Thursday 13 November 2008

Space Marine Librarian

Just finished this Space Marine Librarian, so I thought I would share it here. It took me a little while to come up with a colour scheme I was happy with (that amount of detail can really confuse things) but I'm pretty happy with how it came out. I wanted to keep the colour of the armour quite deep as I knew there was going to be quite a lot of lighter coloured detail - like the scrolls, parchment and face. I always try and keep the area around the head as deep as possible - then it throws more emphasis on the face. 

I used the open hand (there are three variations of the left hand in the blister) rather than a weapon - and added a 'magical' effect in the palm, as if he is gathering power for a psychic attack.

I kept the colour scheme for the base to a fairly limited palette - there is so much detail and texture on the miniature itself, I didn't want the base fighting against it. I also chose a colour scheme that would contrast with the Librarian.

Friday 24 October 2008


Okay - managed to find the time to size some images of the finished piece! This one was quite a lot of work - there is just so much fine texture to paint, and it takes a while to tie it all together... I'm pretty happy with the finished result though - it's quite close to what I set out to achieve.

I like the miniature so much better than the original (he's sitting in the display case on my desk) which I painted for the packaging over ten years ago. I converted the miniature a little - I just didn't like the placement of the bow across the left leg, it really ruins the line of the miniature. I cut the bow away from the quiver, re-built it, and positioned it behind the back. I think that works far better for the pose, adding to the flow and energy.

I wanted quite a fresh, spring-like palette of colours, but added some flesh tones into the skin to give some warmth.

This was my first Warhammer miniature for quite a while and I would love to paint some more - especially after seeing all the new Warriors of Chaos stuff...


Wednesday 22 October 2008

Into the woods...

Just finished painting Orion - King in the Woods, and I am pretty pleased with the way he came out. I'll post him here in the next few days, but in the mean time I thought I would have a quick look at the base, without him on it. I painted the miniature mostly in shades of green (unsurprisingly), so I wanted to have a base that he stood out from. In the end I went for an Autumn theme with lots of browns, ochers and orange tones.

I wanted a two-tier effect so that one of the hounds would be dropped down slightly below his foot level - meaning that Orion wouldn't have anything blocking him, and create a stronger composition. The higher layer was built up with a slab of dry plaster (we have bags of the stuff of various thicknesses for basing purposes - here is a basic tutorial of how me make it) - that was broken up into uneven ground with Apoxie Sculpt, and textured with Liquitex Modeling Paste. I washed and sponged the basic colours onto that - starting with deep warm brown and going up through tan and yellow tones. While that was drying, I sculpted some mushrooms from green stuff (how "old school" is that! Still, I thought if I did it tastefully I could getaway with it, and it certainly gave the autumnal feel I wanted). I painted the mushrooms before gluing them to the base, and then finished the whole thing with some leaf litter and static grass.

I really like the way it turned out. The miniature stands out, and it creates a definite location for the scene - the two things that I really like to achieve with a base.

Pictures of the finished piece soon


Tuesday 14 October 2008


Just found the time to post full size pictures of the Cutter. As I said in the last post, I really enjoyed painting this one and I'm happy with the way it came out.

I actually had the idea for the base before I painted the miniature. I wanted to put the miniature in a contemporary setting, and in an action situation. The idea is that he is taking fire from an enemy and one of the rounds has just hit the sign post behind him - which is why he's twisting round. I used pastels fairly extensively for the base - I really like the dry, dusty feel they give. I shave off a little of the colour I want with a sharp blade, and apply it with a small brush, just like you would a normal weathering powder.

I would really like to paint some more Infinity miniatures, they have such a different feel from anything I have ever painted before. This one is the next Infinity mini on my list (the Avatar is pretty great though...) - but the list is quite long, so it might be a while before I get to it... 


Wednesday 8 October 2008


Just a quick post about one of my favourite techniques.

I have just finished painting the Infinity Cutter miniature - a fantastic sculpt by one of my favourite miniatures sculptors, Jose Roig. His contribution to the whole range is amazing, but the Cutter is an outstanding piece of work - fantastic animation and detail. I'll post pictures of the finished piece here soon, but I just wanted to talk a little about how I used glazing on this miniature first.

I wanted the cutter to have a really clean, anime feel to the colour scheme, so chose white and red for the principal colours. I have to admit that red is one of my favourite colours for miniatures (it just gives so much impact to a colour scheme), but I rarely use it as the main colour. It can also be a tricky one to get right in large areas like this - it's notoriously difficuly to get good smooth coverage as it has such poor opacity.

I tend to use quite a lot of white in the highlights for better coverage - building up the colours through almost peach tones and then adding some intensity back in with successive glazes. I glaze with inks rather than paint - I find that the intensity of the pigmentation really lends itself to the technique. I used at least 8-10 layers of glazes on this miniature, the first was a warm yellow and the final one was deep red. Each glaze is applied extremely diluted and in an even layer - the goal is to lay down a thin 'tint' of colour without any patchiness or pooling. It's important to make sure that the glazes dry completely between applications (I always have a hair-drier handy to speed this up). You also have to be careful where you apply the glaze - the early (yellow) ones are applied over the whole areas, but the deeper (red) tones are just applied to the shade areas.

It's a great technique and can be used to give colours a real intensity boost.

I'll post pictures of the finished miniature soon.


Thursday 25 September 2008

New Work

I just added this little vignette to the Available Works section of the Studio McVey website, so I thought I would post a couple of larger pictures here. As I said on the main site, this is a follow-on to The Rock Diorama that I made while I worked at GW. That piece is on display (along with sever other dioramas I made for them) in the fantastic GW Museum.

I really enjoyed painting these two miniatures, even though they are pretty old now, they have really stood the test of time and the sculpts still feel fresh. I wanted a simple scene that showed the next part of the story from the diorama - Azrael has finished his devotions in the temple, and has stepped out onto a small balcony to rally the troops gathered below.

Both Alison and I are currently working on new pieces (I'm on my third 40K miniature in a row...), and we should be posting new images here and on the main site  - check back soon


Friday 5 September 2008


Just finished this commission piece last night so I thought I would share it here. My painting is pretty rusty at the moment so it was far more of a struggle than it should have been - I got the colour scheme nailed down very quickly, but the execution gave me some problems!

I wanted something a little more subtle and tasteful than the normal Harlequin coloul schemes - and I figures as this was called a 'Shadow'seer, the colors should at least reflect that. One of the early versions had runic designs down the light green strips of fabric on either side of the legs - in fact two of the earlier versions did, I ended up re-painting them as I was unhappy with the execution before scrapping the idea and painting over them completely. I just thought the designs interfered with the flow of the miniature - sounds a bit arty I know, but I think there is so much going on with the design and detail of the miniature itself, that too much free-hand just creates visual confusion.

I'm pretty happy with the finished result - I really like the new Harlequins (I've always been a sucker for Eldar) and this is the second one I've painted.

I've got a few things on the go at present - but a vignette of Grand Master Azrael is top of the list, so hopefully I'll get that finished soon and share it here.

Tuesday 20 May 2008

Quick post

Well it's been far too long since either Alison or I updated the blog or main website - the winter seems to have flown past and summer is nearly here. We have both been incredibly busy for the past few months, for me it's been the World of Warcraft miniatures project (something I have been working on for well over a year) that has made the main demand on my time. That has finally been announced and the website is live.

It's been a great project to be involved with, allowing me to work with some of my favourite sculptors, and have some input into what I think is the highest quality range of it's kind the industry has ever seen.

Amongst other projects, I have also been working on a brief painting guide for the new game from Avatars of War - Arena Deathmatch. AOW is Felix Paniagua's range of miniatures and very good they are too! I believe the game is coming out in July (the miniatures are all available from his website) - but the forum over at the AOW site will be able to tell you more accurately. One to look out for though.

Both Ali and I have articles that we are going to get onto the Blog soon and I plan to add some new images to the main website in the next few days. I have a library of images to add to the galleries - mainly old miniatures, but a few new ones as well.

The next few months are looking to be really busy - along with all our various projects, I have been invited to be one of the the judges at this Year's World Expo in Girona. It's a great honour and I'm really looking forward to the event. I will be giving a talk on Saturday moning in the auditorium.

Okay - that's it for now, I'm happy just to get a brief update on the blog. More from both of us soon!