Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Ninja in the Woods

My Patron has been particularly generous lately, and as such I've put a bit of an emphasis on the commissions he desires.  So far it's been a lot of OGRE stuff, with still more to come, and as it's the launch party of the Designer's Edition of OGRE this makes the perfect opportunity to show some off!  First up we have the Ninja OGRE, and the paint scheme for this was quite simple:

Bet no one will see a skyscraper-sized sentient tank painted all in black coming, am I right?  In spite of the simple scheme this one required a touch of finesse.  Pure black, like any single color, is very featureless.  I actually mixed in black with a dark grey, and while it looks black it's actually not a completely flat black.  It does rely on natural lighting to pick out the features a little, and because of that I made the sensor dome (disco ball on the very top) a dark grey, and the missiles a solid night blue.  These will help to give a sense of definition and allow the viewer to pick out the details.

The other treat for today is an OGRE Mk VI painted up in ATACS camo.  What is ATACS you ask?  It's a camo great for blending into the woodland background.

If this looks familiar you might be thinking back to Lictalor the elf and his cloak.  In that write up I tried to do an ATACS style cloak, but the technique I used was primarily drybrushing.  For this commission I decided to use a more thinned/water-color style approach.  As with Lictalor I started with a bone/khaki base:

The fun part of using very thin paints is that they go on QUICKLY.  Easy flow makes for quick work, and while normally it can produce a sloppy piece it actually works in my favor as it gives that splotchy look meant to hide details.  Looking closely at ATACS you can see that there's very little of the basecoat visible, and what looks like the base color is actually a very light grey-green:

I covered a lot of area, but if I tried to cover more I would've ended up just coating the entire thing a second time.  I knew that as I went the thinned out paint would flow and move very easily, and thus help to cover some of the extra areas.  Up next is the drab olive green that people will think of as the "main" color when first glancing at the piece.  I missed a series in the photos which shows this green exclusively, and you'll see the next step as well:

The camo pattern is broken up here and there by patches of darker color.  That's what the dark green is, along with a hint of brown and some leafy green.  Working with thinned watery paints is really fun.  You only need to thin out the paint to a milky consistency, and the result is remarkable.  The water will loosen the paint and carry more pigment into recessed areas, which is a great way to get shadows on your figures, all the while leaving less color on the raised areas.  If you have a brighter undercoat this will leave hints of a highlight.  If you don't have a lot of time to paint and want to get some models painted up quickly that look decent you just have to put down a basecoat and follow it up with a wash.  They won't look perfect, but it'll be a nice little trick if you want to get figs on the table.

Moving on, I needed to hide the dark splotches (actually a very dark brown).  They're meant more to act as tiny shadows rather than to break up the overall color.  So what I did was to take a leafy green and paint over most, but not all, of the brown areas:

Rather than being like leopard spots they're just hints of darker color dancing among the rest.  After letting the paints dry I started to feel like the green was a bit *TOO* stark.  So what I did was to take my main "green" color and really thin it out to a point where it was very transparent.  I then decided to go over the recently painted areas in an attempt to dull them down and blend them in.  The end result worked out quite well in my opinion.

You'll notice that I painted the missiles the dark green, which I did as a means to add definition by adding contrast.  The amount of contrast is just enough to not break up the pattern as one looks at it while still giving the illusion of camouflage.  Overall I'm pleased and feel that my patron will feel equally pleased.  Two OGRE's ready to add to the rest for delivery.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Brony Mech and some OGRE

I've been doing a lot of work behind the scenes.  I've got some commissions that I'm trying to pump out a little bit here and a little bit there.  I haven't had as much painting time since I've started exercising three times a week for an hour approximately.  This affects my painting since I spend time going to/from the location, and I'm just not as fast when I'm tired after exercising.  Enough of my boring life though, onto the miniatures!

What you are looking at is a custom paint job for a fellow blogger.  It's an amazing chain as my friend who is also a blogger (and my biggest patron) has a friend who is running an auction (feel free to check it out!) to raise funds for an operation for a fellow blogger.  Being short on funds I offered my services, and after working out the details I'm donating two Vindicators from Reaper Miniature's Combat Assault Vehicle line.  Both will be painted in tribute/homage to two characters from the new My Little Pony, one as Celestia (whom you see above), and the other as Luna.  I finished up Celestia (whom I've come to regard as the Celestia Mk. III) earlier today.  Here is what I was drawing from for color inspiration:

I tried to take as much inspiration from the character as I could.  The cockpit and round missile-pod were taken from the jewelry that Celestia is wearing, while the feet were inspired by the markings around her hooves.  The rainbow of colors is obviously inspired by the mane/tail.  This is one of the first times I tried to work with both pastels and tried to do a water color effect.  Thin paints get a nicer flow and pick out details very well, but unfortunately they ended up looking blotchy and I had to do multiple coats which takes away from the effect.  I did do a bit of freehanding though.  Notice the sunburst symbol?  Here's my attempt at it:

There was a request for a couple of symbols on both mechs, and I was a bit hesitant at first.  The detail on these is a bit above where I've been able to hit before, so it's a push for me to try something different.  I could have tried to forgo it, but given that the symbol is a significant part of the character as well as being one thing that makes them distinguished from their fellows I felt I couldn't ignore it.  There is one other symbol I was asked to put somewhere on the Mk. III:

I saw this and my jaw just about hit the keyboard.  Something that intricate on a surface you could fit on a penny would tax my skills!  I felt like this would stop me in my tracks, but I wanted to help out my fellow blogger!

Not bad!  I think that my attempt went over pretty well.  It was actually easier to do the Solar Empire symbol (pictured above) than the flame burst.  It took several layers, but in the end it was more about patience than precision.  To do it I painted dots within dots.  What this means is a large red dot, then a white dot inside the red dot, then another red dot followed by a yellow dot.  By doing this I didn't have to worry about drawing perfect circles on a white background.  All I do now is wait for approval from Erin Palette before I do the seal coat.

Not into bronies?  Does the idea of brony inspired mecha cause you to switch off?  How about some Super Heavy tanks painted in Blumentarn?

These are part of a commission for my friend, and if I find time later this week I'll put up my step by step pics.  According to my patron the paintjob is spot on!  I seem to be doing more and more freehand though, as this was another request:

I liked painting this one.  Reds are a color I do well, and I ended up putting a bit more love into this one.  The request was for me to: "Make it look like the Soviet flag with crossed hammer and sickle."  Thirdpower is a fan of military history.  Simple but complex symbols are becoming easier and easier with practice.  The big thing I'm learning is patience, which sounds like it would be obvious but that symbol is small enough to fit on your fingernail.

Last one for today:

The instructions for this missile crawler were to make it a drab olive with the ordnance looking newer than the crawler itself.  The idea being that the crawler would be faded from use and exposure, but the ordnance would be relatively fresh.  I used the same color for both, but added a bit of a lighter shade drybrushed over the crawler to give it a worn look.

That's it for now, but I have more commissions to work on.  Wyrd miniatures is running their Rotten Harvest contest once more, and I hope to be entering a piece or two.  Unfortunately I won't be able to post pics here until after the contest ends as per their rules.  It should be a good competition though!