Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Cheering Up A Friend

Some days are better than others, but then there are days that make the list.  In case you didn't click the previous link, my friend recently had a really really bad day.  My response was to keep up a constant stream of pictures from the latest (and eagerly awaited) commission for him. 

That's the start.  I was told platinum blonde hair, but not too white.  I used a very light grey with some yellow wash, and then started picking out the highlights with the same base color mixed in with a dash of yellow, followed by highlighting up to white and topped with a yellow wash.  BONUS: The eyes came out looking absolutely lovely!

The shirt came out looking great.  The character, named Alta, is an NPC sailor on the ship, "The Virtuous Maiden," in an ongoing fantasy campaign I'm running.  When I asked how her shirt was to be painted I was told, "Blue, like the water."  I broke out a nice turquoise and started with that.  I tried a nice light green wash, but stopped using it pretty quickly when I saw that it wasn't going to really show up in the recesses.  Instead I went with a dark blue wash, and starting with the base color again highlighted up towards a mint white.  I like smoothing things over with a thin wash after I'm done highlighting, and so I used the green wash from earlier and it turned out perfectly.

When originally looking at the mini from the front you can see what might come across as kneepads, but it's actually her knees showing through.  Turns out that the leather guard on front is more a pair of chaps.  There was some deliberation as to whether or not her knee or pants were showing.  Checking out the back of her legs you can see some natural folds that don't look quite like skin, and thus resulted in the above.

Trying to gauge how close to completion a miniature is can be very difficult.  Sometimes it looks like you're nowhere near done only to find out that you just have a few minor details left, and other times it looks like you're 95% done for an additional four hours of work.  Alta ended up being the former.  There was a lot of spots of leather, and normally I like to vary it up a bit and make some of the leather black or a darker shade of brown, but I was requested to keep it as just leather.  I'm glad I did, and I think the worked out very well.  I may have to change how I approach similar materials on miniatures in the future.

So that's the finished miniature right?  Well, not exactly.  She's fully painted yes, but I still wanted to add more to her base. 

Alta's companion has already been painted up previously, and I wanted her basing to match his.  This way they could stand together on the table and be in unison.  My friend was very happy with the final result, and now Alta and Lictalor are together at last.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

All Aboard!

It started out like any other evening.  Work was winding down, and I only had one stop to make on the way home.  The previous day I had received a notice that a package was waiting for me to pick up from the post office.  I hadn't been expecting anything, and my curiosity was piqued.  After I retrieved my parcel from the postal teller I noticed that the sender was simply labeled as, "Chaosium."  Thinking nothing of it I returned home and began to inspect its contents:

What did I find inside?  The beginning:

A treasure trove of lost knowledge and artifacts had been sent to me.  Tickets, passports, postcards, a map, and books started me on a European tour that I would never forget, try as I might:

My hands trembled as I removed the blasphemous knowledge from its sturdy cradle.  I struggled to understand the curvilinear hieroglyphs that seemed foreign yet strangely familiar to me. 

Names, places, danger, and terror beyond comprehension flashed through my mind as my fingers danced across the tomes.  I wanted to turn away, to leave the precipice of discovery at which I stood, yet something sinister kept drawing me in:

I finally reached the last of the box's contents.

In my hands I held diagrams of some profane and alien nature.  What lost and ancient evil threatened to consume me?  Could I survive such a journey, and would I want to?  My eyes looked out the window to the dawning twilight, and in my ears I fancied that I could hear the distant whistle of a train calling out to its passengers.  The Orient Express awaits.