Servant of the Crown Audiobook

Servant of the Crown Audio Cover

I’ve been listening to the audio of Servant of the Crown during writing breaks on my new project, and I wanted to share my thoughts on audio. Aside from the practicalities of the format for commutes or exercise time, I particularly love the audio versions of my books as they allow me to enjoy the stories in a way that I really can’t when I read them. I think the performance of them gives me enough distance to be a little more objective about them, rather than simply seeing all the little things I’d change if I had another pass at it.

I’ve been lucky enough to have Simon Vance as narrator for six of my books now, and once again he does a truly exceptional job on Servant of the Crown. If you want to get a taste of that mellifluous voice, you can check out an audio sample of the book here:

Don’t forget, Servant of the Crown is now on general release. You can pick up a copy of the audiobook at Amazon or Audible!

Dragonslayer 3 Out Today!

Today is release day for Servant of the Crown, the third and final part of The Dragonslayer trilogy! How will things turn out for Gill, and the world in general now that magic, dragons, and other magical creatures have awakened?

You can pick up a copy in paperback, ebook, and audiobook, and start reading it now at the following links!

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Audible.com

So, that wraps up another trilogy, and my first that’s been traditionally published, with Tor. I’ve already got my next project well underway, so stay tuned to find out about that, which I hope to start talking about in the next couple of months!

I hope you all enjoy Servant of the Crown, and want to thank you for following and supporting my work!

Duncan

Space Marines 6 – White Scar

Today’s Space Marine, a White Scar, tackles a particularly tricky colour to get right – white! I used an old white paint set for this, that to be honest, I really didn’t get along with. The shades go from cream to a sort of dirty grey for the shadows. I couldn’t get the hang of the set, so the end result is a bit muddy looking.

I want to have another go at white, perhaps using grey scale shading, or blue as a shade, which seems to work pretty well. Going for warm, brownish shades just hasn’t worked all that well for me here. In places it looks ok, in others, not so much!

So, to the pictures!

White Scar 1
White Scar 2
White Scar 3
White Scar 4

I think this is a really nice looking chapter with a great colour scheme when painted well, so I’ll most likely revisit it at a later stage. My original plan was to paint 2-3 in each of the chapters I chose so I could apply the lessons I learned with each one, although I expanded the number of chapters I decided to paint, so 2 is probably more likely!

If you’ve any hints or tips for painting white, please feel free to share them, and likewise any other mini painting tips or experiences!

You can find the other parts of this series here: Part 1 – Ultramarine, Part 2 – Blood Angel, Part 3 – Imperial Fist, Part 4 – Salamander, Part 5 – Dark Angels.

Giveaway Reminder!

I just wanted to remind everyone that in anticipation of the release of Servant of the Crown, the final part of The Dragonslayer trilogy, on 10 March, I’m giving away 5 signed copies of Book 1 over on Goodreads. It ends on 10 March, same as release day, so not much longer left to go! Sadly, it is only open to residents of the US and Canada, which is beyong my control. You can enter the contest at the below link:

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/303936-dragonslayer

Space Marines 5 – Dark Angels

We’re now halfway through my first box of Space Marines of the old school variety. This time around I went with a Dark Angel’s colour scheme. As always, I use Vallejo Paints, not GW ones, so I have to come up with an approximate colour match.

In terms of colour scheme, I think I got the colour values for the highlights and shades to a pretty good place, but as usual the photos really show up my clumsy highlight transitions. As I’m moving into my next models, I’ll be paying a lot of attention to improving on this. The shoulder pads continue to be an issue. I think I’ll switch to a round highlight on the top for this in future, as I don’t think the approach I’ve been taking really works, and that’s particularly apparent on this model.

The black wash I used to darken the recesses are a bit shiny in places, and caught some reflection from my flash in the photos, so there appear to be some white spots in them that aren’t actually there. I might try finishing with a matte varnish in future to prevent this.

I’m particularly happy with the lens on the gun on this one – it worked out particularly nicely, so this approach is one I’ll use from now on. It’s 4 tones, with a white spot, rather than the 3 I usually use, and I think that darker to lighter transition really improves the effect.

So, to the photos!

Space Marines 5 - Dark Angels Front
Space Marines 5 - Dark Angels Right
Space Marines 5 -Dark Angels Left
Space Marines 5 -Dark Angels Back

Finally, the sharper eyed may notice I’ve changed my approach a little on this guy, using metallic metal paint for the first time in the series so far, with the gun barrel and clip painted in it.

As always, if you’ve got any hints or tips for painting Space Marines, or minis in general, please feel free to leave a comment below, or send me a mail via my contact page.

You can find the other parts of this series at these links: Part 1- Ultramarine, Part 2 – Blood Angel, Part 3 – Imperial Fist, Part 4 – Salamander.

Servant of the Crown Audio Sample!

Servant of the Crown - The Dragonslayer 3 - Coming on 10 March 2020

I’ve got the audio sample for Servant of the Crown – once again narrated by Simon Vance – to whet your appetite in anticipation of release day, which is now only 11 sleeps away, on 10 March! You can listen to the sample below, or over at SoundCloud by clicking through the embedded link:

I think Simon has done a wonderful job once again, and I love having him narrate my books. I hope you enjoy the sample, and also the full work when it comes out on 10 March!

Don’t forget, you can preorder you copy right now over at Audible or Amazon:

https://www.audible.com/pd/Servant-of-the-Crown-Audiobook/1250264049

Space Marines 4 – Salamanders

Space Marine Number 4 is a Salamander, which is a light green colour scheme. Overall this wasn’t a difficult colour to work with, and I’m pretty happy with the tonal range I had – as a reminder, I don’t use GW paints as I don’t own any, so have to work out an approximate paint recipe from the range I do have.

The main issue with this guy is that the photos really expose how rough my blends are, not just in transition but also in shape and smoothness. This is something I really have to work on, but I think brush control is a large part of this, and it only improves with a lot more practise!

The other thing I didn’t get right here, which I usually make a reasonable job of, is the eye lenses. I don’t have a strong enough transition of colours here, and they’re too light as a result. It was the first yellow lens I’ve painted, so live and learn!

The weapon and chest logo are non metallic metal. The barrel of the flame thrower was a bit of a challenge, and to be honest I think it looks slightly better in the photo than in reality. I get the idea behind how reflections should work on NMM objects, but I can never seem to get them to look quite as good as they do on Youtube videos!

Time for photos!

Space Marine Salamander 1
Space Marine Salamander 2
Space Marine Salamander 3
Space Marine Salamander 4

I still struggle a bit to work out where to highlight, and in my next batch will focus on the edge highlighting technique. It kind of defeats the purpose of using these as a practise vehicle for highlighting, but I want to see what type of a result I can get with the edge highlighting!

You can find the other parts ofthis blog series here: Part 1 – Ultramarine, Part 2 – Blood Angel, Part 3 – Imperial Fist.

As always, feel free to send any hints or tips you might have, they’re always appreciated! Also, if anyone has any suggestions on chapter colour schemes for my next box of marines, let me know!

Space Marines 3 – Imperial Fists

In the third instalment of my Space Marine painting adventure, I’ve painted an Imperial Fist. Yellow is the colour of the day with this guy, which presented its own set of challenges, some down to the nature of the colour, and some self-inflicted.

I’ve a few initial comments to make on this one. The first thing is that I usually undercoat my models with a black rattle can spray. I think I’m going to pick up a can of mid grey and a can of white, and experiment with these a bit when I’m painting models of a mainly bright colour. I’ve read that once you get to 3-4 coats (which I do anyway), any effect of the undercoat is minimal, but I think I’ll try it anyway to see if it makes life any easier.

The next thing is that I’ve started to use a wet palette, and an acrylic thinner medium instead of plain tap water to thin my paints. The issue I had here was that I didn’t mix the thinner through the yellow well enough, meaning I got the nice saturated sunburst yellow colour in places (see the pauldrons), and a milky, chalky yellow in others (see the gun and leg plates).

Now, on to the photos!

The yellow colour represented less of a challenge with the photography, rather than me doing anything different, and getting things right!

Another painting mistake I made with this one is that after the initial 4 layers of thinned yellow base coat, I washed the entire model in a sepia ink. That’s given the flat panels a bit of a muddy effect in places. In future, I’m going to try and keep this application as precisely to the seams and recesses as I can, which I should have done from the start…

As always, if anyone has any comments, tips, or painting experiences they’d like to share, feel free to drop them in the comments box below. If you want to take a look at my previous efforts, here are the links to Part 1 and Part 2!

Giveaway Time!

Available on Tuesday 10 March!

To celebrate the upcoming release of Servant of the Crown, the final part of the Dragonslayer trilogy which will be out on Tuesday 10 March, I’m running a giveaway over on Goodreads for 5 signed paperback copies of the first book in the trilogy, Dragonslayer.

I’m afraid the giveaway is only open to residents of the US and Canada. Once again, apologies to everyone else for this, but it’s completely beyond my control.

You can enter the giveaway over here: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/303936-dragonslayer

Good luck to everyone who has entered!

Look what arrived in the morning post…

With release day for the final part of the Dragonslayer trilogy now less than a month away, on Tuesday 10 March, the nearness of it all hit me today when these two beauties arrived all the way from Tor in the US.

The covers always look a little different in the flesh than they do on the screen, and the green background is a bit darker than I was expecting, but looks even better than I’d hoped for. I’m really pleased with how the covers have turned out for all three books in the series, and it feels hard to believe that I’m almost at the end of the road with this trilogy. The last couple of years have gone by so quickly!