies floating around (1 that I’m aware of right now, and my dad has it…) so obviously this is an incredibly exclusive opportunity!

Once again, I’m afraid this is only open to people in the US and Canada. For whatever reason, Goodreads no longer offer entry to residents in other countries, and it’s the only logistically feasible way for me to run a giveaway. Apologies – I’m as annoyed about this as anyone.

You can enter the giveaway here:

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/293573-dragonslayer

Dragonslayer 3 Cover Reveal!

It feels a little odd revealing the cover for Book 3 in the Dragonslayer trilogy before the first one is even released, but with the quick release schedule (a little less than 6 months between each book) all these things get front loaded a bit! So, here is the cover for the final part of Dragonslayer trilogy, titled ‘Servant of the Crown’.

All three covers are magnificent pieces of art in their own right, and you can rest assured that I’ve worked extremely hard to make sure the interior content lives up to the exterior!

I also wanted to remind everyone that there’s a preorder bonus for Dragonslayer, an original short story called The Drake of White Peak, that introduces the reader to some of the old dragonslayers of legend. With Dragonslayer coming out on 2 July, there’s only a little over a month left to preorder and secure your copy!

All you need to do is proved the good people at Tor with your proof of purchase (and, unfortunately, reside in the US or Canada – apologies to anyone who doesn’t!), which you can do at this link, where you’ll also find all the details of the promotion, along with preorder links for Dragonslayer.

https://read.macmillan.com/promo/dragonslayerpreorder/

You can also use these links to preorder a copy:

Amazon

Apple iBooks

Indie Bound