Friday, June 27, 2014

Caesar rises again!

So I have done a bit of work on this "little" Ape Bust in between work and other commitments this week. I have also been posting up some WIPs of it on my Facebook page and it seems to becoming quite popular there with the hits and shares.

With that in mind, I was thinking maybe to show a bit more on here, and also some of the to be aspects of it. As I keep getting messages or posts asking if I will do warpaint and paint him like Caesar from Planet of the Apes.

Well.. actually.. YES! That was my first instinct thought when seeing this bust, and so I am really looking towards painting it up that way!

So I started with trying to create a bit of a scene with the socket before working on a rough sketch of color. My thoughts here are that the socket will be like an urban jungle. Like vegetation has overtaken part of the city.

Then the bust itself I started with some blacks ( using the Andrea Black set ) and trying to get a bit of a dark, moody vibe going with the bust.

Something akin to the movie poster as a basis..

Very dark.. lots of white/greys in it.. but then again looking at it.. that is probably mostly war paint on it.. so need to keep that in mind while painting it.

I did try to do the eyes like in the poster.. which look a bit more like human eyes than chimp eyes. So my first instinct was to follow suit there and paint them the same. Though the sculpt has a bit different angle to look, so I tried to make him to be looking down..

Ignore the color shift on his fur.. but the eyes came out too buggy and super psychotic here! Uber fail!

So back to google I went to check out other options and what a chimp/ape's eyes really look like.

This one picture was really good and clear for me to see..

Immediately what jumps out at me is that their eyes are actually black, with the brown iris around it. So I made a quick change on the bust to reflect this.. and although it might not as close to the movie poster, it is beginning to look closer to what I would like to achieve with the piece!

Now it is really starting to take shape for me.. and although again the photos are from my cell ( FB selfies of the monkey ) and the colors are washed out.. it can still be showing a sense of where it will go, and how it is shaping up.

I just need to begin to add a bit of flesh colors into the face and ears.. tinting them a bit before working the light/shadows more.

But with the slight change in how the eyes are now, it really changes the character and mood of the monkey. Going from angry surprised to dark energy angry with the newer eyes. Let's see how it progresses...

Need to work on it a bit more tonight and this weekend to see where it takes me. But I hope to have it completed soon!

Let me know your thoughts below... and if you think it is going on the right path now!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Workshop - With Fernanado Ruiz!

Another weekend has passed.. and another workshop have been completed.. and another week begins where I am exhausted from all the learning, socializing, and painting! And this weekend was no different..

Great people.. great paint.. great teaching.. great models.. great food... great times indeed!

For this workshop it was off first to Stuttgart by plane, before heading down to Blumberg by car with Phil and Peter.. who be they? Well just members of the Massive Voodoo crew, and also Phil is the man behind the legend that is Putty and Paint!

The weekend started out great with some late night painting at Peter's place before we headed down to Blumberg for the actual workshop!

Most of us were well rested and ready for the roadtrip.. others.. not so much..

But we were all full of energy as soon as we arrived and begun to get settled into the villa that the workshop was happening in.

Seems sleep does strange things to a body then...

Before long though people were setting up their tables and painting areas. Getting out their paints, and brushes, and settling in to get their paint on!

The piece that we would be working on would be the Crusader Bust from Heroes&Villians, and painted/taught by Fernando "Man with the Ham" Ruiz!

Goal was primarily on the face itself, and to understand some of his legend... wait for it..... dairy wet on wet painting style! I have used/learned something like this in the past ( Massive Voodoo Jarhead's beginner class for example ) and have tried my hand at using third party materials like Retarders to increase the staying time of the colors also. But this style was truly unique, and although you can see it on his Tutorials on the H&V website; it is something completely different to see it in person!

Even veterans like Peter were super impressed and in awe of his skills!

FeR doing a demo on the basics of applying the main colors, and starting in on the wet on wet. You can also see what kind of palette for the paints is available.. I think the medical coverage in Spain must be great considering how many he had kicking around for everyone to try out and use throughout the class!

Throughout the class FeR also provided examples with either his face or others on where and why light/shadows should be when painting the bust. Due to the way in which the lights sat, it was quite easy to just look across the table to another painter to use them as a reference.. so long as they didn't have a beard of course.. which.. well.. many of us did!

Mind you Peter was a great test subject, and also helped with regards to light placement for shiny helmets! :D

I kid.. and he knows.. And was more than happy to play "spot the light" for our busts!

There was a ton of theory that we all had to go through, but it was on the painting itself. Nothing about color theory, contrasts, or that sort of thing. These we should already know or learn elsewhere. No! This was about the history of the bust, what colors represented what in the old days, and what kind of symbols or iconography we could use to represent other aspects.

For mine.. I was not really up for a full on freehand ( still scares the begeezes out of me ) so decided to go with something a bit more interesting ( and aligned with recent holidays ). I went with a tartan motif for the surcoat. Have to say.. freehand might have been easier ;)

More so when FeR comes out with his massive collection of PDFs containing many photos of different styles and their meaning. Showing that those in the past were a bit more flamboyant than we are today.

But it all starts with a good clean basecoat of the primary colors for the pattern. And this was another aspect that we dove into so hard with regards to learning the wet on wet.

What was funny is that FeR was on a roll with regards to painting these up! I think his demos continued for quite a while and helping others get theirs started! But to get a great blended light to dark situation, was taking him barely 20 minutes a piece!

It was at this point that the light at the end of the tunnel was a bit more clear for all as we had spent so much time on the face that we were not sure if we would be able to paint anything else! But it seems FeR has been around for a while doing this, and knows his stuff! And his timing!

It did make a few people crazy considering how fast he was painting things up.. but we all progressed all the while..

Phil's, Peter's and my own Busts standing at attention.. ready to get our freehands on!

The beginning of the tartan pattern.. that FeR had started up to get me going and let me loose upon the model to finish it up. Still quite rough at this point as I work to clean it up a but in places!

It was also here that we decided to switch the cloak from black to brown. As it would fit in better with the pattern on his surcoat.

Around this time FeR was praying for more patience to deal with all the flys that had happened upon our workshop. Hoping that they would buzz off if possible...

After some fixing of the pattern, and then starting on the helmet, we would take another shift with the model. Instead of going with pure metals on it, we would switch the bronze for leather, and give that a go instead! A good move I think overall, and going to show that it is just paint in the end, and can be done again if the initial result was not satisfactory!

The current status of the piece from home now.. where the piece is starting to look as one, and is giving me a great sense of satisfaction overall! Now to buckle down, and get it finished!

Thanks again for all the good times... and for the good well wishes at the airport as well upon leaving the country!

Until next time guys...

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Caesar... Planet of the Apes!

So while in Germany last week ( which was awesome! More to come soon! ), I received a nice little gift from my good friend from Greece, Giorgios! In this package was his "tiny" bust of an ape!

I fell in love with this piece as soon as I saw it on his Facebook page, and more so after watching the latest trailers for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.. and I can really see him looking like Caesar from that movie!

Here is the unboxing of the package...

Quite nice of Giorgios to include a  metal rod for the stand of it as well. Though it was a bit too tough to cut for me with my basic materials. Expect a shorter, easier to use version if you order this piece in the future :)

I wasted no time though putting it to a socket that I obtained from Sockelmacher owner and buddy of mine, Steffen.

Using a few things that I remembered from the BAM workshops about how to center the pin hole for it.

I used some putty near it as I didn't have any decent sized pins available.. and I am thinking of making a bit of a city jungle theme on the top of the socket below him. Not normal for busts, but I think it will add something to it.

Expect to see paint on him soon! And I suspect I will take him with me when the movie comes out.. I mean he should see himself on camera right? :)

Hope you like this bust, and if you want to grab one of your own.. as always.. go and give Giorgios a message on Facebook here for details on how to obtain your own!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Blumberg, dieVincis, and Fernando Ruiz!

Yup, seems it has been a while since my last workshop that I have attended ( little over a month it seems actually! ) but this time I am off to Germany once more.

Though to a new location to which I have not been already. The Headquarters of the dieVincis crew, Blumberg! And with a special guest teacher from Spain, Fernando Ruiz! The one from Heroes and Villians fame!

I have really been looking forward to this class for a while due to a number of reasons.

  • Another excuse to go and visit Germany ( I swear I was German in a previous life! )
  • A chance to meet up with the dieVincis crew 
  • To meet the owner of H&V and one of the best painters out there, Fernando Ruiz 
  • Learn some secrets on how to paint up busts.. especially historical ones
But last, and far from least, hang out with a great bunch of people all weekend to toss some paint around and have a great time!

So do not expect any more posts from me until next week.. and even then it might be sporadic as I fear I will be exhausted after this trip. But keep an eye out on my Facebook page for previews throughout the weekend of the lessons!

Enjoy the weekend.. I know I will!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

WIP Goblin Bust..

A bit more work was done on the Goblin Bust last week.. Still very very veryyyyyy work in progress here...

But I have started in on the face at the moment. There are a few shots of splatter from the airbrush kicking around on the shoulders and face there, but it is giving it a bit of character. Will fix it more once I have more progress on the armor bits.

Face shaded in with purple and red, and highlighted with yellow a bit. Still a lot of give and take to go with it. I also oversprayed the eyebrows etc with some of the chestnut/brown inks from Scale75... and then continued with it cause the color variation was interesting to me.. Giving it a different style to it.. I continued it a bit with the lips as well.

The nose is taking center stage here though, and rightly so! It is massive! So I am really working the purples and reds into it, and will see how that goes as I attempt to put more contrast to it.

As for the rest of the skin, there is a ton of work to go on it. Need to do the volumes still, and then begin to work into the creases a bit further.

Thankfully I am having fun with the model, but working on it as/when I can in between other topics and projects.

You can see a bit better on some of the work before I tackled the eyes and some of the lip sections above. And taken with my actual SLR camera instead of the cell phone like the top photo.

The biggest thing that I am liking is the armor at the moment. I have sprayed it with a variety of browns and yellows to begin with, but have airbrush the chestnut/brown mix to it to give it a more smooth look and also orange it up slightly. I will also spray it slightly ( and all over actually ) with some yellow at another point. Just to give it a bit more color variations to it.

Most of the rims, and larger sections will be painted darker though. To cut up the sections a bit more. The filigree is still concerning me on how I will paint it, but I will wait to see how the rims change the look of the armor and go from there. I might make them also a bit darker, and weave some metallics into it as well. Or maybe some other colors to give it some variation also.

Lots to do on this guy, and lots to do on other projects.. so let's see how it goes! Though one thing is for sure.. I will take him to Germany with me this weekend and see what Fernando Ruiz says about the sculpt, and the painting direction on him already.

In the meantime.. enjoy the middle of the week!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Lizardmen project continues...

So the Lizardmen project continues! You might remember part 1 of the project where we pick up the boxset from the local GW store, and get cracking on putting them together and primed! If not.. go back to the article here, check it out, give it a read... we can wait.. go on..

Read it.. see the beauty of the start here? Great!

Now.. onto some painting then shall we?

Junior had a desire to put some paint to the dinos, and has been hounding me to do so for quite a while! So I have put aside some of my other projects, and pulled out all that was required to get this going! And I have to say, based on the results above, he is doing a cracking good job so far! He painted 4 out of 5 of those Skinks.. if you can believe it!

Here you can see him with his trusty GW Fine Detail brush, his wet palette ( train him proper from the get go! ) and his line of models to get painted up!

And focused! Damn was he focused on this..

And SPEED! Takes after his old man he does.. though I seem to be getting a lot slower these days as he was really cracking on with his 4 while I painted my single guy! ( though I did paint the eyes on mine.. that counts right? )

Showing off his first guy that he finished and how he did with it.

Honestly, we started with a single model each here. Just to see how it would go. And this was after I spent the morning priming them with the airbrush to get the blue tones laid down. In Hindsight, I would not have done as rocky of a base for a starting army ( or any army ) but this is his army and it was his choices of basing.

So aside from the painting of the blue though, the rest of the colors and theme was picked out by himself. Purple scales on the back, black for the weapons, and "brown gold" as he calls it to make the metal sections. Oh and the mars red moon bases which will look interesting when we do the foliage I guess.

But after getting the models prepped and ready, he sat down well enough. Took to how to handle the brush quickly. Getting to understand to dab near the edge of a paint puddle on a wet palette, wipe off a bit on the paper towel, and then apply it to the model. He is still working on his perfect coverage, but damn if he cannot get the paint on the models quickly and correctly with minimal mistakes ( for a 5 yr old! ).

Heck once the first guy was finished the other 3 were super easy for him! He lined them up, started with a single color, did it for each model, before moving onto the next color! Proper chinese line painting if ever there was one! I foresee a lot of armies coming from him if he can continue this painting process!

Only issue was his endurance to keep it up. After 30 minutes he was a bit bored, and wanted to try something new ( PS3 ) and wandered off. But a good start non-the-less here. And only minimal corrections from myself in the end. Now I just need to get cracking on the rest of them as this has been sidelined far too long and we need to get them finished in time for the campaigns coming up soon! Let's see if we can pull it off or not!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Valhalla... or at least a local show calling themselves that..

Was quite surprised to see in my Facebook feed a note concerning a convention on Father's Day that was so close to home! Just a quick drive down the motorway, and 20 minutes later I am pulling up to part of the villages Community center where the convention was being held. Which is fortunate, cause I really had no idea so to stumble upon it was great fortune!

So with my camera hanging from my shoulder, and my wallet feeling a bit heavy, I entered this little convention to see what's what! I already saw the trader list, but was pleasantly surprised to see a few others pop in. Some I have met at other conventions ( like Overlord, Smogcon to say a few ). So a quick catch up was in order before diving into the real trade/barter areas.

The guys from Warzone resurrection showed up again, and now with more models and more proper boxing! Kinda gutted that I didn't wait to get them, but then again I got a few more freebies because of it so..

But they were showing off a few of their newer pieces.. and I have to say that they are quite large!

Wish they had a few more models nearby for size comparisons though. But the last one in particular.. I still have the original version of it from when I first got into Warzone some mmmm.. 20 yrs ago? This one looks a lot more stable ( lighter since it is also in resin ) and bigger as well! But not as retro looking or as cool looking in my opinion!

They also had a few of their Alien vs Predator models on display..

Those are looking wicked.. and I can't wait for the general release of them!

There was quite a large bring and buy section which I was surprised at. Though I was also shocked at what people believe their pieces are worth! Between this and the one vendor selling assembled, and poorly painted or primed pieces downstairs.. it makes me think my armies are worth a large fortune instead of a small one.. But then again the more expensive pieces up for sale all were GW labeled.. so.. go figure..

If I ever wanted to get into 6mm or smaller scale wars though.. there was a bargain to be had here or there.

In the other trade hall there were a selection of both gaming companies ( Saga/Viking ) and just vendors.. with one having quite a selection of resin like scenery pieces. Too bad most were for 6mm/20mm scales. Too small for the most part, but I did grab a few larger column pieces and got a 30p discount! Mostly cause that was all the change I had on me at the moment and he reluctantly said yes quite quickly!

And knowing that there is a 7TV campaign coming up to my local club soon, I had a closer look at the crooked dice/ainsty stand near the entrance. Though the pieces I wanted were not really in stock, so I opted for their bargain bin pieces and picked up a cast of random political guys and supporters. Not sure how well they will fair, but I think they will paint up quickly and easily enough.

Good 'ol Bill there with his lady, and secret servicemen. I think these will be fun, if not quick, to paint up here!

And when the political forces and baby kissing is not working, well his loyal "supporters" will always help out to garner more votes. But with 14 models, I think I will have plenty to choose from here to create a good cast... and who says the elections are not entertaining!

Quick shot of the loot haul from the show. Missing is one more piece but it is for a surprise project in the future ( probably far future? ) that will get done.. but you can see the cast, the pillars. But you can also see 50 25mm round bases, and some retro display monitors.. with all the robot works in play these days, I figured that these might find their place soon enough.

Also the main reason I headed to the show was to pick up a new case for the Imperial Japanese Army forces. With my GW ones just not having the space or size needed to hold everything. Chatting with the KR Multicase vendor, he suggested the cardboard box with the 25mm slots. 50 per tray, and 4 trays for the case.

Now I took him at his word, but I did have a nagging feeling that the slots would not be large enough for my 25x50mm pill shaped bases that I put the weapon teams on. However this was averted sure enough as I found that they could be put in diagonally to fit for some of the laying down guns ( LMGs especially ). And so crisis averted here!

Heck, my current forces can fit within 2 trays, including the pinned markers, and dice! Just need to figure out how to transport the vehicles now, but considering I only have 1, that should not be a problem.

There were a few games being played, and most of them demos. Which was a nice touch. Though I can't say that I was overly interested in any of them at the moment. And to be fair, this was a pretty small venue for what seemed like a popular convention/event! So it got quite busy, and full faster than I like to be in, and thus left sooner than anticipated.

Not a bad con.. could have stayed to do more had it not been Father's Day. Got some cool loot, and will see what they get worked on now. And for the remainder of the day we spent it watching How to Train your Dragon 2 with the family, and some Minecraft in the afternoon to relax with. Overall great day.. especially before going back to the office Monday morning!

Enjoy the week folks as this will be a short week for me. Am off to Germany once more coming this Thursday.. so expect a lull in posts around then, but some interesting articles starting next week ( and Facebook updates throughout the weekend!).
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