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I've had a blog here for a few years, but I want to consolidate it and try and keep this topic going to keep me motivated in 2022. 2021 sucked in so many ways, so I figure today is a good day for new beginnings. Rather than using the Blog posts for each project, I'll just consolidate it all here.

I've loved Dark Elves forever, and have screwed around with a Cities of Sigmar all-Dark Elf army, and a Daughters of Khaine snek-force. That's the "Dark" half of the title.

Last month I bought a second-hand undead army. That's the "Dead" half of the title.

My goal is to finish at least one of the three armies in 2022. LOL. Even as I write that I know I'm full of s###, but let's see how far I get, eh?

If you want to see my WIP dark elf stuff from the last three years, it's in the link below. When I update any of that stuff I'll just post in this topic.

 

 

And here's my current project: Grave Guard based on the amazing new skeletons from the Cursed City set. Those models are what awakened my love of all things undead. I fought the desire to start a new massive project for almost a year, but then i saw someone in my city unloading a pile of CC characters, zombies and skeletons. I blame the pandemic, but I'd really run out of steam with my Daughters of Khaine and just wanted to start some new new and... well, "fresh" ain't the word, is it?

I want the Garve Guard to be the cornerstone of my army; they need to be as big as the skeletons, as dynamic, but even more intimidating. So here's my first ten. I wanted some movement, but I wanted to retain the shambling quality to them. The arms are from Dark Elf executioners, because that's what I had in my bitz box. I think the chain mail and sleeves fit though. I removed the blades from the executioner swords and replaced them with blades from darkblades. The originals were a bit too ornate, I wanted more functional. I added shields to their backs to bulk up their silhouettes, and help me separate them from my regular skeletons.

I need to build ten more, so that's next.

I'm also working on building two dragons from a Stormdrake box. I've been waiting 35 years for Games Workshop to design a good dragon, and they FINALLY did it. All of their attempts had poor anatomy, dodgy proportions, goofy teeth or eyes... these finally look like living creatures.

So, one's for my CoS army, and the other will be zombified. I desperately want to get them built; they are one of the nicest plastic kits I've ever seen. I have a specific idea for the zombie dragon's base though, and ordered it earlier this week. So, that's on hold for at least a week, and it's killing me waiting :).

Anyways... here's to a productive 2022!

 

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I was wondering if someone would do a conversion like yours. I love it. The small changes make them really pop and keep them more visually in line with the updated look of Soulblight. I'm going to keep an eye on this thread to see what you do with the zombie dragon.

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Still waiting on the base for the dragon. I really want to keep building them, but both are on hold until I know what legs fit the base best. 

In the meantime, I’ve finally started throwing some paint around. I usually have a rough colour scheme in mind, but really been struggling with these guys. To be fair, that’s what stopped my progress on my DoK too. Ah well.

Trying a bluish armour with lots of black shadows, and red cloth. I should get as much done as possible before I change my mind again….

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Going to try and post every week to keep some momentum going…

I’m still waiting for my base to arrive for my zombie dragon… but I just couldn’t wait any longer, so I’m building my dark elf dragon in the meantime. The wing and limb joints aren’t glued to solidly, in case I need to cannibalize them for the zombie. 
 

I love going through my bits boxes, he’s looking suitable dark and ominous. I’m pretty sure I’m using a lance and shield for him. Seems to make sense to bump up his survivability and damage.

 

For the zombie, I’ve been carving the face down to the bone on one side, with the eye missing. I’ll have some muscles exposed, holes in the wings, chains and spikes to help give it a fire appearance. It won’t be as skeletal as the GW zombie dragon, it’ll still be reasonably… juicy. 

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Cool project and nice conversions!
Will be fun to follow this and see how they all look when painted :)

As an old school dark elves player it would be cool to see some updates regarding SoC/DoK as well ;)
Speaking of dark elves, that purple on the black guard in your profile pic is exactly the hue that I'm looking for for my Har Kuron-project.
Would you be willing to share your recipe?

(I also posted on your blog, sorry for the spam hehe)

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I try and remember to take photos of the paints I use because it can be a gap of literally years between painting… and I have the memory of a goldfish on meth.

I think the attached photo is wrong, I’ve since switched the xerxes to Phoenician purple. It’s slightly more saturated? They’re pretty close, in any case. 
 

…and I finally found a use for the eagle rider from the Isle of Blood box I bought ten years ago and have been carrying around unused ever since. 2/3 of the lance, and the scabbarded long sword made it onto a model finally. 

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Sorry, I missed the bit about the purple being from my avatar; that’s more saturated than the current recipe. After the dark purple, I’d use pinkish/purple layers to get the saturation up.

GW used to have a colour called Warlock Purple that I used on that model, but they discontinued it at least five years ago, and didn’t make anything even remotely close since. I’ve been trying other brands to get something close, but have never been entirely happy with the results. Most other brands don’t have the same opacity or finish, so they take more coats and don’t look consistent from one finished model to the next. 

The photo below is more accurate than the avatar photo:

 

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Edited by Ravenborn
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Alright, last pic, this build is finished. Greenstuffed all the joins and gaps to hopefully make him look like a single piece. 

Damn, that means I need to paint next. I go through phases where I hate building, and just want to paint. Other times, it’s the other way around… like right now.

I picked up some spray paint for the undercoat, maybe I can make some progress this weekend. Fingers crossed. 
 

I took a break from painting my Daughters of Khaine to start a new Soulblight Gravelords… and now I’m back to my Cities of Sigmar   
 

Yep, I’ve got the attention span of a goldfish on meth  

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Edited by Ravenborn
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Man that dreadlord on dragon looks sweet! Where’s the head from?

And thanks for the purple info! Warlock purple looks great, too bad its oop. GW claims screamer pink is the equivalent. But it looks very different imo..

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 1/15/2022 at 2:46 AM, Ravenborn said:

Alright, last pic, this build is finished. Greenstuffed all the joins and gaps to hopefully make him look like a single piece. 

Damn, that means I need to paint next. I go through phases where I hate building, and just want to paint. Other times, it’s the other way around… like right now.

I picked up some spray paint for the undercoat, maybe I can make some progress this weekend. Fingers crossed. 
 

I took a break from painting my Daughters of Khaine to start a new Soulblight Gravelords… and now I’m back to my Cities of Sigmar   
 

Yep, I’ve got the attention span of a goldfish on meth  

4F974F50-DA47-4374-886D-200F54168ED4.jpeg

Love the idea.

it really fits the fluff having drake riders of the dark elves.

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Been trying to sort out colours for the dragon.  It’s a bit brighter than my original plan, which was black top, white belly, and either gold or magenta dividing dorsal line. 

But, I know I’m also doing an undead dragon after this, so I decided to go for more colour.

I’m trying to retain some black on the underside of each scale, and each muscle bulge, to really push the contrast. I’m also adding purple to the shadows for depth of colour.

Interestingly, the result is the rider’s blue armour and purple cloak looks desaturated by contrast.

The belly and undercarriage may stay light blue, but not quite sure. Light brown would be less cartoonish, but not sure.

What do you think?

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Edit to add example of cold/warm undercarriage:

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Edited by Ravenborn
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Thanks for the feedback, I do appreciate it!

Taking a break from painting, my hands have been pretty shaky the last week. Not sure if it’s an infection from my surgery, but going to my family doctor to talk about it tomorrow. 

Enough whining… I got the piece I was waiting for, so I’m working on my zombie dragon again.

He’ll be landing on a destroyed “charnel throne” base. Since this dragon model is smaller than the actual zombie dragon, which sits on a huge circular base (130mm diameter  instead of the 105mm x 70mm bases used by the Stormdrake and dark elf dragon), I wanted to bulk up the model with a structure to fill the space. The lowered wings will hide some of that structure, otherwise that structure could overpower the dragon.

I have two thoughts for the vampire lord; either mounted, or standing under the dragon.  Once I get the dragon built, I’ll make that decision. 

I’m using sprues to fill in gaps on the toes and legs as I cut and reposition them to give a solid connection to the structure. 

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Edited by Ravenborn
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Decided to take another crack at the Grave Guard. The first attempt was too blue, too colourful. Went with black and white for the armour, much happier. Not entirely sold on the blade, want a cool colour to balance the bronze. 

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Bit more progress. The gold helps tie the rider and mount together better. And painting each scale gets tedious, taking breaks to paint other parts, or even other models, helps prevent me from getting sick of the model. 

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Edited by Ravenborn
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