Sunday, April 8, 2012

April's Mad Hobbyist & a New Contributor to the Monster Lab

This month we're not only celebrating a great member of the hobby community, but a new contributor to the Monster Lab as well.. in fact they're the same person, John Vas.  You all might remember John from the previous spotlight I did on his fledgling Grey Knights force in December.  He's been working diligently since then and his Grey Knights force has grown to include two more dreadnoughts, a dread knight, and a squad of marines to accompany the purifiers he had completed.

John's use of Asurmen Blue wash to lightly shade his Dread Knight was achieved by adding water to the model where he wanted to glaze then dribbling in dabs of the wash, and then stippling off the excess.

John's sticking to his Flames of War roots and is basing his 'knights with the same scrubland theme he used for his German troops.

Besides super clean and crisp painting, John's freehand details are really what separates him from the pack, just look at the freehanded "I" on his banner!

Each Grey Knight has his own personal sigul and heraldry on his right shoulder pad.

John pushed his boundaries on this Dreadnought and attempted a marbling pattern on the Dreadnought's right side.

Each nemesis force weapon has been painted and shaded using an air brush.

Not all of his Grey Knights are complete, but the models that are done are absolutely stunning.

After reading some original fiction, John decided to paint his "regular" Grey Knights' armor the same slate grey they were depicted wearing.  Besides the difference in helm color, this is a great differentiating factor between his squads of purifiers and his vanilla knights.

Congrats to John on being this month's Mad Hobbyist!  Look forward to articles posted by the man himself beginning next week.  

Welcome to the team John!


  1. These models are fantastic. I stumbled across this blog when looking at Archaon conversions (love Hades, by the way). Thanks so much for all the details on working with green stuff - I am tempted to try some sculpting of my own.

    I'm relatively new to the hobby so my skills are nowhere near this yet (maybe someday.) I have a question for Mr. Vas regarding that intricate freehand work.

    How do you keep your hands still? I have trouble keeping my brush steady for that level of fine detail.

    1. Thank you for the kind comments! I'm glad you enjoyed the sculpting tutorial. If you have any questions about how to do a particular sculpting technique, don't hesitate to ask here or shoot me an email in my personal profile.

    2. Lady Lyz...I'll let you in on a little secret. I cheat.Yes you heard it first from the man himself, I'm a cheater. All's fair in love and war, and painting. I use a 0.5 mm mechanical pen to draw an outline in the example of the banner on my dreadnaught and on Garron Crow's cloak, and I just draw the design on the shoulder pauldrons with the Greyknights. I to suffer from the "shaky" hands and this really helps out. It is very useful when trying to get a consistent line on an inconsistent surface such as we find on items such as banners, cloaks. I also make sure to have my hand firmly placed upon the table when painting, thus eliminating my arm from having to hold the weight of my hand which can make a huge difference! Last thing to remember is if you goof up, it's paint and can be covered up! And believe me,I do a LOT of covering up! I'm so glad you posted and very happy you enjoy the work our artists do here. I look forward to seeing some of your work with "fine" detail!

      Happy hobbying!

  2. Pish posh, I don't call that cheating, I call that a stroke of brilliance. Thanks for the tip - now I think I have a much less obnoxious way to paint eyes under those irritating High Elf helms.

    Now I am curious how well colored gel pens would work for banners and heraldry, etc. My curiosity has indeed been piqued. I have a huge box of old Bretonnian Knights to experiment on.

    I need to update that gallery so very badly.

    Looking forward to seeing more of your work, gents!


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