Sunday, June 30, 2013

An Explanation

It's been a while since I posted anything, and I wanted to take a few moments to explain why.  Back in April I was in a car accident while attending Adepticon, and as a result I was unable to participate in a tournament I had spent the last five months preparing for.  Time painting and assembling different miniatures, many of which appeared here on my blog.  Since then I've been having a difficult time painting, and I wasn't feeling the same joy or passion that I used to experience.  Well earlier this week I attended court to testify against the person who hit my car.  While there I learned enough things about him to know that justice would be served.  Even though it doesn't undo the damage or the financial strain I walked away with a sense of closure. 

So how does that affect my painting and this blog?  How about a renewed sense of vigor as I revive The Babylon Project:

I sat down and started painting some Babylon 5 miniatures that had been lying around and staring at me for almost a year.  Six Raiders that I knew would be a quick session, and I was right.

For the first time in months I felt that old flame burn true once again.  As much as I love spending time breathing life into intricate models I also enjoy sitting down and knocking out a handful of minis in one sitting.  The Babylon Project was a fun diversion, and I plan to continue it with painted models here and there.  Nothing but good clean fun where I attempt to paint up models from a different faction each month.  Except that this time I'm just going to paint what I have, and if I get through a lot or a little it won't matter.  Painting should be fun, and I have returned to that point where it is.

So how about a little walkthrough?  Let's use the Earth Alliance Hermes-Class Transport.

This is my experiment to try and get the look of the Earth Alliance ships down.  In the series they have a grey base with blue trim.  The hard part was determining if the, "grey," on the ships was actual grey or if it was metal.

I went with grey as it would be easier to add trim and weapons in metal.  My first choice was a bit darker.  You can see where I started to drybrush on a lighter grey over the rear, and the original basecoat on the front half.

This is where I mixed in a grey that was pretty close to white, and while it was closer I think my next attempt will be a bit of the darker grey mixed in with the lighter. 

One thing I've started to do is a wash followed by drybrushing afterwards in an attempt to help bring out the plating on the ships.

When all was said and done everything looked a little bland.  I went looking for a pic of the ship, and while I could have sworn that I saw this ship on the show itself there was no real pic to be found.  I ended up deciding to add some blue, metallic, and a light grey to help spruce things up.  For now though I'm calling this complete.  My next project is the iconic Babylon 5 station itself.  I'm pretty excited about it and look forward to the post as I have known exactly what I'm going to write for it since I started the project.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Still Running

So I've been a bit quiet the past week or so, but there's been a reason.  I've taken up a new hobby!  In the interest of my personal health I've taken up walking/jogging/running, and what better way to get motivated to move than with zombies?

I've been spending the past couple of weeks using the Zombies, RUN! 5k trainer.  The past several years have seen me try to get an exercise regimine going, but have fallen short.  Yesterday I started my third week, and the trainer keeps increasing in difficulty.  I do feel like I'm getting into the groove of things though as I managed to finally finish up T'wanka!

I've had small bursts of inspiration in between hordes of the shambling dead, but finishing up T'wanka was pretty high on my list.  I tried doing tattoos on this model as well, which is a bit new for me.

So far it's just the same as doing freehand work, but with a different canvas.  I have found that it's easier using my brush with a REALLY fine tip, but this often results in paint drying very quickly.  I've taken to really thinning out the paint to help make things flow easier, and have noticed significant improvements as a result.  The tattoos on T'wanka are close representations to the original character art that was used to create the sculpt.  When I showed the finished work to the artist it was met with great approval.

This was a really fun sculpt to paint.  The original art had green skin with a bluish tint.  I chose greens closer to jade mixed in with turquoise, and for my washes I made sure to mix in a hint of blue to green.  The overall effect came out really I feel.

Now that T'wanka is finished I can look to my next project.  I have a wide field to choose from, and I think I may spend some time doing some quick and dirty paint jobs to get some models looking presentable, or perhaps I'll dip into my Sedition Wars models.  The latest update shows a lot of gorgeous pieces that I'll be getting sometime soon.  I've also been longing to pick up and continue my Babylon Project.  With so many wonderful choices it's a mystery as to what I'll post next!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Lictalor Strongbow

There has been a project I've been meaning to work on for a friend that I just recently finished.  I present to you: Lictalor Strongbow

This is the PC that my friend has played for over a decade (or more) when he has had the opportunity to.  I have run a couple of sessions with this character, and it has been a pleasure of mine to finally bring him to life.

My favorite part about this piece is his cloak.  I was asked to do a forest-style camo, which I believe I have managed to capture pretty well.  The particular style of camo is called A-TACS.

To start I decided to go from light to dark with my layers.  This way the brighter bits would poke through here and there to create a better blend rather than the other way around which would have made the cloak appear to be brighter.

Before I started painting the cloak I had decided to do five layers.  The base layer would be the brightest, and then I would add two darker brown layers followed by two green layers.  With each progressive layer I'm dabbing on the paint in much the same way I would with drybrushing, but instead of trying for a more even covering I wanted to get larger clusters that were inconsistent.

I did not use a wash at all on this cloak for two reasons.  The first reason is that I wanted it to look a bit rougher and a bit dryer.  The second reason is because I was worried that any wash, even a thin one, would dull the brighter base coat and put it closer to the second layer.

With the third layer you can see how the dabbing effect is coming through nicely.  Like sunlight trying to break through the branches on the trees.  I had thought about doing another layer of dark brown, but felt that what I had so far would work since I still had green to add.

For each of the two colors on the base coat I used a light and a dark shade.  When I added the light green I started to think that I might be close to done, but the green was still light enough that I felt another layer of dark green would really tie it all together.

Once I started putting on this layer I knew I had made the right choice.  At a glance it looks like there are some dark spots that stick out, but when I take a closer look it becomes harder to distinguish them.  This is a great forest cam, and I plan to try this out again for other models I have waiting to be painted.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Surprise Gift

So the start of my week has been very good.  My previous post with the Mound of Dead Bards received praise from Matt Vancil, and I got a little present in the mail.

T'ankwa, a female half-orc barbarian, was a Berserkon Kickstarter  backer reward.  I love getting exclusive minis and this one is going towards the top of my list to paint.

One of the first things I notice about this sculpt is that the musculature is VERY well done.  She's definitely strong.  The muscles aren't super huge, but they aren't so small as to just blend in either.  She's definitely a tough lady that you wouldn't challenge to an arm-wrestling competition.  The face is ambiguous enough that you could paint her up in normal skin tones as well.  I'll have to decide how I want to paint her.

Some downsides to her is that her ax is really tiny.  When I first looked at the piece in the plastic I thought it was just flash.  The proportions between her and the ax are really close, and it's kind of a shame since the ax fits her well.  I'm going to try and get it attached, but if it breaks it breaks.  She can still pull off the bicep-flex pose really well, and whether or not she has the ax, this model is very cheesecake.

Above pic is for scale.  She's small enough that she could be 25mm, but is close enough to the Sedition Wars to be in in the same scale of 28mm.  Behind them is another up and coming model for me to paint:  The Nightmare Edition Lord Chompy Bits, who is 32mm scale and a HUGE model for even that scale!  Right now I have a lot of awesome on my table to paint.  I might put T'ankwa towards the top as I imagine she'll go by pretty quickly.  Nightmare Chomps is also a good one to paint, but the 2nd wave of Sedition Wars kickstarter minis is coming soon.  I think I'm going to have to paint quickly!