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Into the Abyss with DeepWars & ShadowSea

Into the Abyss with DeepWars & ShadowSea

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What's done? What's on? And what's to come?

Tutoring 2
Skill 8
Idea 6

Over the passed few years, I’ve been painting a couple of miniatures for both my DeepWars and ShadowSea forces.

While my hobby-time was very limited during the last few years (2 newborns and a house, …), I still tried to escape the real world now and then to focus on some really nice minis.

Painting goes slowly on and on… while reinforcement-troops are growing and eagerly waiting to join in. (some call it “backlog” but due to the heavy weight of that word, I prefer not to use it)

It may be a strange thing, but I rather feel like modeling (sculpting, converting, scenery-making or preparing figures) in the summertime, enjoying the late daylight-evenings with a good beer, a sculpting-tool and sticky green fingers while the cold dark winter makes me pick up my brush to forget the clock of the real life…

To kick off my project into the Abyss I’ll show you where I am at this moment with what I’ve done so far, what I’ve started, what I’ve prepared to get started and … well… what’s pushing me forward… 😉

What’s done?

  • The first one I did was also the one who pulled me into the deep… Cephalid Siren. This beauty is part of the Dark Mariners and can be used in both DeepWars and ShadowSea.
  • Next to her also in the Dark Mariners force for both DeepWars and ShadowSea I have the Annihilator Biomech. The glowing crystals on the model were a pleasant challenge to learn more about the OSL-painting technique (Object Source Lighting).
  • The Conjuror of the Ethers from the Ancients of Atalán-force is one I had picked to practice the sheer clothing technique…
  • My favorite force in DeepWars is definitely the Scaly Horde, just because they are the most unique minis of all, and are the perfect chance to brighten up your collection with the many seductive color-palletes you can give them. The Hag-ray, a mutation between a sting-ray and a hag-fish, is one of those figs. I followed again the concept artwork with lovely purples.
  • Entering the Blood Reef then, where the Giant Mantis Shrimp one of my favorites is. The feedback I got from this Mantis Shrimp made my motivation crack through the roof. This Mantis Shrimp and some brand new inks I purchased made me understand a lot more about the glazing technique.
    Every time I see my paintwork popping up on the internet, a little fire starts to warm my blood. For a hobbyist like me it’s a fantastic feeling when a company uses your work as the painted reference for a mini of them. Very very motivating 🙂
  • Moving on to ShadowSea with Quetzali of the Axibalán Empire. In the concept artwork, she has a slight greenish tone in her skin, something I really loved about her. I may have gone wee a little bit too deep into the green though…
  • Dr. Isabella Johannes is part of the Fortune Hunters and travels to the Underlands to unlock the secrets of the Shadow Sea.
  • Just like Captain Balthazar Drake, another character on the hunt for fortune… This one also has bumped my motivation again, when I saw him in the add for the hobby-hangout here (thanks again!!).  He may have locked me onto this website 😀

… and then it was time for something different…

Like I mentioned at the start of this project, during the summer-evenings I very much enjoy kneading putty…
At the start of last summer (2018) I picked up an idea I started a couple of years back, but never made lots of progress on. In fact I kind completely restarted this. A Giant Orthocone…
He’s part of the wild beasts in DeepWars, but there wasn’t a mini for him yet. So I thought, let’s try and see what I can make of this.
Posting the progress on the fan-site (The Abyssal Realms on facebook) returned with lots of great feedback, tips, tricks and an amazing motivation.
Thanks to AntiMatter Games and other fans of this game I went much deeper into the details than I initially meant to do so, which resulted in having sculpted an official mini for my favorite game 😀
An incredible experience became my absolute highlight in all my hobby-years!
Seeing this on their kickstarter makes me hungry for more putty.

What’s on?

The works in progress… Always too many things on my desk…
I often just pick a mini to paint a certain part of it, to try a technique or a color-recipe or just because I came across some excellent inspiration that I can’t wait to try out on a mini…
This leads to many things in progress at the same time, until I suddenly feel like adding more color onto one of them and finish it at last. Some of these have been in progress for a few years already…

  • The Dire Fish-Lizard of the DeepWars Scaly Horde looks finished… but the other side is still in it’s early steps. Finishing this one side is very motivating though to do the other side better and smoother. The color-pattern is based on a panther chameleon.
  • Albaxus Flametongue, from the Draconids force of ShadowSea. I wanted to try out some reds and he looked perfect for it. This models will be a nice challenge for the OSL technique. Combining his blaze of fire above the glowing blue crystals reflecting on his red skin sounds like a very colourful journey…
  • The Destroyer Biomech is another mighty Dark Mariner from ShadowSea. His concept artwork is again colour-candy to the eye and I really hope I can bring it over on the mini aswell.
  • Professor Aldarius Wormwood of the ShadowSea Fortune Hunters, the one resposible for the return to the Shadow Sea.
  • Proto-Spawn of Yosoth, a wicked thing for the Dark Mariners in Deepwars… Still trying out colours for the carapace…
  • The Pirate Mad Bomber, part of the Furtune Hunters crew of ShadowSea. Looking forward to try out tattooed skin on him.
  • Ravenous Cordoba Squid, a wild sea creature from the Blood Reef. I’m trying to paint him as if he’s some sort of transculent biolumiscent jelly-squid… I’m inspired by a famous photo of a biolumiscent deep sea squid but I’m not sure if it will ork out the way I hope.
  • Muraniform Mech of the Ancients of Atalán force in Deepwars is almost finished… Just some more highlights between the plates and some OSL-things to add…
  • Elluvi Darkeye, the Dark Mariners in DeepWars definitely have some crazy awesome things swimming around, and this commander is one of them! The initial idea was to go for a Fuchsia-purple-pinkish octopus-skin, but I had changed my mind after crossing a lovely photo in my research, with a rather green-blueish skin which is much closer to the concept-artwork of him. This pic only shows the “vehicle”, the actual commander is somewhere in the primed “what’s-to-come”-basket…

What’s to come?

Some other awesome minis have been primed and are eagerly waiting to get a colourful jacket…

Hope to get them started some time soon… they are always lurking…

And then there are still the ones to be unboxed… more awesomeness is pushing me forward to keep my brush wet.

I hope you enjoyed this first peek into my world at the bottom of the ocean.

I look forward to adding more and more colour to my collection and will happily keep you updated with my progress!

If you like the minis… check out AntiMatter Games for sure! They often run a kickstarter to release new things, well worth a check I promise!

See you next time!

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Cult of Games Member

Great stuff, Bart!
So great to see you still painting and sculpting after all these years.

Really inspiring stuff, buddy. Keep it up!


beautifully painted minis, I love the colour choices 🙂
and the Giant Orthocone is brilliantly sculpted 🙂
I especially love how you incorporated the coral into the scenic base, and the details around the face 🙂
Congratulations on getting your mini put into their range, very well deserved 🙂

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