Thursday, 7 April 2016

An odd couple - Ogrynn and Goeblynkynn from the realm of Zhu

First of all here's an album that inspires me and helped me get into the right mood for those who fancy some good old inspirationnal music.


Now you might remember that some (long) time ago, I had the pleasure to change this blog's head banner from a Blanche rip-off for an unique artwork from Zhu Bajiee. Now I intended to repay him in some way from the start and the only real thing I can do is paint models really (don't think anyone from the hobby would be much interested in Kendo lessons or foundation designs...). So I offered to lend my painting skills in exchange.
To my surprise I received two very different models (at first), one big and old, the other small and new. A close look at the models first indicated that both were marvellous sculpts (no surprise given the sculptors really) but that they actually matched each other very well and that bonding one to another would be a very nice exercise.

The ogryn and goblin have got used to covering each other's back in combat

Along with the models and some visual references, I got a hand-written letter giving a bit of background for both characters to pick hints and clues about how those 2 should look like.
I have to say I absolutely loved this way of doing things, challenging one's imagination rather than being bluntly direct about colour schemes and all.

"Aeldwurth the Belch and Skungevinger Runtbottom are accustomed to a life of pig-sticking, mug-raking, mushroom thievery and occasional bouts of low-level thuggary. It's on account of this that they have been selected in the King's militia and honorable body of able bodied men, holbyts, dverger, gobblynkynn, urucks and of course ogrynns..." (Source from Zhu Bajiee)



That meant taking risks though as what I did was an interpretation mostly. I tried my best to get into the right mood which led me to very different choices and way to do things compared to my usual work. I surely learnt a lot in the process and I sincerely hope I managed to capture a bit of what Zhu had in mind.
I've tried to stick to a soft earthly palette and though I switched the greens you could expect for a light blue tartan to add some more vibrance I think the spirit is here. I painted the base rims in a dark grey rather than black to avoid any disturbance.
The cape was weathered with pigments (which have unfortunately lost some of their quality after varnishing).

Not joking when I say the eyes on that goblin are the smallest I've ever painted... ^^'

The ogre is an ogre hero from the Fantasy Warlord range and was sculpted by no other than Bob Olley (you could spot his style from miles away).
I'm a great fan of a lot of Bob's work but I have to say this is one of his best work here, just the right ratio of insane details with still fun for painters (without having to guess what's what). Despite a very annoying casting issue (which I stupidly didn't fix correctly) it was a blast from beginning to end.
If you want to read Zhu about those and see where to get those (still produced by SHQ miniatures) head to THIS POST.

Here are a couple of illustrations that inspired me :
In a hole in the ground.

From Arthur Rackham

The goblin is a goblin spearman from Redbox Games, and sculpted by the very talented Tre Manor. I don't think I've ever painted such a fine model at that scale. Definitely the first time I paint eyes on such a tiny one for sure !
Despite its size, it's absolutely brilliant and I will definitely check other models from Redbox if they're all as pleasant as this one.

Here are the main inspirations for the goblin :

From Brian Froud

From Paul Bonner

Just for fun , here are a couple of WIP shots to show how the model looked before any weathering :


I also had a go at playing with artificial water to add the feeling they dwell in the middle of nature. So I built this casing around the base with adhesive tape (there must be better solutions really) :


I used brown and blue inks to give a nice taint to the artificial water and build the effect layer by layer (about 4 IIRC) with each layer a bit more translucent than the previous one :


The rest of the model just consisted in finishing the base with grass tufts, birch seeds as leaves and some ground tea to represent humus. The guidelines indicated twigs would be a nice addition but I never managed to find the right size or disposition for them. The base seemed too busy and messy, catching the eye from where the real things happen. I considered doing a display base too but this would have been a project in itself and I didn't mean to delay the painting any longer. I will have a go at that sort of thing in a while though, I have the perfect model for it ! ;)


I've taken a little picture with some other models just to put them into context but I realise I cruelly lack good scenery now :



For more collaborative work, check Airbornegrove's blog Give'em Lead ! and the excellent banner he also got done by Zhu :



So that's it for now, I've spent a little more time than I usually do on these but I've had plenty of fun and pleasure doing so !


From Rien, Poortvielt

74 comments:

  1. JB, I have to say you've really excelled yourself here. This is some of your best painting ever. Well done!

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    1. Wow, thanks Ash, that's really nice of you. My go to ogres would normally be the Goodwin ones but I have to say this one made quite an impression on me. It's still available, cheap and is totally oldschool !

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  2. Totally agree. Great work. I love the ogre's ruddy nose. Can you check the artist of the last image? I love the style but typing that name into Google isn't yielding any results. :)

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    1. Cheers, I'm afraid I don't have much more about the artist, I just copied the references I got from Zhu. I'll try and see if I can find more ;)

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    2. Found him! He's actually the concept artist for the 'Gnomes' series, one I remember fondly from childhood. :)

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  3. A display of the Asslessman at the tip top of his game here I reckon.

    Wonderful.

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    1. That means a lot from a born again fantasy enthusiast ! ;)
      Thanks !

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  4. There is a beautifully laconic pastoralism about these two figures. War weary yet professional, the friendship floats around them like a warm fog. The ogre is a gorgeous model and makes me desirous of it but your paint job is such that any attempt to better it would be superfluous. Outrageously good work JB. I hope Zhu loves them.

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    1. You're a poet, man ! There are other ogres in the same vein and the orcs are pretty good too if you want to gave a go !
      Cheers Colin !

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  5. Yeah this is great, agreed I think some if your best work. All the influences are apparent and show your thinking around the two models. A perfect collaboration beeeen you and Zhu!

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    1. Cheers, I rarely get out of the autopilot mode but this was very pleasant to have guidelines for once. It's made me expore things I wouldn't have otherwise. Really makes me want to dig that way more now.

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    2. Perhaps we could start some sort of miniature exchange on the Oldhammer Forum where the model[s] are accompanied by a bit of narrative from the owner?

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    3. It would be a nice idea but we'd need deadlines then, it took me 6 months to get these done becaus eof other comitments and my poor ability to say no... ^^'

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  6. Just perfect! You've filled the faces with character, weathered the gear to perfection, added lovely muted colours and spot colour to catch the eye. You've paired the colour scheme beautifully and tried out advanced new basing. Brilliant job!

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    1. Cheers, they've been a real trat to work on despite their apparent difference. I've taken a little too much time on these but they've really broadened my horizon !

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  7. Never seen that Olley sculpt before JB. You have brought him to life with one of your finest paint jobs. Well worth spending that bit of extra time on them.

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    1. Cheers Ed, both were a real pleasure to paint, some of those models that give you more energy back than what you spend painting them. I have some othe rmodels in this vein in mind now !

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  8. They are sublime. . . simply sublime!

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    1. Cheers mate, really glad you guys like them !

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  9. Admit it, JB, you're not a painter at all but a skilled trapper and taxidermist of the faerie-folk! The quality of life that you've imbued these to with makes me certain that if I blink, they'll move. Without doubt the best of your (always excellent) brushwork so far. Bravo!

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    1. "these two", not "these to", obviously... [sigh]

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    2. That's very kind ! It sometimes pays off to just quite the autopilot mode to try and make a little more sense. The lack of scenery proves even crueler for these models. They desperately need some moss, trees, mushrooms and old wood around.

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  10. Very tasty JB :) You don't see many of the Olley trolls painted up very well I reckon, but you've done a great job on him.

    Cool bananas pal :)

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    1. Cheers mate, goes straight to the heart. The Olley can please a painter like no other when he feels like it and this was one of his excellent days !

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  11. Seriously good paintjob here mate oO The blending of the colours with the blood, mud and the coherency of the colours chosen makes it look more like some paper artwork indeed. Very impressive.

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    1. Cheers, great inspiration seems to help come up with good models it seems ! ^^

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  12. Superb work! You get such good mileage out of the muted palette.

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    1. Cheers ! There's a lot to be gained from adding a little pigment hee and there via glazes or washes to keep something desaturated but still rich, it' sa game I'm enjoying more and more these days though I still like playing with strong contrasts on pieces meant for the tabletop.

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  13. Wow. This is so great! You're the master.

    Cheers
    Martin

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    1. An apprentice really, I just stand on the shoulders of giants ;)

      Thanks a lot !

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  14. I'm pretty sure those are the best models you've ever painted (and posted on the internet)!

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    1. Well I'm the painter, you're the judge, I'm just happy they please people really !
      Thanks a lot, it really is nice to read.

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  15. Amazing job. Very nuanced.

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    1. Cheers, it's a great exercise to work on variations like this.
      Thanks !

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  16. These guys look like they just walked out of a novel. Great achievement. Also though I couldn't find this particular Ogre sculpt for sale - is it out of production now? Cheers.

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    1. Cheers, I love it when models tell a story. The Ogre is not on display but I've been confirmed today it's still available if you just ask SHQ miniatures (they were on display at Crisis this year it seems).

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  17. Well I was going to write about how lovely these paint jobs are and how Zhu is so awesome to work with. Then you went and gave me some coverage. Thanks for that buddy! ;)

    Seriously though awesome work on these. They look like the are ready to slog through some mucky dreary terrain. ;)

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    1. Aha, least of things buddy !
      Cheers, they've been a lovely pair to work on really, I'm looking forward to painting the Pantheon of Chaos models in that style now.

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    2. I'm just ready to paint Pantheon figures! MUAHAHAHAHA So excited!!!

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    3. No kidding, I'm hard as iron about those.

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  18. Wow! Those are fantastic. I really like the cloth and the faces: realistic but expressive.

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    1. Cheers, all credits to the sculptors, the models are just excellent and have everything you need really. Painting tartan and eyes on the goblin was a risky but worthy move I find.

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  19. Holy heck mate, these are fantastic! I've coveted that Olley Ogre for a long time. And Red Box minis are currently my fav' line in fantasy with some amazingly well sculpted pieces throughout their range.

    (Tre's zombies are my favourite zombie sculpts out there right now.)

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    1. I have to say I'm a newbie as far as Redbox is concerned but this little guy has opened my eyes on Tre Manor's talent.
      Glad you like them, they've got a special place in my heart !

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  20. Stupendous paint work here. I believe that Zhu got the better end of this artistic exchange.

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    1. I've got a unique artwork designed from my needs and wishes and unlike Zhu I didn't have to wait 6 months for it... ;)
      Thanks a lot !

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  21. Il est excellent! Définitivement un de tes meilleurs. Rappel moi de faire un échange avec toi un jour...;-)

    Le look des miniatures est très "Défis Fantastique" ou "Sorcellerie" je trouve. J'aime.

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    1. Merci ! C'est en grande partie du aux figurines qui sont géniales vraiment. Les inspirations étaient très old school donc ca se ressent ! Je compte bien pousser l'idée d'ailleurs !

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  22. They look great. And I'll have to get myself that troll!

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    1. Cheers ! It's a wonderful model really , some of Bob's finest !

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  23. Great post and even greater taste in music. Loving the ISB!

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    1. Thanks, I really love the ISB, it' s the kind of bands that really set me in the right mood for painting fantasy and day dreaming !

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  24. Wowee - those are a bit special!

    Love all the source material too - thanks for sharing the process.

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    1. Cheers !
      It's all about inspiration really (and a good sculpt too), there is going to be more I hope !

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  25. They are amazingly well painted.

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  26. Enormously cool work, simply outstanding. Applause!!

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    1. Cheers my friend ! A lot of fun means great models in the end I guess !

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  27. Holy cow, these are fantastic! Dude, I honestly think this is some of your best work... such style and elegance with the brush, such glorious understatement... dare I say perfect? Yes... yes I do dare.

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    1. Wow thanks ! Definitely not perfect but it was great to take the extra time and do things neater than my usual messy style. Great to paint out of the box every now and then ! ^^

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  28. Great work! One of my favorite of yours I think
    /Hans

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    1. Cheers ! That's nice coming from you !

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  29. Yes. They really are that good. Thank you so much JB. I am, of course, dead chuffed with the results of your efforts! I knew I had sent you something of a challenge - a traditional fantasy theme rather than the slightly more flamboyant science fantasy you do, and the sheer level of detail and character that both Bob and Tre' have put into these pieces. I think you more than met that challenge.

    The colour schemes and patterns, very much in keeping with the pseudo historical, folksy vibe, but truly taking it on to the next level. It seems you have studied the ways and lore of the Ogryn and Goeblynkin of the Realm in great depth. I had never expected to see them displaying their clan-tartans guarding their meagre outposts in the rain soaked slate-grey hills in the northern reaches of the Realm, but now I have seen them, there can be no doubt that this is precisely what they do, and always have done.

    Spectacular, in an understated and naturalistic way. Perfect.

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    1. Well, nothing could please me more than to know you like them ! I can't wait to see their profiles and stories, they've been a very enjoyable pair to work on (but can I call that work at this point...)
      Thanks a lot for this exchange of ours.

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  30. I'm used to your high quality work but this ... this ... this is freaking EXCELLENT!
    Superb results. Love it!

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    1. Thanks a lot ! It's really great to see it was worth putting some extra time on those.

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  31. The responding colors from the tiny greenskin to his hulking friend do really mix very very well ! While both are really different, you perfectly manage to create similarities between both of theses beasts.
    Olley's sculpt is awesome and Manor's work on his Redbox range is also impressive. I painted some myself and they really are fine miniatures.
    You definitely achieve something great with these two unexpected partners !

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    1. Cheers, it's true there's a dialogue between those 2 models and it was a clever choice of models from the start, not one I'd have made myself to be honest.

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  32. These two are absolutely stunning! I love the muted colours, they really capture that Brian Froud/Arthur Rackham style.

    I've always wanted to capture that look but never really been able to pull it off. Do you have any tips that might help?

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    1. Thanks Jonah, really nice of you !

      I don't have particular tips but one thing I wanted was to keep th epalette muted enough which meant desaturated colours. To do that I highlighted most of my base colours with a creamy grey.
      Since I couldn't play with saturated/desaturated contrasts, I tried to keep some vibrance with cold/warm colours and dark/light ones. That's why th ejacket is in a warm leather colour and why I opted for very rusted metals that are nearly orange.
      The tartan became a necessity too after all basecoats were set as I had too many flat colours (despite the nice fabric textures).
      The red noses and ears and 5 o clock shadow on the troll are also meant to give life to the colours, they do convey some info on the character but here, I had to push the colours to make it graphically pleasant (don't think a thin reddish glaze would have been enough.
      I think you can also play with glazes to break the chromatic monotony, like Frazetta or Bisley do, I'm about to try and incorporate those ideas in a coming model, we'll see where it leads !

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    2. Thanks for the reply JB. You say you don't have any tips but you gave me some good food for thought there. Limited palette, muted colours, warm/cool contrast,creamy grey mix for the highlights, weathered metals.

      You actually helped to remind me of one of my own posts from my first year blogging that I had completely forgotten about. I painted the Discworld character Sam Vimes for a friend where I was experimenting with a limited and muted scheme.

      Taking your advice (and a little advice from my past self lol) I think I've got some good guidelines to experiment with on future projects.

      Thank you.

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    3. Cheers Jonah, after giving this a thought I think th emost important thing is to convey a feeling that things are "old" hence the faded colours, weathered metals and fabric, it gives the illusion they come from ancient times. It's just reminded of Dark Crystal which also has this sort of vibe. Your work on Sam Vimes plays on these elements indeed, great work !

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