Monday, March 25, 2013

Quick on the Draw

Having finished enough Arcanists for me to play them at Adepticon I've turned my eye towards the models I want to use for the team tournament.  Rather than Arcanists I'm going Guild.

To start off I had to choose a master.  I'm still a bit torn, but leaning towards Perdita Ortega.


I really like how she turned out.  The skin has a darker hue, and the colors all come together nicely.  I was a bit worried about the hair, but even that turned out looking like black hair rather than dark grey.

The other model is a bit special.

Santana Ortega.  A very special alternative to Santiago Ortega.  She was given as a thank you to the Henchmen who stepped up to run a lot of events over the summer of 2012, and to the volunteers who helped out at Gen Con 2012 with Wyrd's events/booth.  While not exclusive to Henchmen, they are a bit limited.  There was one given out as top prize for a few large tournaments, and those who donated generously to the Through The Breach kickstarter will be receiving one.

I managed to get my hands on three of them, and my fourth one will come with my stuff from the aforementioned kickstarter.  So it goes without saying that this model had a lot of love coming to it.  In this instance one of my friends provided the muse for the colors going into this model.  When the muse strikes, one must listen.

Pieces like this are essentially two models in one.  The primary one is Santana herself obviously, but the second one is the zombie that just got a bullet through the brain pan.  While the zombie was a bit more of a simple sculpt it does take a bit of extra work to make sure everything turns out nice, which it did.  I like how dynamic the entire piece is posed.  I put it on a simple cobblestone base, and I feel that the simplicity of the base helps to enhance the overall look.  Later this week I'm planning to start on two of my Witchling Stalkers, and with luck I'll pick up a nice bit of momentum and roll right through my Guild models.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

All the Livelong Day

Things are starting to settle into place, and I've just about finished up my Arcanists for Adepticon.  Lets dig in with Kang

Kang came out pretty nice.  The one thing I'm not happy with is his eyes.  I've made several attempts to fix them, and this is the best I could get it....for now.  Not sure if I'll change them in the future or not, but I might.  I'm starting to notice some interesting discrepancies with the plastic molds.  In the case of Kang his right arm is a bit over-proportioned.  Look at the shoulder area, that's one beefy arm, and quite a bit larger than his other arm.

Up next I have two out of three Railworkers ready.

One thing that has bugged me about these guys is that they don't look very interesting.  They're just kinda standing there.  Not very interesting.  Very few models can just be posed to stand there doing nothing and actually look decent.  Need a little action in the sculpts.  Sculpts like this can be a bit difficult to paint.  I do like how the red and the brownish-green work together though.

One thing I will draw your attention to is their eyes, or lack thereof.  The Railworkers, Kang, and Mei Fang have all had eyes that look like these guys before they're painted.  As you can see there's not a lot of area for the actual eyes, and the result is that when they get painted in you end up with eyes Like Kang's and Mei Fang's.  You can get them to look sort of ok, but with both Kang and Mei I was really tempted to just leave them as is.  The Clint Eastwood look isn't that bad on them, but I also want my guys to have eyes to see from as well.

I have a couple more Arcanist models to get painted, but I'm holding off on those so I can make sure I get my Guild stuff painted for the Team Tourney.  Here's a couple of sneak peaks at what I'm working on (and will hopefully finish later this week).

Taking a look at Perdita's (the one on the left) eyes they look a little funny.  Eyes do not seem to be my strong suite this season.  I'll go back and try to fix em up again, but really the way the model is it's actually quite difficult to see her eyes.

That's pretty much the view you have from the table, and head on as well.  The brim of the hat pulled low over the eyes looks REALLY cool, but as with Mei Fang, Kang, and the Railworkers there's not a lot of real estate for eyes.  There is a bit more than the others though, so I hope to have those fixed in short order.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Show Must Go On!

So I've been talking about the models that I've painted.  Promising, hinting, alluding.  Well now is the time for the big reveal!

With the changeover to my new job things were pretty hectic (and still are to a small extent), but now I'm settling in, and have managed to find the time to get pics taken, uploaded, and edited.  In a previous post I had made was for the first three showgirls in my Colette Crew.  I've gone ahead and added to that and just about finished that crew with the exception of one Performer who will wait a little while longer.  First up let's take a look at one of the two Mannequins I completed.


When I was painting these models I felt very strongly about trying to avoid more common colors used for dresses like red and black.  Even Cassandra, who has a red dress, has purple pinstripes to go with it.  The idea behind this Mannequin was to give her a semi-vibrant orange dress, but one that wouldn't be too close to the other Mannequin, who is being done in yellow.  

I really really like how this one turned out!  The yellow and green came together very well, though looking at the pics I need to work on my brush control, and I'm going to have to go back and touch her up a bit.  One thing I hear from people who read my blog when they see my miniatures is that my camera doesn't do the figures justice.  One thing my Camera does do is pick up all the minute details.  While my pictures may show all my glaring mistakes, it is also a great way for me to really evaluate my work and improve my technique.

In the game of Malifaux, each Mannequin is paired with a performer and come together as a set.  As mentioned above I have one that isn't painted, but let's go ahead and show off the one that is:

I realize that blue is a common color for dresses, but I decided to make this one exception because I wanted to see what I could do as far as pairing it.  Each of the dresses uses a primary and secondary color, and of all the combinations I came up with blue and turquoise was the only one that sat well with me.  I tried to make the upper portion a bit lighter in regards to overall shading, and overall I think that there's enough distinction that you can look at the piece and see multiple colors.

So who leads this troupe of showgirls?  Who is the leading lady?  The Star of the Show?  Why that would be Colette herself!

This model was a bit difficult to paint just from the numerous colors alone.  I've used two or three different shades of blue, purple, white, and black.  That being said this is one of those pieces that is worth the extra effort.  I had uploaded a WIP of her to facebook, and one of my friends had pointed out that one of her eyes was larger than the other.  Doing eyes is rough, and I had spent about thirty or forty minutes on hers already.  I couldn't look at her and not see it though, so I ended up going back and fixing them so they now look fantastic!  There's too much to coo over on this piece.  There are two areas that I really like how they came out.  The first is the coat and hat, which you can see have a little bit of sparkle to them.  I used Reaper paints a long time back, and got out of them as I tried other things.  Recently though I've been picking up their Master series, and I have always loved that Reaper made colored metallics.  This is simply the blue metallic hit with a black ink, and then using the same metallic I picked out the highlights again.  The result is perfect!  It's really really awesome to look at.  The other part that I like about this model is the gloves and shoes.  I've talked before on how challenging white can be to paint.  This time around I went with a white base, and then used a very thing black ink.  The ink had to be really thin, otherwise the shadows and recesses would be too dark/black, and just look out of place.  After the ink had dried I picked out the highlights with white.  I pretty much got the effect I wanted, and that makes me very happy!  Overall one of my better pieces I feel.

Ok, so now the showgirls are done.  Next up is the first couple of models from another crew for Arcanists that I'm getting ready for Adepticon.  First up is the crew's leader, Mei Fang:

The first thing you notice is that this is a VERY dynamic piece.  I mean, c'mon, look at all that wood shooting up into the air!  The piece itself is pretty much the way it comes in the box, with the exception that I used some bits of balsa wood to add more of an exploding effect.  Definitely more of an Asian theme to this crew, and as a bit of fun I wanted to go with more of a drab olive similar to that used by the Chinese military.  I am very pleased with how the pants came out, both in terms of shading/highlighting and blending.  Mei Fang's shirt looks a bit clingy, like she's been exerting herself quite a bit as she beats her enemies to a pulp.  To that effect I tried to make the shirt a touch translucent.  I used a combination of a light grey base, black ink, highlights, and then a sepia wash.  After the sepia wash I started adding in progressively lighter layers of grey.  I don't know that I got exactly what I wanted, but I'm still very happy with the outcome.  It's not often that you shoot for an effect and still end up being pleased with an end result that's different.  Now on to her totem, Emberling:

WOW!  This guys is ON FIRE!  Well, he is fire.  A very different model from most that are seen, this guy was a lot of fun to paint.  I used a yellow base and did progressively darker shades up to a few licks of red here and there.  Normally in dry-brushing you'll start off with the darkest shade as your base and go lighter, but with any type of light source you start with the brightest and go darker.  The one thing I'm kicking myself over is that I should have started with a base that was yellow and almost white.  I think it would have really added some depth to the model overall.  The suggestion for Emberling's base came from a friend who pointed out that having Emberling rise from a pile of red-hot coals would make for a great effect.  He was right.  For the cooled lava I used a dark brown for the base, and then added some black on top of it to help give it definition. 

Well that should bring me up to speed for now.  Hopefully sometime this weekend or early next week I'll have a post with a completed Kang and a couple of Railworkers.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

2 Steps Forward, 1 Step Backward

So I was starting to pick up steam and get back into the painting groove, but then I got sick.  I would set up my paints and palette, then just stare at my desk.  I'm better now, and managed to get a touch of painting done last night.  Here's the result.

Kang, from my Arcanist crew.  I like how he's coming along so far, the pants turned out great!  The thing I'm not sure about is his eyes, and I may have to redo them.  With luck I'll be able to get him finished up tonight, but that's not a guarantee since I plan to pick up some models that need to get assembled and based for me to use tomorrow night at my semi-weekly Malifaux night.  If I get some time though it shouldn't be too difficult.  The gloves, hammer, and base should go by pretty quickly.

The other thing I'm hoping to do tonight is to get some pictures taken and do a massive blog update within the next couple of days.  I failed to meet my six miniatures in two weeks goal for this past two weeks, but I'm hoping to catch up this weekend a bit and churn out a couple of Railworkers.  With the nice weather coming in I hope to get more models assembled so I can get them primered.  Overall I have approximately 8-10 miniatures left to get painted before I can breathe easy before Adepticon.