Tuesday, May 29, 2012

OGRE Painting

A friend of mine is a long time fan of Steve Jackson's game OGRE, and recently they ran a kickstarter to get the game published again.  It had an astounding amount of success, and I found myself getting caught up in the enthusiasm of kickstarter (as I often do).  Over the years I've seen OGRE miniatures though I hadn't purchased any.  Turns out my friend did, and I offered to paint them up for him.  He has agreed and settled on three camo choices: German Desert Flecktarn, Russian Arctic, and Australian Disruptive Pattern.

I have yet to get said minis in hand, but camo is an area I haven't really explored.  So before I take my friends minis and try to add more I decided to try it out and see if I could come up with something good.  I figured the Australian Disruptive Pattern would be a good place to start.  I began with a base of Camouflage Green (Vallejo 72031).

Nothing special.  Then I added a mix of Goblin Green (Vallejo 72030) mixed with a little of the Camouflage Green.

This is where I began to learn my first lesson.  In painting camo you have a lot of weirdly shaped blobs and drops.  There's no real form or finesse to doing so.  What I found helped me out the most was to pay close attention to the style I was imitating.  the Aussie Disruptive was more cluttered with lots of blobs, but the Russian Arctic has larger blobs that are more stripes.  The more I looked at camo patterns the more I began to notice little nuances that added another layer of depth than just sneezing at the mini and calling it done.

I moved on to my third color, Desert Yellow (Vallejo 72063), which turned out to be a touch on the bright side.  It faded very well into the greens, which I guess is a plus as that's what camo is supposed to do, but the entire time I was putting it on I kept wondering if I would have to go over it again with a slightly darker shade.

I learned two more lessons at this point.  The first lesson I learned is that camo and symmetry don't mix.  I was always taught in grade school to keep my colors inside the line, but that mentality makes for very weird camo patterns.  Camo works because it blends, and when I started to paint it over objects and, "outside the lines," it began to take on a much more natural feel.  This lead to good feelings.  The second lesson I learned is that there actually is a progression of layers.  I had seen a tutorial that took this approach, but it didn't really sink in until I double checked the camo pattern.  I discovered that my final layer, the dark green, should have come before the yellow/brown.

For my final layer I started with straight Cayman Green (Vallejo 72067) but it was so close to black that it really offered a stark contrast to the rest.  Rather than blending into the other colors it seemed to draw the eye towards it; this is a very bad thing when you're trying to avoid attention.  I added some of my base color, Camouflage Green, and that helped lighten it up.  In retrospect I should have added some more, or maybe a touch of the Desert Yellow, to help lighten it up.  Adding your base color, whether for camo or any type of scheme, to the other colors will help to add an overall sense of consistency.  As for how much or how little to mix most colors don't change too much if you add a moderate amount.  The more you add the more the colors tend to meet in the middle, but depending on your line of paints I've found that after a while the shade just sits in the middle of the two parent shades somewhere.

So I have this nice tank all painted in camo, but I couldn't just leave it bare like that.  I painted the treads in Gunmetal Metal (Vallejo 72054), then hit it with a watered down black ink and followed it up with a wash of Sewer Water (Secret Weapons Miniatures).  I added a quarter to give a sense of scale.  The miniature is from Reaper Miniatures Combat Assault Vehicle (C.A.V.) line, but I don't know the name of the tank itself.

When I showed the finished product to my friend he was quite impressed (when I confirmed that, yes, I was trying for the Australian Disruptive Pattern); though he also commented that the top layer was too dark.  Trying to get the right shade of, "dark," is always tricky.  Black isn't always a good choice for shadows or colors that look black.  Blue, Brown, Purple, and Green all have shades that approach very closely to black, and you can use these to get a better blended effect for shadows.  Especially if you blend in your "base" color, but that's another story for another day.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Wyrd Miniatures ~ Nicodem: Avatar of Decay

Hello and welcome to my corner.  In brief: this is where I hope to make public my works as they come together in all their glorious success or failure.  I've been painting and doing hobby stuff for over 14 years.  While I have focused on some areas it is my hope to expand my techniques and range of skills while at the same time sharing them with you.

Ok, that being said, on to my first WIP.

On the table we have the Nicodem: Avatar of Decay from Wyrd Miniatures ( http://wyrd-games.net/shop/Nicodem-Avatar-of-Decay.html).  Rather than assemble this monster and try to paint it as a whole, I'm going the easy route and doing it in pieces.

As you can see I've gotten a head start on the zombies.  I still like to experiment with dead skin, but what you see in the above is quickly becoming my standard.  I'll give more precise instructions (with pictures even!) in a future post, but here's the quick version:  I start with a base coat of Dead Flesh (Vallejo 72035) and followed it with a wash of GW Gryphone/Sepia Wash.  Once the wash was dried I did another coat of Dead Flesh, but kept out of the crevices.  I then picked out highlights with Bone White (Vallejo 72034) and did another Sepia wash to help smooth things over.  If there was any other details I picked them out with a very thin Bone White.  (For those of you wondering, I use a touch Vallejo thinner and water to thin my Vallejo paints).

This is an alternate dead flesh scheme I tried out.  For these guys I tried out Reaper's (www.reapermini.com) Master Series Undead Flesh Triad.  I started with a Ghoul Skin base (RMS 09148) and hit it with a coat of Sewer Water from a line called Secret Weapon Washes.  This is my first time trying this out, and so far I like what I see.  It got the dark lines into the crevices and gave an overall dirty look to the mini.  Good for a base wash, not so sure I'd use it as a top layer.  After the Sewer Water dried I went back over the base again with Ghoul Skin, again leaving the recesses washed while starting to get a good layer of solid color.  I went up the next step to Moldy Skin (RMS 09149) which was a little brighter than what I thought, but not so bad that I needed to mix in a darker color.  I had some issues getting Bloodless Skin (RMS 09150) out of the bottle.  Either the dropper is clogged or didn't have enough of a gap to let the paint through.  A small explosion of paint occured and cleanup ensued.  I decided to just pour more than I needed straight from the bottle and not worry about the rest.  I found that the Bloodless Skin was too close to Moldy Skin for my eyes to be able to pick out enough of a difference.  Perhaps in the future I'll go back and try it after the final wash, which for these guys I again used the GW Sepia wash (you'll see me using this a lot) as it's perfect to get a smooth look on any skin, dead or alive.

Once I get the zombies finished up I'll be able to move on to the chair/palanquin, and the Avatar of Decay himself: Nicodem.  The original Nicodem model is what got me into Malifaux in the first place, so it's very exciting to be working on this gorgeous model for me.  Because of this I wanted to do something special for the base. Given all the zombies that will be on the base I had a limited amount of choices to use.  I decided that having a ravenous host of zombies bear the Avatar of Decay down the streets of Malifaux would be nice and flavorful.  I checked out a few sites that I go to for my bases, but couldn't find anything I was satisfied with.  Then I had a thought.  In the past I've done some base accessories using grey stuff and some Hirst Arts Castle Molds (http://www.hirstarts.com/).  I had picked up his cobblestone street mold at a previous Gen Con and decided to see if I could get that to work.

I like how it turned out.  I had to do some tracing, cutting, and other bits of fiddling to get it just right, and I'm satisfied with the end product.  To paint it I did my normal stone formula.  Base of Cold Grey (Vallejo 72050) with a wash of black ink (I use Vallejo Game Ink 72094, I'm sure any black ink would get the job done more or less).  Once the ink dried I did a dry brush of Cold Grey, and picked out the highlights with Stonewall Grey (Vallejo 72049).  I topped it all of with GW's Sepia Wash.  The black ink on the base really adds a lot to the overall texture of the stone while the Sepia wash helps to add in a feel of weathering and dirt/dust.

Last but not least, the man of the 11th Hour, Nicodem

I love how he looks, and the overall product is going to be a stunning piece on any table.  I keep having to resist the temptation to just take Nicodem and slap him on a motorcycle of the damned.  It'd be incredible!  The need to get a small mountain of metal painted coupled with the additional cost keeps me from exploring this idea...for now.

Hopefully soon I'll have the finished product up as McMourning's Avatar, Simulacrum 29, just hit the streets and I'm waiting till my FLGS gets it in stock.  Not much longer now...