Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Eternally Guarding the Portal of Space and Time

Today's post is going to feature the first cosplay model I've done for the Relic Knights line.  The cosplay minis are just what they say they are: alternate sculpts of some of the characters as anime icons.  Darkspace Fiametta is cosplayed as a sailor soldier, very reminiscent of Sailor Pluto from the anime/manga Sailor Moon:

The sculpt came out looking pretty awesome, and it is definitely a solid piece all around.  I'm really excited about how she came out that I'm having a hard time thinking of words to write, so let's just get on to the pretty pictures:

All I gotta say is WOW!  I love how everything came out...except the eyes.  They look just a little off, and I'll probably go back and redo them once I can figure out what's going wrong with them.

In my previous post I hinted that something about this piece has me wanting to go back and do more with the other pieces I've done.  What aspect is that you ask?  Her hair.  I had some great input from a fellow painter about doing more with her hair than I had originally done:

Eeeeee! I look at it now and can see why I didn't put up much of a fuss to go back and do more with it.  Usually it's difficult to pick out individual hairs, and I do a bit of a wet drybrush to pick out the highlights, but DS Fiametta obviously has long luxurious locks that just demand more attention.  So I decided to go back over them again and add a few more coats:

Already you can see that it's looking much better!  Still, it needed to shine just a little more.  So I added in some highlights, and then used a wash to help bring the colors closer to each other:

Absolutely gorgeous!  For some reason the highlights came more naturally to me while still not taking as much time to paint.  The end result is a confidence boost, and the desire to try more!

You may have noticed that DS Fiametta is on an interesting base.  From the moment I knew I was getting the miniature I kept debating over what to do for her base.  My favorite idea is one all my own:  I wanted her to stand on top of the universe.

I was very happy to have something that was all my own in an artistic sense, and the end result came out looking wonderful!  Rather than an insert I used the base itself as my canvas, which turned out exactly as wonderful as I had hoped.  Believe it or not though this is also the result of a different friend's influence.  Here's the original:

Not bad in its own right, but you can definitely see that it came a long way as well.  Artist friends are the best, and can be a great resource to draw upon.  This particular friend has a facebook page you can check out to see her amazing works! /shameless plug

What started off as simple advice turned into a late night, online, mini-painting jam of sorts.  I got some great advice on getting the shading for a spherical object (turns out planets are vaguely sphere-shaped), and a little touch that adds is the brightest star in the sky underneath her feet.

Friday, July 25, 2014

More Progress More Minis

The clock is ticking down to Gen Con, and I'm painting full steam to get everything done.  Up this week - Purifiers and Isabeau:


The Purifiers weren't that difficult to paint up overall, but were still a little on the smallish size.  What this means for me is that it requires a little more precision, and usually ends up with a few muttered curses when I have issues maneuvering my brush to hit the hard to reach areas.

The other piece I painted up is the Purifier Officer, Isabeau:

Not too shabby if I do say so myself.  I've got a thread on the SPM forums for my finished pieces to share with my fellow RK fans, and one of them mentioned that her eyes were not up to my usual level.  I wanted to brush this off, but he was right.  I went back and started the face over again fresh.

The end result here is much more passable.  I'm not completely satisfied with it, and I don't know if I need to go back again or if it's just my difficulties with having the sculpt fully assembled.  If I do go for the repaint I may just pick up the metal version and avoid the difficulties of the sword.  The reason why is that the eyes in that pic are starting to go 3D because all the layers are starting to create a bulge.

I've already started work on my next piece, and it's really coming along.  The way it's turning out is make me consider going back and doing more work on all my Shattered Swords so far.  Here's a small teaser that I shows a little bit of the work I had started on, though not the part that's making me want to go back and add more (that comes later):

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Last week was busy both in terms of painting and work.  I got stuff done but didn't get it posted, and now I gotta go back and touch up some stuff from this past weekend.  So today you get the finished Paragons!

As you can see they both look pretty awesome, but it was a rather arduous journey to get them finished.  When I finally got my Relic Knights order in I was quick to assemble most of my Shattered Swords so I could start getting in games before Gen Con (of which I have only gotten one in).

While I was prepping the Paragons to be assembled I noticed that they would be difficult to paint if fully assembled first; so naturally I assembled them anyways.  I've always been a fan of giant robots/power armor, and the Paragons' artwork really got me excited for the models.

Part of me wanted to just rush through and get these guys done quickly so I could get to the rest of the models, but the more I painted them the more I realized that I wouldn't be satisfied if I didn't give them my full.  I started with the base layer, hit it with a dark blue wash, and then went for a very light grey:

Every time I use my a light grey it always looks white, and that's exactly why it's my mid-color.  Once you start putting on the actual white as the highlight the armor really starts to shine. 

How to paint both black and white is one of the more common questions I hear when it comes to painting miniatures.  As you can see, the trick to painting white is to remember that actual white-white is the brightest you can get, which means your middle color needs to be close but not actually pure white.

Here's a group pic of what I have done, which is also the Shattered Swords starter set:

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Knight and his Bird

I made some good headway on my Relic Knights over the weekend.  Finished up my first Questing Knight with his Esper, Mallory and Quill, from the starter set:

I'm very happy with how Mallory came out with one exception: His cape.  I painted his cape along with the capes for the Swordsworn, and Isabeu, but while painting Mallory himself I ended up making the highlights on the cloth around his shoulder a little brighter than the cape.  I went back and tried to lighten up the cape, but the more I look at it the more I see myself fixing it when I next break out those colors.

Some of you may have noticed that Mallory looks a bit stunned.  While I did not intend for him to end up like this, I did intentionally leave it that way because it makes me think of Batman:

There's a small gap between Mallory's lips, and I put a little black in there with the hope that it would look like he was making a warcry.  Instead his mouth is now locked in shock and astonishment because it makes me think of Batman.

Quill came out well overall:

I was wanting to do more with him, but couldn't figure out where to actually add more pizazz.   I left the eyes white as the fluff is that Espers are pure energy from one of six aspects that takes a solid form, and the idea of him having energy eyes pleases me.

Over the long weekend I started work on the Paragons.  I got the base coat done, and then washed, and I started to put the next layer of grey down, and it was tedious!  Thankfully I can see that it's going to look pretty damn awesome:

That's about three hours worth of work.  I've been dragging my feet on the second one because I'm worried it'll take an equal amount of time and I don't want to do it in two sessions.  Looking at him earlier today though I think he will be easier to paint since he is in a standing pose as opposed to Mr. Action-shot up there.  Maybe I'll give it a go tonight...

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Relic Knights on Deck

So the unboxing has passed, and time has been spent assembling, priming, and now painting my Relic Knights.

Those are just of a few of my Shattered Sword pieces.  For those wondering why the big guy in the back is missing an arm it's because I opted to leave it off until I got the full thing painted as it got in the way of some detail.  I'm hoping to play Shattered Swords at Gen Con 2014, so most of my pictures are going to be focusing on them.

Getting the mold lines off the pieces is slightly easier than the Sedition Wars models, and I have to wonder if that has to do with their placement.  Speaking of which the placement does actually seem to be better for these models as well.

The first part of my cadre (as your group is called in Relic Knights) is just a simple squad of Sword Sworn.  I wanted to tinker a bit with the colors using white and blue as my primaries with gold as a backup.

The capes came out very well, and what you see above is all the loose capes for my Shattered Swords.  I decided to just sit and spend an evening getting them painted and get them out of the way rather than coming back and doing a little here and there.  Overall they look nice, but here's how they look when attached to the Sword Sworn:

I think the gold can work really well as a light trim, but I think it'll be a fine line between heroic warrior and minor league baseball team.

I picked up a small commission to strip the paint from some OGRE infantry a friend picked up.  This will eventually lead to another OGRE painting commission I'd wager.