I've been making more progress on the final ships and I'm in the home stretch now. Here's where I am on the Heldenhammer and the Bloody Reaver:
Solving the Bloody Reaver's Assembly Puzzle
A few posts back, I talked about my concerns about how the Reaver was going to be able to assemble the model with all of its seams puttied and still be able to paint its recessed areas.
It turns out that with a few cuts, the assembly isn't as complicated as it looks. First I glued the center halves of the ship together and puttied the joins around the skull.
I also cleaned up the walkway on the prow. The peg in the middle of the dragons was left unglued so that I can slip the sail in there after it's painted.
The castle halves were the real issue, however. My solution was to cut the castle free from the support beams. (These castle bits would be great for a Mighty Empires map, by the way!)
The castle was then attached and the joins puttied, creating a solid centerpiece for the ship.
The masts have ball-and-socket attachment points that prevent them from being inserted after the ship halves are glued together. I shaved the ball and ring away to make the flag a straight post that can now plug into the hull. (I honestly don't know why the model wasn't designed like this in the first place; it's not like there are any pose options for the masts.)
With all the parts assembled, the painting doesn't look as intimidating as I had initially feared.
Painting the Heldenhammer
Speaking of intimidating painting... The Heldenhammer, despite it's small scale is about as complex as a regular 28mm character model. The deck was simple enough– a simple drybrush and wash, some metal to pick out the cannons.
Then came the gold trim and gun ports. I drybrushed all the gold and then went in with some red to meticulously paint the spaces between the gold. This was then washed with Agrax Earthshade and the gold given a touch-up highlight.
Next the silver bits and cannons were picked out and washed with Nuln Oil. A dab of the Nuln Oil was applied to each of the gun ports to blacken them in. Once dry it's not completely opaque, so I'll have to add another touch of black below the guns.
So. Many. Cannons.
The sails were painted the same way I painted the Swordfysh's sails– Light primer, basecoat and wash the icons, then highlight them and paint the background color. You can see the sail step-by-step in the Swordfysh post here.
The sails are finished except for the text and masts. I'm so close!