Monday, October 26, 2020

Blitz Bowl: Halfling Hefty

Halfling Hefty next to a Human Lineman.



We recently started to play Blitz Bowl, the streamlined cousin of Blood Bowl. Although the Blitz Bowl box contained a Human and Dwarf team, I wanted to play a Halfling team, having had the team since their release. Although diminutive in stature, the Halfling models abound with character, with really expressive faces. With a team of only 6 models, the Halfling team also presented a great opportunity to assemble and fully paint a Blitz Bowl team!


I decided I would start by painting the team’s strongest player, the Hefty. This model is the only one on the team that is wearing a traditional helmet, making the model a good one to define a color scheme for the team. Living in Baltimore, Maryland, home of the Baltimore Ravens, I wanted to create a team that used similar colors, namely purple and black. The team name also parallels the Ravens, the Bodimore Byakhees. In an effort to speed up the painting process, I decided to do zenithal priming, based on Vince Venturella’s method, allowing me to use glazing to paint all of the purple areas. Briefly, I primed the model black, followed by lightly airbrushing the model with a light gray at a 45 degree angle, and finally spraying a small amount of white ink directly above the model (90 degrees). This resulted in a nice transition from white to black, with the recesses and under areas staying dark. This naturally demarcates the highlights and shadows, something that can be taken advantage of by thinly applying transparent layers of color, or glazing.

The purple was painted by glazing purple over zenithal priming.


Before starting to glaze, I did strengthen some of the highlights by applying some additional white ink (Daler Rowney) to areas with a brush. I also darkened some of the recesses with Payne’s Grey ink (Daler Rowney). After this was done, I was able to paint the purple incredibly quickly, simply by thinning down Scale75 Violet (SC-56) and glazing it over the zenithal layer. The thin layers of transparent purple naturally blended with the zenithal highlights and shadows, keeping the light areas light and the dark areas dark. If I wanted to further highlight or darken an area, I would go back and paint an area with White or Payne’s Grey ink, before going back and adding a thin coat of purple. This allowed me to paint all of the purple in less than 20 minutes.


The model's based was made by simply using PVA glue to apply static grass.


I tried to paint the black areas on the model via glazing in black, but found it more difficult to work with than the purple, and had to go back and forth with black and grey paints to get it to look right. In the end, I found wet blending Coal Black and Bright Warm Grey from Monument hobbies Pro Acryl range of paints also worked quite well for painting black. The Pro Acryl paints are relatively thick and pigment dense, allowing you to apply them to the model and blend them together with a clean brush, before they dry. The skin was painted in a similar way, primarily using Tan Flesh from Pro Acryl and Flesh 5 from Warcolours as a shadow tone. I glazed in a little red on the halfling’s noze, and some purple into his cheek, to add a little more life to the model.


A zenithal primed halfling next to the painted Hefty.


The bandages were painted with a few Pro Acryl paints, namely: Bold Titanium White, Bright Ivory and Ivory. The thickness of the paint, along with the finely ground pigment, allowed me to thin the paint and then apply it to the model and feather the paint out, smoothly blending it. To add some additional variety to the bandages, I used a combination of Citadel Steel Legion Drab, Karak Stone, and Ushabti Bone. The silver was painted with a base coat of Vallejo Metal Color Gunmetal Grey, followed by a highlight of Duraluminium. Vallejo Metal Color paints are the best metal paints I have ever used. Each is incredibly thin, both airbrush and brush ready out of the bottle, and covers completely in one or two coats of the paint.


The Halfling Hefty next to an arco-flagellant.



I wanted the model’s base to be quite simple, approximating a football pitch. This would also bring another color to the model. While I tried a few different practice bases, I ended up settling on using static grass. I had never used static grass before, but thankfully the process was quite straightforward. I started by applying a thin layer of Citadel Technical Stirland Mud, which was drybrushed with some lighter browns after it dried. Then, using an old brush, I painted a layer of PVA glue on the base and sprinkled on the static grass (more liberally than needed). After about 1 minute of drying time, I took a brush and gently started to brush off the excess grass and help stand up any grass that had contacted glue. After getting the majority of the unbound grass off, I let the glue dry for an additional 15 minutes before brushing the base again, to further refine the look of the base.


I am quite happy with how the first halfling of the Bodimore Byakhees turned out! The paint scheme worked out like I was hoping, and was pretty quick to do. Now I just need to paint the other 5 models of the team! And play some games of Blitz Bowl!

- Eric Wier

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