Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Conversion By a Friend

Last night I had a friend over to play a game of Malifaux.  We got everything set up, and were getting ready to get things started when he tells me that he wants to show me his latest creation.  Turns out he didn't want to spend the money on Avatar Nicodem for Resurrectionists.  Instead he came up with this idea of zombies clawing their way towards their dark master.  It started with a little conversion he did with the regular version of Nicodem.

The above is a slightly different version of the alt sculpt of Nicodem.  Rather than the standard zombie arm/hand he went and used some sort of other monster arm.  It's still a Wyrd miniature, but it doesn't matter.  WOW is that amazing!

You might think that a huge arm is a bit over the top, but this was just the start.  Why summon one zombie when you can easily summon a horde?

I saw him put that piece on the table and I was in awe.  Avatar Nicodem, the living dead at his command.  Just beautiful!  In the past I've mentioned how much I enjoy custom paint jobs, but this model is absolutely wonderful.  You can have a lot of fun with miniatures, and making putting things into your own style/vision gives them a life wholly their own.  It just goes to show that whatever level you paint at  you can still make a piece that's eye-popping and attention getting.

Compare the above mastery to my own A-Nicodem:

My model is just the sculpt as sold.  The only thing I could say to have done to it is made a semi-custom base using grey stuff and a mold.  I fully believe that people would, "Oooooh," and, "Ahhhhhh," over my paint job, but my friend's piece will catch eyes from across the room.  Anytime I enter or attend any kind of painting competition I've found that the pieces that get the most attention are ones that are professional quality paint jobs, or very custom pieces like my friend's.

Let's take a slightly closer look at the bottom piece.

If you look closely you can see two lightly colored circles on the base.  I asked about these and was told that they were magnets, and are an additional measure to help regular Nicodem stay connected to his Avatar base.  It may be a bit cosmetic though as regular Nicodem has a lot of weight that was added to the bottom.  The way that Nicodem was positioned on the base makes it heavy on the sides, and very prone to tipping over.

The base is compromised of basing material and various arms from different models used by Wyrd miniatures.  Wyrd seems to have garnered enough customer support that its customer base is buying their models to use as spare parts in conversions.

The pictures I have presented today hardly do this model justice.  The current plan has my friend in our group heading for Adepticon, so if you plan on attending look for us in the Malifaux area and you can see this great piece in person!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Still Kicking

I realize things have been a bit silent on here, but that should start to change.  Last week I finished my first week at my new job, and now I'm starting in on my second week.  With Adepticon coming up pretty fast (less than 60 days!) I'm starting to put more time and effort into painting.  Two days each week dedicated to painting, two to games, and the fifth is a wildcard.  Weekend time will be used for additional painting if there aren't already plans going on.

That being said I'm still painting in all of this chaos.  I've finished about four or six new pieces since my last update, and I think a preview is the least I can do at this time.  Later this week I'll get a photo shoot going and post completed pictures.

A couple of Mannequins for my Colette crew:

Mei Fang and her Totem, Emberling:

Hope those keep you satisfied for a few more days until I can get more pics uploaded!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Dance Like No One Is Watching

So my goal for the coming months is to finish six miniatures every two weeks.  I'm leaving it to every two weeks since the way I figured things those six miniatures will fill out crews I'm planning to take to Adepticon.  I started my first goal/set with the remainder of my Collette crew for the Arcanists.  Before I dig into the first bit of progress I'd like to show off a finished Cassandra.

I like the way she turned out, and at the prompting of some friends I attempted to add pin stripes to her dress.  I think that overall it turned out looking really nice!  But this brings me to my next thought.  Originality.

A lot of what I paint tends to follow a the studio paint job.  There's nothing wrong with the studio paint jobs, and a lot of the time I buy miniatures it's because I want to paint the same thing.  However I keep seeing people who paint things their own way, with their own spin, and have turned out some really awesome ideas!  I've been kind of envious of it to be honest, and I'm wanting to experiment and try some of that for myself.  Which brings me to my first attempt.

The Coryphee Duet.  The studio paint job looks pretty nice yea, but it wasn't what I wanted.  Looking at all the dresses that there are in the crew means that I'd end up making them all generic, the same, or having to spend a lot of time customizing them.  I ended up with the latter option.  My choice of colors in this instance was mainly due to wanting to try slightly different shades than what one might find normally.  This meant no red, black, or blue.  Purple may be skirting the line a bit I admit.  Speaking of purple, let's take a closer look.

I wanted to go with a two color style here, using a dark purple for the corset with lavender to add some definition to the dress.  The off color I used was red, but not cherry red.  I wanted it to be a nice burgundy, closer to the color of wine.  One thing that this particular color combo drove me nuts with is the pantyhose.  For both of the duets I wanted them to be wearing hosiery that was a similar shade to one of the colors featured on their outfits.  I tried red, brown, purple, and finally black.  Even with the black I had to go over it with Sepia wash to help make it flow better.  There is no real trick I used for the hosiery either, just used a wash over a very light gray.

You may have noticed that this model is not standing on the larger base it was before, and there's a reason for that.  In the game of Malifaux you can field two Coryphee who then dance together to form the Coryphee Duet.  While I could purchase two different sets of the model, I felt that using magnets would be a nice touch.

The bases are custom made using styrene strips that I scarred with a razor saw to make them look like wood planks.  I ended up having to use a dremel to make a large enough hole for the large magnets.  For these particular models using the larger magnets was a good choice, but for future models I'd prefer smaller magnets. 

The purple coryphee I put on a wood box that I cast using some grey stuff and a hirst arts mold to make it easier to transfer her to and from the bases (the magnet is on the underside of the box).  The blue coryphee has enough surface area contacting the base that I was able to put the magnet directly into the model.

Last but not least is my blue coryphee.  I love how her dress came out.  Turquoise is a color I like, but have a hard time finding uses for it that don't make the model look horribly gaudy.  The yellow is a nice compliment, and I am very happy with how the whole scheme came together.  I'd like to think that the pair of them work well together colorwise.  Both of them are distinct enough, but together they still draw the eye without clashing.

Up next: Collette, Arcanist Master!