Friday, October 24, 2014

Workshop time once more...

Yup.. another workshop to go to from that guy who travels to classes.. You would almost think that I would be getting sick of hearing others speak on how they paint, but honestly I am not!!!! Maybe a little bit with John, but then again he does know what he is talking about at times.

And this is one of those times.. the above piece is his work on creating an older worked in Mini, which will be our test subject for the weekend. And all that we see in this photos are just pieces of the class that we will be attending.

Really looking forward to this class, and seeing how to work with the rusting effects and various other weathering techniques to a higher level. Let's see how it goes.. in the meantime, I need to finish up at work here, meet up with Andrew, one of the other class participants, and head up to Liverpool! Should be an interesting weekend, as always. And am curious to see what results everyone gets to with their pieces in the class!

Until next week... enjoy!!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

SMC Review!!!

Huge. Not quite Salute huge, but definitely the largest space I have seen for a convention to date! Which admittedly is not much since I have only gone to conventions starting this year. But still it was pretty massive here.

With the entire hall taken up by multiple different aspects of the hobby. A section for clubs to set up and show off their pieces while talking with passer byers ( thanks to everyone who gave time to chat! ). A huge section for the traders to sell their goods. Some decent deals could be seen there, but since SMC is more about vehicles ( originally ) the traders followed suit there. So if you wanted to get a tank, you could. If you wanted the accessories for said tank, you could. If you wanted to make a completely custom built tank that was authentic to the nitty gritty aspects of it, you could but it would also cost you a small fortune! But it would be epic ;)

In the center of the event was a massive diorama of Clervaux ( Luxembourg ) castle. And I only know this information as I say this description on Corvus's blog as it seems he had a better discussion with the owner of it than I did. And apparently this was also the last show it would go to before going to a museum. Now that is quite the honor! Should have tried to find time to chat with the owner more on this...

Massive Voodoo was there in force during the show. With a huge booth sitting almost square in the middle of everything! Quite impressive.. even if this guy was always hanging around..

Cool kid he be though.. so we will let it slide!

There were also things like remote control cars being shown off, race tracks for testing out your vehicles, a smaller race track for younger participants, and a painting section for kids.

Of course then there was the competition. The main reason most go there for.. as it gives them a chance to show off their latest pieces, get some comments on how to improve it for the future, and also to see what else others have created alongside it all.

It was a huge event, and although many said that there was not as many pieces here as there was in Euro, it was laid out in a much larger area, and I think there were more vehicles here by a long way. Whereas at Euro there were more figures.

Unfortunately, I did not get in as many shots of the pieces as I would have liked. I kept getting asked to take my satchel off and to hold it instead of wearing it below my waist for fear of hitting models. Even though many were around me with packs on or loose camera bags swinging around without any issues.

So with that I was unable to take as many photos as I kept having to deal with it, finding space to take photos, being allowed in the model section when they were not judging it, and my aggravation to the whole ordeal there. Guess going to the gym in the morning before the show upped my adrenaline and made me have less patience :) Oh well.. below are a few of my favorites from the show though that really stood out to me..

Some really nice inspirational pieces here that really makes me want to go away and paint some tanks! Or in the case of coming home.. a small diorama!

Oh and there was quite the ceremony to go along with it all! One that I have to say is probably the best run ceremony to be run that I have seen so far. There were a ton of prizes and gifts to be given out, and yet they went on with minimal problems ( the odd slide mixup did occur though! ).

Heck, I was even called up a few times for some of my pieces..

I think there was a bit of confusion on the Historical pieces though as for some reason my name came up twice. Maybe the guys giving out the awards really liked to spell my last name and just wanted to put it up there!

Was lucky to see that I got something for some of my pieces, but was a bit taken a back for some of the awards. To get a bronze for both the Crusader and the Ronin was very uplifting especially after all the extra work I put into the Ronin before the show. Having my Robot Fisherman being my best piece out of my Fantasy display was also a great thing to be told. Means to me that my latest piece ( the fisherbot ) has all my latest improvements in painting in it, and shows my improvement. But the biggest surprise was that my basing diorama from Roman's class in August got Silver in the open division for Fantasy dioramas! Super chuffed about that there and really took me by surprise..

The only criticism I can give to this aspect of the convention, and this is comparing it to Euro, is that due to it being a day, and having such tight deadlines, it was impossible to find out the judges and get their feedback on your pieces. Would have loved to talk to them a bit more, and understand what they thought of my pieces, and where I could have done a bit better on them. What was lacking in it to make it that much better, and how to improve on it. Feedback from Euro was invaluable to me, to help me see a piece in a different way, and help push myself to new heights on painting.

But considering that even during the award ceremony there were many who were packing up their pieces and getting ready to leave I thought that was a bit rude. Would have been nice to have had everyone there cheering on others, usually their friends, as they went up. Though I think there was one group of gents who had dipped into their beer stash a bit early in the day that carried it for everyone!

In the end though the best part of the event for me was seeing everyone that I have met in this hobby over the years. Quite a list that I tried to do up on Facebook already, and know I missed people there.. and I really wish I was able to capture more on camera this time.. but a couple of shots are below..

So people like the Massive Voodoo Crew ( Roman, Raffa, Sanne, Bene, Phil, Oli ), the DiVincis crew ( Vlado, Manu, Phil ), people I have only ever talked to online ( Gerrie, R FX Smith, Daniel ), class mates from various classes ( Uli, Maggie, Maties, Martin, Jens ), and the Painting Buddha crew ( Micha, Ben, Mati ). Meeting the UK boys who drove the entire way, Mark and his buddies of the brush. And of course my good friends whom I spent a good portion of the day with wandering around going ooooo and aaahhhhh with.. Fabian and Mel! Such a pleasure to see them both once more! And then the organizers Robert and his wonderful better half, Margot whom I had a great chat with at the Euro prior to this event.

Quite the event here.. and one I don't think I will forget for a while at least. One that I will be aiming to go to again next year where there is rumors it will be a 2 day event.. and heck I might even drive out there myself instead of taking the plane! Be a bit more mobile while there!!!

Now to get back at it, and look to the next, and final show of this year, Monte San Savino!!!! Wondering if I can get another piece painted before then :D

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Behind you...

So I have been completely amped up with motivation to paint since coming back from the Scale Model Challenge that I have done little other than work on this piece! Including but not limited to neglecting this poor blog!!!  OK.. didn't help that we just finished up the 5th-dimension painting contest, and the winners have been announced now! So it has been a bit busy...

But before I dive into the SMC review.. I wanted to show where I am now with this project. I did post up about it recently showing a different base.. but right before the SMC show I really was not liking the direction of it. And I know I could do better.. I mean.. come on.. this is going to go and sit in Roman's private miniature exchange cabinet!!! I can't just put anything in there ( though I have slipped a few things in there when visiting him.. not sure he has noticed them yet :) ).

The base before looked like this..

And the story behind it was a bit weak as well. I mean it was to be that they were holed up against the invasion/outbreak/looters blah blah while hiding in a broken down area. But when I began to throw some pigments on it, and began to look at the foliage a bit more.. well.. I was not liking the direction at all.

Sooooooooooooo after SMC, and with some new loot from the show ( I mean.. when have you seen me not get loot from a show? ) I set off to build an even better ( read bigger! ) base!

The grass roots of it started with an idea of a square socket.. and then cutting a piece into it.. there was some planning done.. I mean I did draw a sketch for it, but those get discarded quickly when I get into the building. I knew I wanted it to still have a big brick facade but I was not sure what to do with it. Until I saw the Walking Dead trailer on the TV and inspiration hit! I needs a Zombie!!!!

Rushing upstairs, I cracked open my Zombicide boxset, and grabbed a shambler from there to stick on the base.. but not just anywhere.. but within the safety of the house! And now I have a new idea.. making him visible through a window!!! Huzzah!!! Engage super motivation mode now!!! Heck, even Mrs Lee was like "WTF are you doing in there! So much noise, and activity!!!"

So with the plan in motion, I began to lay the foundation of bricks onto the base. Taking some of the newly acquired bricks I got from SMC, and trying some fancy new layouts with them to line them up on the base here. Playing with the different sides of them, and sizes, really made a more visual difference to the piece and it pushed me to go even further! Ok, so it is not as many bricks as I had used in Roman's basing class in August, but it was still quite a few! I was also trying to keep in mind that I would want to frame the piece so that the sides were closed and not open. Something that I have tried in the past but never really worked out for me. Probably due to piss poor planning on my side!

This time however you can see that I came with a plan. Although I am not the most precise person with regards to building things, I am pretty good at improvising! And hopefully doing it enough to make it work.

For the back and sides, I used cardboard, and balsa to frame it, and then covered them both with thin plastacard sections to make it uber smooth. I attempted to make the roof angle proper to avoid issues later on, but that would be a fail there though. But again I would just improvise here later on :)

Originally I was going to for a tiled roof, but then thought that it would need to be really damaged, and I was not really wanting to go down that route. Not cause of laziness ( maybe because of laziness ) but also because I couldn't find an appropriate size for the times as these tiles were far too large and thick for what I wanted to achieve.

In the end I went with a corrugated type sheet metal roofing. And I have plastacard that resembled it from one of the many trips to a hobby shop in the past.

You can see how it was looking, and that I was beginning to get other aspects of the base put together at this point. The gap on the left was filled with a pipe drain. And the frame for the window was built out of balsa.. which I am quite proud that my almost 90 degree angle cuts lined up so nicely!

But more important is that the roof came together nicely and the chimney section fit nicely between the roof sections. I did look online for ideas on this though ( a first for me! ) and I found lots of inspiration for how to make and then paint the metal sections..

At this point it was time to prime the base ( after having long chats on FB about what to put in the front corner ). And tossing in some extra things like bags, blanket, and a bucket. Oh and some grass that would be super aged while in the base.

You will also notice that I didn't prime the whole Zombie either. I really wanted only his face and surrounding areas to be focused on.. so only would paint that section and ignore the rest. No point painting something that no one will see! Especially once he is in the house and the back of the room is black, and the window would cut out the view a bit further as well.

Now this was fun! Sketching the colors here on the bricks! Cause I had crated it with different angles and styles, I figured that they could be from different types of bricks as well! So I really had fun playing with colors here and making the main section of the wall a bit brighter. I also did this as the main model is quite dark, and he would need something to help bring him out, more than make him hide easier in the base.

This continued onto the sidewalk bricks as well.. really giving a separation between the different pieces. You can also see how the Zombie looked in the window with minimal paint. I had done very little, but with extreme highlights/contrast and I was loving it! Though of course I wreck it later when I begin to add blood effects and cover most of that great work.. but I know what to do in the future though so that is fine.

The base more or less completed for coloring at this point. Touched up some of the highlights with some grey/white to make them stand out more. Painted the socket black, but this kept getting a white dot or 2 on the front from my bear like paws while painting it. argh...

And the first shots of the roof with the first layers of rust from Modelmates being applied. This is always fun as I just play with the different tones and see how it comes out. Sometimes throwing some colors in like orange, red, or black depending on what I want to achieve. Can never know how the end result will be like until it is all dry, but that is where a hairdryer comes in. Makes the job much faster.

Jumping waaaaaay ahead in the process, and with a piss poor cell phone photo.. you can see, sorta, how the rood weathering has come together. And that the entire base has been attached by moss!

I would go on to add the models here, and reattached some garbage bags behind the little girl also.

There are still a few more things to be done with the base/models yet. The gunner is missing his knife that goes on his back. And I need to weather up the entire thing with pigments and dust yet. Especially the window as I don't want it so visible through it. I want the focus on the zombie behind the glass.. but only through the broken sections ( aka where I painted the model! ).

But I am a lot more satisfied with this piece as it is now, and will see what happens with it when I head off to Liverpool once more this weekend for a weathering and vehicle painting workshop with John Harrison. Should be fun as always in Liverpool ( and hopefully my liver doesn't take too much of a beating Saturday night! ).

So let me know what you think as I go on now to write up my review of the Scale Model Challenge show!
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