Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Are You Watching Closely?

Ok folks, since my last blog post a lot has happened in my life.  The big event is that I got a new job which I start mid-February, and it involves considerably less travel than the one I am leaving.  What this will hopefully mean is more time spent painting and blogging, and less time being exhausted and waiting for the weekend.

But with that aside I have a fun filled update with the things I have been working on.  First and foremost are my completed Mechanical Doves:

These are totems for the Arcanist Master Collette, and her entire crew is one I'm painting for Adepticon.  The theme for her crew is stage performers/magicians, and the Doves reflect that beautifully.

The Doves themselves are actually quite simple and easy to paint, but I discovered that the bases for them were far more complex, and they became the focus of my painting.

Lots of little touches, swirls, and details.  I ended up putting down a lot of freehand on the book and cards in the above pics.

The book, scarves, and wand all turned out wonderfully!  They are distinct enough that you can make them out, but still sit well together without hurting the eyes to look at them.  One gripe I have with the sitting Dove is that I completely missed the fact that there are multiple scarves, and I could have done them in multiple colors rather than one complete chain.  Ultimately it isn't that big of a deal, but I had the model completed and sealed before that thought ever occurred to me.

Doves aren't all that I've been working on.  Having been gifted a Sonnia Criid Avatar for Adepticon I decided to sit down and get it assembled so I could primer it when the weather warmed up enough.  I discovered that however cool this model is, that it was going to require a lot of work just to put it together.


As you can see in the above pics there are a LOT of gaps, and the resin parts don't sit well against the metal.  A few parts didn't match up full at all!  Between cleaning the flash, mold release, and putting grey stuff on the model I've already put in about three or four hours of work on this model. 


Of course this means that once it's painted it'll really draw attention and be totally worth the time and effort.

At various points here and there I've squirrelled away some time to start assembling miniatures from Sedition Wars.

Pictured above is the AI Drone, and it's very difficult for me to remember that name as I keep thinking of it as a hover weapons platform from the PC game X-Com: UFO Defense.  One thing I have encountered is that there is a little bit of warping on my pieces.  I received an email about this even before I received my own copy.  The warping occurs while the boxes are exposed to temperatures, and while you can't stop it from happening there is a way to fix it.

Unlike last time the pieces I'm showing now are characters from the game.  There's only one of each of these, and are clearly intended to be in the spotlight.

Very dynamic and heroic looking, I love it!  Once I've gotten my Adepticon models painted I plan to spend a lot of time with these guys as well as continuing The Babylon Project.

One thing I'd like to address here is the approach of assembling models before, or after they've been painted.

The above model is composed of multiple pieces, and so far you can see the torso, leg, arm, and head have all been assembled.  The model, when finished, will be holding aloft a sniper rifle.  The final product will doubtless look amazing, but if I assembled the whole thing then painting parts of the torso and face would be insanely difficult.  Therein lies the crux of the matter.  If you fully assemble your miniatures before painting then they're ready to go and fun will be had, but sometimes you can't assembled them fully (or at all), and still be able to paint them.  What it ultimately comes down to is personal preference.  Sometimes I'll assemble a model fully if I think the piece won't be too difficult, and at other times I'll leave it in multiple pieces so as to make painting easier. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Gift From a Friend!

Got home late last night, and after a long day of driving a friend swung by to say hi and give me this:

Sonnia Criid's Avatar for Malifaux!  This is a very talked about piece, and while I haven't put it together yet I plan to soon.  The artwork on the front of the box is a very good representation of what the miniature looks like.

The base insert is all flame, metal, and resin.  This is a piece that will definitely be worth putting time into.  Sonnia Criid is a master for the Guild faction in Malifaux, and one of the master's I plan to play at Adepticon this year.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Sedition Wars: Unboxing

Been working overtime this week, but I'm still managing to get some paint on my minis.  A little dab here and there is all I got, but I'm getting close to finishing my Doves.

I have a friend who is good with graphics and images.  The offer has been put forward to do color correction on my pics in order to get a better idea of the paint job.

I will have to consider the offer since one thing I hear a lot is that my miniatures look different, and better, in person than they do on my blog.

Here's what I've been waiting for though.  Been chewing at the bit for this for a while now.  SEDITION WARS!!!

The above image is what I got in the box they mailed to me.  It has the base game, extra set of specialized dice, an alternate Kara Black in resin, a signed lithograph, and the first part of the extra minis from the kickstarter. 

I picked up my package yesterday after having to wait as I wasn't home when the mail man tried to deliver it (it's a large box, and stuff doesn't get left at the apartment).  Then it sat in my vehicle all day while I worked, and then on my bed when I got home and ran around finishing up loose ends for the day.  I finally opened it up though.

There is a LOT of stuff in this game.  50 plastic miniatures that are really awesome sculpts.  Dice obviously, but the rewards of the kickstarter as well.  You'll notice a bunch of green, red, and blue plastic counters.  These were originally going to be cardboard, but them being in plastic was one of the stretch goals, and I think it'll be pretty sweet.

I gotta come clean at this point.  I came across this kickstarter towards it's conclusion, and hemmed and hawed over contributing.  After some number crunching I figured that I'd get around $100 miniatures for about $100.  Then I got caught up in it, and had way too much fun looking at the sculpts.  I don't know much about the game (something I plan to change), but my thought was, "Alien Zombie Apocalypse in space!" 

The two factions are the Vanguard

and the Strain

The miniatures are in 28mm scale which puts them at about the same size (a little smaller perhaps) as the stuff I already work on.  The sculpts are really wonderful, and my main motivating factor for getting in on this was to have a set of sci-fi miniatures that could be used in multiple areas.  This set fits the bill perfectly.

One of the other rewards was changing the bases from just a generic plastic clip to actual scenic bases.

There's about six different styles for the 25mm, and just the one style in 50mm.  They're not too invasive, and can have plenty of things added to them if you wanted to make them more dynamic.  I think the bases being scenic was one of the things that really influenced me to get in on this.  I like miniatures, and making bases for them is fun, but when you get a lot of miniatures all at once the thought of making scenic bases for them is intimidating.  Having bases pre-made is a really large bonus.  Even if you don't paint miniatures it still makes a very nice visual difference.

So let's take a closer look shall we?

First we'll take a look at one of the bigger ones, the Cthonian.

This guy caught my eye as he's part alien, part robot.  This is a winning combination in my eyes.  The arms aren't attached because I'll want to paint them separate, otherwise it'll be a nightmare to paint everything.

Up next is a standard Samaritan from the Vanguard.

Standard looking space warrior.  Just what I wanted.  There's actually multiple sculpts for the Samaritans, two male and two female.

Last one I assembled (it was late and I was tired) is Strain Scythe Witch.

That looks really awesome!  The only point of contention is that part of the injection mold is on her claw shooting out.  If you look closely you'll see a chunk that's missing when I tried to trim it off.  The plastic is still holding up ok, but I wouldn't be surprised if that pieces breaks off at some point in the future.

My initial thoughts on Sedition Wars is that the models are great, and the value for what you get in the base box is well worth the cost.  The sculpts are really solid looking and perfect for any space adventure/setting you may have.  One thing I will say is that there are a LOT of mold lines.  These models will take a good bit of tender love and care to get them ready to be painted.  They do stick out a little even if you're not a painter, but thankfully they tried to get them where they'd be out of the way (like on the underside of things) for some of the models.

Painting my Arcanists for Adepticon is going to be a little more difficult with these guys standing around.

Monday, January 14, 2013


So I realize I have made a bad start with my posts this year.  There's some difficult things going on with my personal life that I'm attending to, but it doesn't mean I've stopped working on my miniatures.  Let's start off with the first miniature of the year, the Female Gunsmith for the Arcanists.

I REALLY like this model.  It's simple but there's a lot going on.  Very action oriented and reminiscent of The Matrix.  The hair and coat were a lot of fun to paint, and getting layering/blending techniques to synch up is a bit of a challenge some days.

With the Female Gunsmith aside I was able to begin focusing on other models.  Over the weekend there was a day with some beautiful weather that was warm enough to justify some fervant assembling and primering.  Here's the result.

For those of you wondering, primer tends to clump and pool in colder weather, or humid weather, so when you want to primer models make sure it's around 50 degrees approximately, and not after a strong rainstorm.  It helps to give you an overall smoother coat of primer.

All of those models are lovely and I look forward to painting them, but they're on the back burner.  My next focus is the Collette Crew for the Arcanists faction, and the coming months will see me paint a lot of those models.  The models in the above pic are from the Guild faction, and some of them will be painted before Adepticon, but they're a bit lower on the priority list.  With that I started my Mechanical Doves tonight.

These are a WIP, and I'm getting close to finishing them.  If you look closely you'll notice some lovely ladies waiting for their spot in the limelight.  One of them is the Female Gunsmith, and the other will come later this week with any luck.

You'll notice that the last pic, and the pics of the Female Gunsmith are a bit sharper.  This is due to a friend of mine taking some time off from her busy schedule to do some lighting correction on my pics.  I've been hearing lately that my camera doesn't quite capture the essence of my models, and I hope that this shows off their quality a little more.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Beginning a New Year

With the holidays finally behind us I hope/pledge to start painting more miniatures and doing more updates!  I have two entries today, and these are the last miniatures painted in 2012.

We'll start with my trio of Fire Gamin for the Arcanists of Malifaux:

I love how the eyes turned out on them.  They REALLY catch your attention, and make you look over your shoulder.

In the pic with the gamin facing left you can see how I did the eyes.  The base color was a brownish yellow, and I used it to cover not only the eye, but the skull/nose around it as well.  This is the, "glow," of the eye.  Closer in you can see a brighter yellow, almost lemon colored.  At the very heart I've just painted a dot of white.  With light he center is brightest, and it darkens going outward.  You can also see this in the flames and fireballs.

When an object catches light, it's the point closest to the source that is brightest and the point furthest from that is darkest.  When you are painting a source of light though it's the exact opposite, with the brightest point in the, "center," and the darkest point further out.

Here's a comparison of the WIP I did of, "Jug," (cause he's juggling fireballs).

The other piece I finished is my Rail Golem.  A monster on the board table, he has earned his paint job 10x over!

When I first primered him I was unimpressed with the sculpt.  It looked lackluster and dull, and not a lot of fun.  I was worried that it would look a little stupid on the battle field after I put down the base layer of metal.  All of that changed with the ink.  I used a combination of Vallejo sepia (which is darker than GW sepia), and black ink.  I had used different shades of metallic as well to create variation.  The end result is one I'm rather excited about!  The steam boiler is what really breathes life into the whole piece, and now he stands ready to look good while demolishing my enemies!

In other news my paint schedule is going to be thrown for a bit of a loop in a week or two.  I got in on the kickstarter for Sedition Wars: Battle for Alabaster Pass some months ago.  Well according to the latest update my copy should be here soon.  I'm pretty excited about this game, and plan to spend some time getting things ready.  I guess this means I should really try to get some more models done over the weekend.