Thursday, October 3, 2013

BAM.. the beginning..

How fitting this photo is to describe the workshop. Kitting yourself up to do battle against an unknown foe.. not knowing if the bastard sword or the heavy clubs will be what you need when the time was right.

Thankfully... Massive Voodoo came with more weapons than one can think of.. and were ready to teach us in the art of Painting! Heck, they are so together that they even got the first review done before me! Check it out here!

*Note no weapons were actually used in the making of this workshop, aside from the end of workshop photos where we all ran around in costumes and challenged each other with fake or prop weapons. Ok, maybe there were a few real ones, but overall they were fake and no one got hurt. Except that one guy.. there is always that one guy.... 

So.. yeah.. painting! Carrying on from the Beginners class back in March found here, here, and here.. this class was centering around how to get the most from your models. A little bit more of a chance to fail in this class, but at least the MV crew had the tools and weapons on hand to catch you, and toss you into battle armed with what you needed to succeed! Which is great, cause there were a few moments in the class that I really struggled with. And they were there to help motivate me to push through it, and to correct it. Even talking me off the metaphorical ledge at one point when I considered a redo of a section of the model.

But enough of my ramblings in that direction.. so what did we paint? Well.. Brekk of course!

I am pretty sure that Roman somehow modeled for Raffa while he sculpted it.. but cannot be 100% sure of that.. though this picture leads me to that thought..

Beginner Brekk hoping to some day join his fellow Brekks in the hall of glory! Joining such Brekks as Crusader Brekk, Bretonnian Brekk, and Robin Brekk! Oh and some monkey guy who also might or might not be famous.

So I was lucky that before applying paint to the Brekk, or doing the planning aspect of it, I had the chance to speak to Raffa concerning my initial Brekk attempt prior to the class.

Obviously not finished, but both guys asked me how I was liking to paint it up. And to be honest, I stated that it was causing me some troubles. But I was unsure as to why though. Seems there was a simple reasoning for this.. my style of coloring was off. Meaning that I had too many colors close in the color chart to each other in one area. In this case.. the pale pink/orange skintone surrounded by the yellow cowl ( to which I got more than a few WTF comments on doing it in yellow ). But the blue was a good anchoring color.

So obviously.. taking this as a queue from the boys, I decided on my new Brekk colors.. the same ones.. but reversed! Or thereabouts..

Of course I would find out more about failing here later in so far as to the actual paint I used for the Orange but that is getting ahead of myself here. At least at this point I had been able to get a nice light/dark/light work set up ( the skin would get lighter in the end.. I hoped! ). Though I also was able to do some prep on how to do the stubble I liked on the first one better here also. My trick for it was to take the Liquid Green Stuff and stipple it on the lower jaw/cheek areas.. and hope that after doing some painting it would show up. I think it worked out, but again.. lets see!

Many tutorials later, many discussions on how to apply paint, many times Roman or Raffa coming to me and reminding me to stay on point with the model and the process. It was a new experience to be around people like Massive Voodoo who could "see into the future" on the model. They continually said to me things like "I can really see how the skin will turn out with the contrasts to make that blue pop" or other comments like "You just need to stick with it, cause it is coming along great! It would be a shame to redo the orange section!".

Cause I have to say, that Orange color ( Orange Leather from Scale 75 Leather/Wood set.. absolutely horrible for basecoating ) caused me no end of troubles. Even when doing as I was told, then having Raffa try some tricks on it, and then Roman taking a shot at it nothing worked. In the end, the boys helped me mix a color similar enough to the basecoat that was not turning all chalky regardless of making it in super diluted layers. Patience is a virtue, and I guess they both have it in spades considering there projects this year ( Touch of Death and The Last Light ).

But with their help, and their hands on tutorials we got through a lot of transitional painter problems throughout this class. I say transitional as this class focuses on moving painters up from the beginners class to the more advanced levels. And teaching them those tricks that can only be really mastered once the foundation skill set is established.

We did have a pretty big chat concerning the tutorials after the workshop, and the Massive Voodoo guys were really happy to get the feedback even when it was not all positive! They really seemed open to improving and working hard to make this the best experience for all that attend.

Of course not everyone was up for the challenge, and they were a bit stumped like poor Steffen here.. right Steffen? :) I mean why else would you be making such faces..

Though thankfully Lutz was able to bring his spirits back up with his LOLZ jokes on Brekk puns.

*Hopefully Steffen realizes these are jokes at his expense and doesn't come after me with his Wing Tsun techniques. I might be able to defend against the powers of Massive Voodoo but the powers of a Sockelmacher is perhaps too much!*

But with the fun and games out of they way we could see some really great entries being shown off from the class!

A great collection of Brekks here.. and some ( poorly shot unfortunately ) close ups of the pieces..

Seriously the talent in this class was at another level altogether! So many great and different versions that it was hard to pick a favorite. Really goes to show that you can paint something in different styles and still get a great result if the core theory and work is spot on.

Yeah OK.. so my guy came out in focus here.. but really that was just luck as by this point Michelle was on hand holding the lights to make the photos better. But you can see at least that my stipple work for the stubble on his jaw came out nicely! I was very happy with that. Still have to finish it though as I have much more I wish to do, but ran out of time/energy/steam etc.. And that damn shoulder will blend smooth even if it is the last thing I do with it!

I really liked how when we got to the eyes section of the model we could really begin to see the full on BAM effect on the model. How the piece really came to life there! Something that I learned and will continue to push on after the classes. But something that really clicked when we tackled the bust for the next class..

OK.. so the big question though.. was it worth it? Did I learn anything? What were the final take away points from this?

Yes, it was worth it. If only to spend time with other like minded individuals that wanted to learn how to paint better and push their skills. Making me feel more engages and wanting to learn more as well!

I learned a lot from this class. Patience being a big one ( and I am normally a patient man! ). But also how to control the brush in some situations. Not always using the point, but sometimes the flat of the brush when appropriate. And also about the contrasts. Though I have to say that it was not quite clicking yet in this class, but it would come in time. And when it did, oh boy did it click!

And the final take away from this is that the painting community is larger and more diverse than many believe it to be. And that the talent pool out there is in quite the raw state at the moment. Just ready to get some assistance to burst out and show off some amazing pieces like those found in this class. I really can't wait to see some of the pieces from others over time, and see what it is that they put out in the end.

Next article though is for the second class.. though I have to forewarn everyone that taking it a second time in less than 11 days meant that my experience was a bit "different" and unique. You can see the BAM Reloaded article showing the model, but I will go more into the feelings and thoughts behind it in the next article along with what I learned and how that class was.


  1. Fabulous to see so many interpretations of one miniature.

    1. Thanks Michael.. it was really interesting to see how each student took the class lessons and then applied it to the busts. Really was charged with energy and creative thoughts for sure!

  2. Great reportage Mr Lee , i love always this figurine nice !

    1. It is a great little bust. Would love to see your interpretation of it one day ;) Hint hint ;)

  3. I popped over to look at the article on MV and you guys looked so cute in those costumes! What fun! It is simply wonderful that these guys are so dedicated to improving the artistry in our hobby. And all of you who come out of those classes will go on and teach others and produce an ever widening pool of talent.

    Yes, I can see how putting the blue near the face of your figure was exactly what was needed. It brought him to "life" while before he was washed out. The fez is a nice addition and the stubble looks great. That is a technique I'd like to learn one day.

    Very much looking forward to seeing the next session.

    1. Hahaha.. Anne you have no idea how much fun we had over there! Really Heiko and his school are an absolute joy to be at, and to hang out with them. And the MV boys are beyond inspiring and passionate about their business. Not to mention the art that they produce, and it really is art here.. not just toy soldiers!

      And yes, it was quite clear how fast it pop'd for the Brekk when switching the colors around. Another "click" moment for me.

      In the process of writing the next BAM review.. and it is getting lengthy.. might have to split it.. will see :)

  4. Hahaaaaas Ive Laughed So Much That Days...

  5. Hahaaaaas Ive Laughed So Much That Days...

  6. Hahaaaaas Ive Laughed So Much That Days...

  7. Really wow. And again a good showing why I won't attend such a class. I would just blame myself :)
    To your bust I already commented so I just like to say: Thanks for the nice sum up of the workshop. I always think when I read this stuff: Wow such dedicated people.

    Keep it rollin'!


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