Friday, 31 January 2014

Painting Flesh

*Sigh* Decisions decisions. Still working on those Marauders and not one of them look the same. Been trying differrent color choices and technique for each one so its going to be a motley bunch. But after long last I´m drawing closer to a color scheme that I´m happy with. At the moment it stands between two choices that you will see on the picture below. A tutorial will come up later as soon as I decide which one to go for.

The guy on the left is a bit "meh". The middle one got smoother gradient on the skin while the far right got a greater contrast. The middle one is nicer on close inspection while the right really pops on the battle field since you can see the details of the musculature better. At the moment I think I´ll go for the right one. I could make the gradient smoother on that one also, but it would mean more layers and of course more time.

I can recommend the Lahmian Medium to anyone who haven´t tried it yet. It really makes the gradients easier than using only water to make glazes. While using water requires you to wipe off the brush a lot to avoid pooling, the Lahmian Medium lets you load the brush with a lot more fluid and it wont pool as much. At least thats my opinion. I guess there are a lot cheaper alternatives in the Winsor & Newton range for example. I just have to find out what their medium is called.

Better get back to work before anyone notice me loitering. Adieu!

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Miniature Mounting

Today I´m about to show you how i prefer to mount my miniatures to facilitate the painting process. But first a word of warning: I´m probably doing it the same way as most of you do with some minor exception.

My favourite is a shaft from a shave brush that i found in the dumpster. Yes, I have a fetish for dumpster diving. I cleaned it thoroughly, mind you! Had to do a bit of advanced engineering to make the mounting easy. Things like cutting off the bristles (which i save for grasstufts, they are perfectly coloured for use as long, dead grass) And carve out the glue that held the bristles in place. A process that took quite a bit of violence and penetrating trauma with a drill. Some objects were hurt during the making. After enough brutality had taken place i jammed a cork into the gaping wound.

Another one is made of a large paint brush that i also removed the bristles from and glued a cork on its tip. It provides a firm grip and I can hold the miniature steady when painting details like eyes. I got a wee problem with shaky hands from time to time. Mainly beacuse of my diabetes when my sugar levels are low, or coffe intake of deadly proportions.

The rest are made of ordinary wine corks. The ones from sparkling wine are the best in my opinion. Good grip and brings that luxurious air. Real Champagne corks are of course the very top of the line, the Créme de la Créme. Just put on that flamboyant feather boa and set your butler to clean those kolinsky sable brushes hair by hair while sipping on that bottle of sparkly.
The priming stands are not quite as lavish- Bits of insualtion foam. Don´t want to mess up those Champagne corks.

Anyway, here they are. You can see that exclusive Champagne cork in the background. The far left is the mutilated shaving brush. Second is a Birra Baladin cork, i can really recommend that beer, and yes; the brand is really important for the painting!

Over and out!

Moar Bases!


Thought I would share another base concept that I´m working on. I´ve made some lava bases before that I´ve written about in a prevoius post. They turned out really well in my own oppinion but I would like to try another look that gives a greater contrast between the model and base so they hopefylly "pop" more. So after thinking of the classic themes I decided to go for snow/ice.

This is only a tryout. As usual I make it out of bark and later on I´m going to put some snow effect to it by mixing pva-glue with baking soda. During my tests to create a somewhat plausible snow I came up with a nice result using bicarbonate by strewing it over the pva-baking soda mix before it dries. Don´t know if you can get bicarbonate everywhere, but here in Sweden there is a difference between baking soda and bicarbonate even though it is the same chemicals. The bicarbonate are more crystallized than the soda and it doesn´t dissolve as easily in the pva-glue, therefore staying on top and giving a slightly sparkling look.

This is the result I came up with. No snow added yet. The snow is supposed to cover most part of the "snow block" only leaving parts visbile of the painted bark. The left picture is the same as the right but covered in a heavier blue glaze:

Going to try out another colour scheme, much darker, to imitate black ice. Something like the picture below. It´s taken a short walk from my apartment:

Ultimatley i would cast the "ice" with epoxy resin, mixing paint into it and do some transculent washes but it feels like it could be too much work. Maybe a thinner layer over the bark with epoxy, Vallejo Still Water or equivalent to create a feel of translucensy.
I´ll see how much time I care to spend on it. I´ll probably go for the lava base in the end.

Tally ho!

Big Beastie

Alright. Got myself the Chimera model from Games Workshop two days ago and what can I say? Well, it´s an awesome looking model for sure and i think it´s going to be a bliss to paint it. The only cons I can think of is the somewhat static pose of the hind legs, I would have liked to see it with one of the legs tucked in closer to the body to make a better impression of a leap. Guess it´s leaping at the moment but it´s more like a "Meh, am I skipping or am I falling?" kind of leap. Probably beacuse it would put some strain on the mounting to the base with only one leg in contact. Could change the pose with some convertion but prefer to practice my conversion skills on cheaper models first.

The second con, thats not really a con, is that they could have put in a few more bits in the package. Only for the simple fact that leftover bits are awesome. GW´s Giant is a splendid example of bits bonanza. Everything from the leftovers can be used to scenery. Birds, barrels, cages, you name it. Going to incorporate one of the heads to one of my models. Giantslayers makes a nice visual impact. Just place it on the gaming board and all those pesky elf armies will run of the table.
Anyway, this is what the sprue look like:

Have not decided how I will paint it. Looking for interesting color choices on the net. I really like the purple/blue (blurple) on the cover, maybe I go for that. Otherwise I´ll try to use more animal like. Never seen a Zebra inspired one... The other decision is going air brush or paint brush. The air brush sollution, combined with paint brush, is probably the one giving best result. The drawback is that I´m in need of training with the air brush first. But challenges like that have never discouraged me so i think I´ll go for the latter.

Thats all for now. Next time I´ll show you how I mount my minis when painting them and show an alternative base concept.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Cleaning, Chimeras and Chaotic Cowboys

What a weekend, I actually got some stuff done for once.
Started my saturday with insane amounts of coffe to work up the steam before i woke up. Yup you read itright, my body goes on autopilot before my brain gets a good ol´ dose of caffeine kicking up ye olde body. At least thats how it feels sometimes. But i digress.

Anyway. It was a splendid day for more priming and I set to work on my Chaos Knights and was soon to be dissapointed.  I had assembled the horses and riders separatley to avoid hard to reach places during the painting. I shouldnt have done that... Turned out some of these Cowboys of Chaos hadn´t done their stretching properly so they can´t sit down in the saddle. Some of them looks like they are standing up a bit. Here comes a visual of it, the top one is the one with the stiff groin.

You learn as long as you live. Next unit I´m going to assemble the riders directly on the horses to hopefully avoid this. Will try to heat this one up in hot water and bend the hanging chains that jam against the horses armor. Dont know if it works on the other ones who were reluctant to stretching after their workouts.
Anyway they are comming together and i can´t wait to paint them. Getting tired of Marauders.

I also got other things done, important things. I posted a pic of my paint station earlier that was in a state of decay that would make grandfather Nurgle proud. Well, I let the god of rot down and converted to Tzeentch, the lord of change. And it sure did change i tell you. Have a look at this handsome looking bugger:

Mmm, fresh! This will greatly aid me in my quest for colouring.

On my way home from work I went by our local Games Workshop retailer. By accident I laid my eyes on a Chimera box. Shouldn´t have done that- My brain screamed "YES!" and my wallet wailed "NOOO!", but the force is strong with my brain. Brain wins. Going to write more about this bad ass lizard-lion-something later.

Keep that paint flowing.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Mission Complete

Yesterday I executed my plans on priming in subzero temperature and it worked out suprisingly well, not like dog puke like i expected. The temp had dropped to meager -10 C.I kept the can a lot closer than i use to, about 10cm from the miniature compared to 20cm. Had to move the can a lot faster to prevent paint from pooling up on the model and I did it in pretty much complete darkness, waving around the bottle like a maniac on extacy, hoping for the paint to stick somewhere. The sun rise at 09:30 and goes down about 14:30 while I arrive from work about 16:30, poor me, life is harsh. Think I have to install a floodlight on the balcony.

Anyway, here´s a pic of the result:

The details are still there, no excessive paint pooling. If you look close there are some minor oddities, it kind of looks like the primer had problems sticking to some points. This is probably my own fault since I´ve been there with my dirty little fingers and not cared to do the mandatory washing of the heads. But overall I´m very pleased with the result and next time I´m going to try in colder weather.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Games Workshop stock drop

GW´s market value drop of 24% has hardly passed unnoticed in the wargaming community and shouts of doomsday can be heard all over the internet. I'm no expert in the area but i would not worry too much about these numbers since i've seen it happen to my current employer At that time it dropped whopping 31%. A little changes in the company structure, new pricing and the company is good to go with even better numbers than before. Apple dropped about 42% in April and they seem to be fine.

Good thing about it is that the company may change direction, let´s hope for better pricing even if it's a bit too much to hope for. Of course, it could all go bananas with GW shutting down taking a large part of the hobby with its fall.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Winter is Coming

I'm currently running out of primed miniatures to paint at the moment. Would have been no problem to get around that by priming some new right? Well, not if mother nature gets to decide. We had a unnaturally mild winter so far and Mrs. Nature decided to remedy that by giving us some -30 celsius to play with. Why would that be a problem? Well, this temperature has turned my spray cans into veritable snow cannons and I'm no fan of suffocation, so doing it inside is not an answer.

Going to give it another try though. The temperature is now about -14 so keeping the can closer to the model will hopefully prevent the paint particles to freeze before they hit the miniature but I'm worried that it may give a very grainy surface. We'll see. If it turns into an disaster I´ve got other things to take care of, like my workstation that's in a chaotic state:

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Lava base tutorial

Made some bases for my upcoming Chaos army the other day and decided to make a tutorial while at it. Hope you like it.
 Here's one of the bases:

You can find the tutorial here:

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

And so it begins...

I have been in some mexican standoff for some time now. Me and my not so painted models. Just staring at eachother for days, weeks. Nay, months! But it's time to grab the bull by it's horns and get this party started.

There have been lots of reading. Page after page of tutorials, blogs and pictures before i gathered the courage to put the brush to those vicious little buggers.

I'm going to put up some pictures in this blog with pictures of my progress and i'm thankfull for some creative criticism and advices, if someone finds their way to this page.  I also plan to put up some tutorials if i feel that i achieve good results with something. Tutorial by a beginner for beginners if that makes any sense.

So, until next time. Arrivederci and so on, keep that paint flowing.