It’s crazy to think that it’s a full month since I posted my last Space Marine photo – that was already 2 weeks into lockdown for us here, and was all the stored up photos I had to rely on! I’m looking forward to getting back to my painting table and sharing some more of my efforts with you all, but that looks like it’s still some way off, so I wanted to post some updates to let you all know what I’ve been up to!
I usually have a few projects on the go at any one time, all at different stages of completion, one with my editors, while the other is on my desk. The whole lockdown thing has upset my schedules a little but I’ve a couple of different stories at an advanced stage right now.
The first of these projects is the one that you’ll probably be most interested in. It’s a new fantasy story with new characters set in my Middle Sea world, and picks up some of the concepts I raised in my previous trilogies. As I usually like to do, it’ll be a self contained story that you can read on its own, but with some cameos from old characters and references to events from the past books. I’ve not got a title for this one yet, but it’s what I’m working on right now, and the first draft is almost complete. I’m hopeful that I’ll still be able to hit my original target of releasing it before the end of the year!
The other project is a bit of a new area for me, and quite an exciting prospect as a result! I’ve often talked about how I love to write the genres I like to read – fantasy, sci-fi, and action/adventure. I’ve been working on a couple of sci-fi ideas for a while now, and have completed the first book in a military sci-fi/space opera style series, entitled ‘The Alpha Protocol’.
It’s a similar style of story telling to my fantasy work, just set in space! It was a lot of fun to write, those who’ve read it so far tell me it was a lot of fun to read (and they don’t always say that!), so I’m hoping you guys will enjoy it too! I’m hoping to get this book out in the coming Autumn.
We’ve been surviving the lockdown here with lots of cooking, and also some chocolate making, which has been surprisingly successful. Sadly, few, if any, of these creations last long enough to be photographed, so it would seem I’m not destined to become a foodie instagramer!
I hope everyone else is doing well, staying healthy, and surviving the lockdown. If you’re looking for something to read, I believe Knight of the Silver Circle is on sale at the moment. I might be a bit biased in saying I think it’s a great book, and well worth checking out if you haven’t already, but hey, everyone’s got their favourite!
The final Space Marine in my box is painted in the colour scheme of the Relictors. This is the second time in a row I’ve thrown my reluctance to use true metallic paints to the wind, this time with a silver colour scheme. Once again, these Vallejo paints are a joy to use, although need to be treated a little different to regular acrylics, something I’m still practising with.
I’ve not got a whole lot to say about this guy. He was fun to paint, and admittedly looks a little bit like a Cylon! On to the photos!
I didn’t mess around too much with this guy. I stuck to black for the recess shading, which looks solid, the eyes are good – I’ve kinda got these down now, at least when I have a steady enough hand to get them right – and the little go-fasta stripes on his chainsaw look pretty nicely highlighted too!
All tips, trick, hints, and constructive criticism is appreciated, so feel free to message me in the comments, or over on Facebook. If you want to take a look at the previous parts of this series, you can find them at these links: Part 1 – Ultramarines, Part 2 – Blood Angels, Part 3 – Imperial Fists, Part 4 – Salamanders, Part 5 – Dark Angels, Part 6 – White Scars, Part 7 – Hawk Lords, Part 8 – Iron Hands, Part 9 – Golden Gryphons.
This will be my last painting post for a few weeks, as we’re in lockdown at the moment, and I don’t have my painting stuff with me at the moment. I’ve a couple more marines from the newer style set painted and ready for photos, and a selection of other chapter colours to finish out that box with. After that, I hope to move on to some fantasy minis!
As lockdown continues, hopefully we’re starting to turn the corner here, and life will be able to get back to normal in the not too distant future for us and everyone else. I hope everyone is well, taking care of themselves, and sticking to the rules to keep themselves healthy. It’s tough, but I think the light is starting to appear at the end of the tunnel!
The ninth part of this series, and penultimate model in this box, is a member of the Golden Gryphons chapter of Space marines. I’m doing something a bit different with this guy. I’ve mentioned before how I don’t really like true metallic paints on this type of model, but decided to try them.
I came across a series of Vallejo true metallic paints that really produce a great result. I can never get the end result I want from the regular acrylic ones. The Golden Gryphon’s name gives away the colour scheme, which is of course gold. It’s the largest amount of true metallic painting I’ve done in a long time, so was a bit of trial and error. On to the photos!
The glaring issue with this Golden Gryphon is that I started off the recess shading with a brown ink. I think it looked, well, completely crap, but it was too late to change it. I should have overpainted it with gold again, but I hoped the black ink I switched to would cover it. It didn’t, hence the brown, uh, rust stains…
Other than that, I’m pretty happy with this guy. The gold metallic paint was a joy to work with. I usually find metallics a frustrating misery of too gloopy or too thinned down meaning poor metallic consistency. The contrast on the eyes is nice and the green works well against the gold. Were it not for the shading error, I think this Golden Gryphon would look pretty good.
I still need to practice with these new metallic paints, as they behave a bit differently to regular acrylics. They really don’t seem to like a wet palette, and the ropey paint job on the gun is my fault rather than the paint’s. I like these paints, so will start to use true metallics a bit more than I have in the past.
All tips, trick, hints, and constructive criticism is appreciated, so feel free to message me in the comments, or over on Facebook. If you want to take a look at the previous parts of this series, you can find them at these links: Part 1 – Ultramarines, Part 2 – Blood Angels, Part 3 – Imperial Fists, Part 4 – Salamanders, Part 5 – Dark Angels, Part 6 – White Scars, Part 7 – Hawk Lords, Part 8 – Iron Hands.
I hope everyone is keeping well, and doing their best to keep busy if they’re on lockdown! We were on a limited one for two weeks, but are now on day 3 of a full one!
First, I hope everyone is healthy, and following all the guidelines on how to remain so! Space Marine Number 8 is a member of the Iron Hands, which means the colour of the week is black.
There are a number of different approaches to shading and highlighting black, with greys and blues being two of the most popular. I’ve also seen purple used to good effect. The main danger that I’ve encountered with black is how to highlight it without it ending up looking like it’s grey. I’ve never been a fan of the blue highlighting approach, so I went with grey.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with how this one turned out. He still looks like his armour is black, but the highlights have worked reasonably well at the same time.
One of the changes to my approach on this member of the Iron Hands is how I approached highlighting the pauldrons. I went for a circular highlight on the top part, treating it as a sphere, and left it at that. I think looks far better than the approach I was taking of treating it like a combined sphere and cylinder.
Again, I’ve started to do a little more edge highlighting on this guy. This is a technique I’m liking more and more on these models. It’s also one I’m using exclusively on my next set of marines. It’ll be interesting to compare the two approaches!
As always, all tips, trick, hints, and constructive criticism is appreciated, so feel free to message me in the comments below, or over on Facebook. If you want to take a look at the previous parts of this series, you can find them at these links: Part 1 – Ultramarines, Part 2 – Blood Angels, Part 3 – Imperial Fists, Part 4 – Salamanders, Part 5 – Dark Angels, Part 6 – White Scars, Part 7 – Hawk Lords.
As a final note, for the quarantine, I made The First Blade of Ostia free for a few days. Today is the last day of the free run, so make sure you grab a copy while you can! Take care of yourselves!
Considering how crappy everything seems right now, I’ve decided to make The First Blade of Ostia free on Kindle. It’s live now (or should be – if not check back in a couple of hours!) and runs from Thurs 19 March to Mon 23 March inclusive.
Every time I sit down at my keyboard, I get to forget about everything going on in the world around me for a few hours. It’s one of the reasons why I write, and it’s why I publish my books, in the hope that I can share that with other folks too. With all that’s going on right now, I think that’s more important than ever.
The First Blade is a stand alone book, so you’re getting the entire story in this one volume – there’s no need to buy a book 2 or 3 or 7 or 8 when this one is done to find out what happens, because there isn’t any more to this story. The First Blade is about realising what’s truly important in life, and how single minded ambition can blind you to it.
I hope you enjoy The First Blade of Ostia, and hope it helps take you away to another place for a little while, as it did for me when I was writing it! You’ll find a selection of links below to download it from the Amazon location of your choice! I hope everyone and all those you care for remain safe and healthy!
Part 7 of my Space Marines painting series is a member of the Hawk Lords. Purple is the colour of the day, along with a bit of non-metallic metallic gold for the shoulder edges.
This is one that didn’t photograph quite so well as it looks in the plastic, so overall I was quite happy with the colour selection for the shades and highlights, which are guess work on my part, because I don’t use Games Workshop paints.
Time for the photos:
I seem to have forgotten to take a rear view shot of this guy, but you get the idea!
Overall, I’m quite happy with him. The old chestnut of where to highlight, and how much, remains something of a challenge, but I’ve started doing a little more edge highlighting, and am seeing how effective it is on this type of mini.
Done over, I think the eyes need a little more contrast, and look a bit flatter than my better efforts in this regard. Also, purely for the sake of photography, I think a lighter top highlight would be good. Other than that, I don’t think this guy looks at all bad, although this chapter is a bit dull looking without the golden hawk emblems on the pauldrons. I’m not sure I’m ready to take on that level of freehand fine detail work just yet though!
As always, all tips, trick, hints, and constructive criticism is very much appreciated, so feel free to hit me up in the comments below, or over on Facebook. If you want to take a look at the previous parts of this series, you can find them at these links: Part 1 – Ultramarines, Part 2 – Blood Angels, Part 3 – Imperial Fists, Part 4 – Salamanders, Part 5 – Dark Angels, Part 6 – White Scars.
Finally, in the current crazy times, I hope everyone and those they care about are safe and healthy, and continue to remain so! Take care of yourselves!
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:
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!
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!
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!
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!
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: