Friday, May 23, 2014

Painting... boobs?

So I have started a new side project... a smaller ( or larger? ) bust project... which has to be semi secret though cause well it is for the e2046 painting competition that ends soon. And apparently we can't show finished pictures of it before the contest is over.

But after the private lessons with Massive Voodoo and then again with Rafa a few weeks ago.. the thing to do with painting is to do research! And the more research you do, the better and more real the end result will be!

Ok.. well I am trying to get better so best I go off and do some research then huh? :)

A quick Google search later and well....

A good example of how the light and shadows work here, and how you can add a few beauty marks to them to give them a bit of character.

But the piece looks to be in costume.. so maybe I should research in that area?

Now we can see what they look like again with lights and shadows but this time in costume. I have to say.. it is very hard work this research bit of painting.. I do not know how many pages of cleavage I have had to go through, and their related links, to be able to find suitable material to study and replicate.

Of course.. with all research there are the dark sides... and you have to be careful on how far you take the research... I mean the interweb has a dark side and if you research too much you can find yourself in some very scary parts of it..

Not exactly the cosplay cleavage one might have been wanting to find.. but thought it worth sharing the image all the same ;)

So yeah.. this busty bust will take me a lot longer to get completed than others have in the past due to the level of research required. Thankfully it is a long weekend here in the UK so we have plenty of opportunities to research and gauge which ones are the best to try to replicate.

But if you have other links or research photos that you think it would fit this piece best.. link them below in the comments :)

Enjoy the long weekend, and let's hope that the weather is good for all to enjoy the weekend!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Bolt Action...

So after yesterday's post of starting the Lizardmen army with Junior, I have another army that will be working on in the next little while.

I have started a post on it over at 5th-Dimension blog as I will do the majority of the posting on the army progress there. Though I will still post up the odd thing here about the reason for the painting.

And especially on how to paint them up!

My aim here was originally to have a really nicely painted force, of high quality, to show off while playing. The first 5 models that I painted up I spent a lot of time making sure the blending was right, and that the colors were perfect.

When all was said and done this unit of 5 models took me in the vicinity of 20 or 25 hrs? I was pleased with it, don't get me wrong. The results are nice, and I can really see an entire force looking like this in the future!

Then I had a look at the rest of the forces to make up 1200 or more points ( which we hope to get to in the escalation league that I joined )...

Um... erm... yeah... 5 hrs per model times um... 100+ models? Yeah.. not happening!

So the old, army style painter in me was released and began to look at how to paint the pieces up faster, easier, and probably a bit less neat. But honestly.. when looking at them on the table.. will I notice that blend I did on the 40th or 80th guy? Probably not!

The HQ unit above was done in about an hour tops. Much simplier color scheme. More of a base, wash, highlight style to them.

What I am also working on within the entire force is a variation among the uniforms. Since the historical facts of the army state that they had issues with getting the same colors for uniforms due to where the uniforms came from. I figured that some wet on wet blending with different ratios might help to represent that. Plus now I am not concerned about trying to get an exact match to continue with a unit, but some slight changes in hue is acceptable. Call it a cheat, ok.. but still.. something that I think works!

What's better is that the majority of the pieces I have painted up now were done over a 2 day period! So I would reckon that my painting cheats/hacks/shortcuts are helping! Otherwise the older, better style, I would still only have 5 more models finished instead..

So far I have had 2 games with them at the local club. Both in the 600 pts level so very basic and easy to get around.

Battle vs the Belgians... seriously the Japanese have really engaged Europe much more than I remembered!

My first was against the Belgians.. who almost wiped me out to the man leaving only the HQ above alive in the end! And my second game being against the British where I squeezed out a win by holding the objective with the HQ until the very end!

Tonight I will see my third game.. opponent unknown.. but points have been raised to 800.. New reinforcements in the manner of a Sniper, and some Suicide Anti-tank units are joining the fight as well. Will see how the Imperial Japanese Army or IJA does tonight.. and maybe have a battle report to post about it as well!

In the meantime.. more meds, a few meetings, and a hearty lunch is required in order to be fighting fit for tonight!

Hope you enjoy the army.. and let's see how much more I can get done over the coming weeks for painting!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Lizardmen and the best age to start collecting...

.. and the best age seems to be almost 6?

I had put up a post a while ago concerning me starting in an escalation ( kinda ) league at the local GW store. With a Buy it, Build it, Battle it campaign.

And how I also painted up a test subject for the army to see how it will do.

Well May 15th was the starting date in which we can buy, and begin the building process!

So after school, I picked up Junior. Fed him some pizza, and then headed to the local store to pick up our starter box for the impending series of events!

Reason for the lizardmen as the starter army instead of say Daemons or Orcs/Goblins and adding to what I already have is that this will be his army! And everytime we have gone into the store, he has been looking and asking for the Dinosaur army.. Who can resist that then eh?

So we picked up the starter box, and the Skink Priest as the main forces to use and paint up. I only need 800 points so this will do more than nicely to begin with.

Junior is already setting his eyes on the larger ones, but we will hold off ( for now! ) on those until we get in a couple of games with the existing forces. And more importantly.. getting them all painted up! May as well teach him proper here on buy, build, paint, then repeat the process.. not just getting stuck in the first phase or 2... like his old man has been stuck in for years!

And although I have been sick a lot lately, I have had the energy to clean up, de-mold, and assemble the force ( or at least most of it ) Thursday night, and Friday. Allowing us to do some work on them over the weekend.. which turned into mostly a Sunday exercise as Saturday I was in bed or on the couch under blankets :(

The force begins to take shape.. WIP shot from Thursday night!
So Sunday morning.. after Mrs Lee took off, we descended upon the dining table with newspaper in hand, glue and brushes on stand by, and a tub of sand/cork pieces ready to be put to bases!

Junior was quite eager to get started and begin to paint up the models, but prep is everything as we all know so we had to get the basing materials down first. So I equipped him with the latest in brush technology ( or rather one of my older brushes... no W&Ns yet for this padawan!!! ) we tackled the basing!

As you can see, he really got into it and began to really start pouring through the models to get that sand fixed to them. Plus he had his Fruit Shoot drinks to help aid him in his thirst as the work continued!

Tough work that is.. though he was thankful for a bit of assistance from his old man here to get the army finished up and to help with the super gluing of the cork pieces to the bases.

And after a short ( or long depending on attention span! ) time we had the entire force based up!

Huzzah! Last thing to do at this point however was to wait for the glue to dry, and then prime them out in the nice English weather we seem to be having!

On standby with the primer!

However the heat, nice weather, and smell of the primer drove Junior off to play footie in the yard instead.. so old man Lee here at to take over. Not much else was done after this as all the running around in the backyard almost killed us both ( damn exercise! ) and so we vegged on the couch for the remainder of the evening.

But we can call it successful as the army is now primed and ready for paint! So the adventures will continue very shortly on this project and will see how Junior does with the painting aspect! Heck.. we are even going to attempt to use the airbrush! Oh the Humanity!!!!

Enjoy the army shot so far.. and enjoy the Monday... if you can...

Friday, May 16, 2014

Primary Color painting experiment

So I placed a preview of the class on Monday.. went to sleep.. woke up and now it is Friday! Damn!!! I think I might be a bit under the weather... argh..

Anyways.. on to the short little experiment that I was put through, and pleasantly so, during Rafael's class last weekend.

The class was to focus on his style of painting, and to work with extreme contrasts. Be it with color, light/dark or matte/gloss. But to work with them all within the scope of the class. And for those to be worked on, we picked out the Savage Orc models to play around with.

I honestly cannot say that I was overly thrilled with painting it, and less so with the results that I was plagued with!

Steps forward could be seen, but the model was just not screaming to me enough ( even if he does look it! ). So I sidelined the model in order to not derail myself from the class too much. And since the class was in a gaming store, I browsed the shelves to look for a better piece to paint up. Something that had a bit of everything on it, that I could play around with.

Now it must be noted that I stopped working on the Orc on the second day around noon. Bough up a kid pirate from the Tales of War line sometime around 1230, and had him assembled and primed by about 1.

This is when Rafael realized that I was doing something different and made some comments. First comment was.. dude.. wtf!! No.. actually his first comments was your falling into old habits.. and using de-saturated and coward colors on this model.

He had a look within my paints to see what I had.. de-saturated was said a lot.. not a lot of vibrant colors there..

So he had an idea.. to see if I could make the browns that I liked playing with.. but with only using the primary colors! And we set off to pick up 3 colors from my paint box that were vibrant and saturated enough to be the primaries for this experiment.

And building off of his thoughts with regards to the color wheel he set me on a new course.

We only added the black/white paint so that I can play with the hues a bit further, but the goal was to only paint the model with these 5 colors.. Black/White/Blue/Yellow/Red... something that I have been told before can be done in a class from Massive Voodoo's beginners class.. but not something that I have actively sat down to actually do.

What was really interesting was that with the reduction of colors I was able to paint even faster! And with more freedom, as the colors I would require were there in front of me. If they dried up ( which for some reason did fairly quickly! ) I could just mix up another batch on top of the older ones.

Things like the pants were quite easy and hard at the same time. Easy cause it is basically moving from blue to yellow.. and blending and mixing the colors from one to the other.

The boots were more interesting to play around with, and the extreme yellow light was Rafael's doing more so than mine. But he began to push me to try really bright colors in the highlights and see where it would take me. And in this case it began to give me an idea of a light source ( even if not fully proper ).

But it was the skin area that I played around with the most. To get the right consistency of the colors to make it work.

The photos shown here are my 4th attempts at getting the skin just right. Or at least right enough for what I wanted to hit. Earlier versions were either too clean cut over the muscles making them look unnatural. Or were the wrong shade, and too yellow/orange in spots and dark in others.

After an hour of playing around with colors I finally found a mix that I liked. Can I repeat it? Maybe.. but I cannot say that I have a recipe for it. More like an instinct that it was what I was liking. But I can say that the white was used to help bring out the highest peaks on the skin there.

What I really like is that although this model is a bit small, it was all accomplished in about 4 hrs. While Rafael was pushing on with some lessons, I was brush deep on this piece going further and further. Painting one section at a time, until it was at the point that I liked. If I had one more hour in the class I believe I probably could have gotten all the pieces painted up, and had a better idea of the overall effect and feel for the model.

I can see now that the piece is still a bit rough, but considering that it was painted without the luxury of my normal painting desk or lamps, it is not bad. And I think more of the effect and exercise itself was more important than the final detailed results. I will attempt to finish it off in the coming weeks and see what happens. Maybe clean it up a bit more. But I also think I will attempt this exercise again at some point to see what can be done with a different combination of primary colors for it as well. Perhaps even moving into the secondary colors and see what kind of combos I can come up with on a similar piece.

Expect to see some more of this.. and would love to hear your comments below about this experiment. In the meantime.. enjoy the weekend!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Preview of the weekend workshop...

Wow.. OK.. am exhausted from another weekend away and another painting class!

This was another class organized and run by the Weekend Workshop owner/operator/head artist John aka Darkmessiah. Since he is a fellow 5th-dimension blogger, expect the more in depth review of the class over at the 5th-dimension blog!

In the meantime know that the guest teacher for this class was non other than Rafael Garcia Marin.. aka Volomir! Who has his own blog showing off his cool ass pieces there as well!

But below you can see another shot of Rafael during his teachings, and a shot of the 2 models that I worked on within the class.

Now I need to rest, recuperate and put the rest of my thoughts to the page. But expect a few articles from this class on a few interesting things that I learned and achieved within the class. ;) I promise them to be quite interesting!

Enjoy the week!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Calling all Barbarians....

Conan by Darick Robertson

.. and when I say Barbarians, I don't mean Bavarians ( or Canadians! ) dressed up like Barbarians!

This just will not do!

No what I am looking for is more Barbarian sculpts to put together a bit of a diorama. Well, at least that is the thought running around in my head. I haven't done a proper diorama for a very very long time, and honestly most of my pieces are but 1 or maybe 2 figures on a stand. So I thought why not try to build something a little larger eh?

I have already started my collection with some pieces from Figone while at Duke.

Tarnir from Figone

Slainegger from Figone
I think both of these sculpts will be a good start for the warband. But I need more bare-chested, over muscled, attacking stanced barbarians to make my diorama come true! The other thing is that I need to be looking for pieces that are of the same scale which is 54mm as that is what these 2 are.

Looking further on Figone's site ( just cause I am already there ) I can see some more pieces, but they don't fully work for me in one way or another.

Kurgan from Black Forest
I mean Kurgan has the size, and a powerful weapon, but when put alongside the others he is too static to fit the scene I want to create!

Demon Huntress by Figone
A female warrior would be cool like the above, however she is a 90mm piece while the others are in 54mm scale. Which also poses new problems as well :) Not to say that this couldn't fit in with the rest and just say she is a giantess in the group, but I think the pose is still a bit off. But something that I will keep in mind though moving forward for pieces...

I also picked up some of the Boris models from Salute at the Heresy booth ( thanks for the chat Andy, even if I did come off as a stalker.. Sorry! ). But again the problem with these models is that they are too static to really fit in such a vicious warband!

Boris v3 from Heresy Miniatures
He is also a bit short at only 43mm tall, which I guess could be OK as a dwarf barbarian maybe. Again though the stance is just all wrong for the scene that I am looking for though.

But while looking at Andy's sight, I did see some more active Boris sculpts...

Super Dynamic Boris from Heresy Miniatures

Berserk Big Boris from Heresy Miniatures
Both of they have the charge stance going for them, though they will be significantly smaller and less detailed than the resin versions at the top of the page. Though again, Dwarf Barbarians in the group might be good fillers.. so will keep these in mind..

Deathball Fantasy Football Boris from Heresy Miniatures
There is also the Fantasy Football version of Boris.. of course he is holding a football at the moment.. but looking at the fact that the hand is separate, I should be able to replace it with a proper weapon. Again more thoughts are required on this...

Orc from Metal Models
Not really a barbarian, but maybe an ally? Aldo quite a bit larger sitting at 60mm tall.

Now I am searching, and writing this post at the same time, and my thoughts are running rampant at the moment with ideas. And the more I see different sizes of pieces, the more I actually want to put them all into a single scene! With the different heights playing for me instead of against me in normal situations. I could see some of the smaller guys running in between the larger pieces as they charge towards the unknown foe that lurks just out of sight.


While looking at other sites ( cause the point of this project is to expand my palette not limit it! ) and looking at places like Enigma I can see some interesting sculpts.. but not sure if they would fit into the scene properly..

Astharon by Enigma
An interesting piece, and again stretching the word barbarian here... but dynamic ish pose, and bare chested so fits that criteria. But he only stands 52mm to the top of his head. So will be a bit shorter than the top guys who kicked this off, but perhaps that will be OK?

There are also a few that I found on the Scale 75 site... which immediately we know are going to be the big buggers out of the bunch...

Brock from Scale75
Barbarian by Scale75
Both hold a decent stance ( though Brock might still be a bit static ) and one is even called a Barbarian! But again the size of them in comparison to others might throw it off too much. At least with some of the other ones I can claim it on the fantasy bits, but these 2 look a bit too human like to be able to claim they are giants or just larger humans.

The Barbarian by Joek Minis
Found this little guy, made of resin, on the El-Greco site. But he is really small.. but then again.. Halfling Barbarian? Again another little guy running between the others to take out the knees of the foe in front of them?

Ok.. so I have shown a fair few Barbarian sculpts so far.. and done a bit of early Friday morning searching for them. A scene is forming more and more within my mind on how to play this out.. but now I put it out to you the readers to ask... should I attempt this?

And if I should attempt this.. is there any other barbarian pieces out there that could really fit within this scene to make the warband epic sized!

I would really like to find around 10 pieces that I can put onto a single diorama. Why? Well, again just because I think I can, and would like to try something of this level actually!

So leave me a comment below on what you think of the idea ( which is growing more crazy as you read the post most probably ) and leave me ideas on additional models that could be included into this warband if you see any that fit the criteria!

Cheers and enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Imperial Japanese Tank painting...

Yeah.. so this is a smaller quick piece to write up at the moment.. and was something that I worked on last week up to and including the day of the game that he played in!

My Type 97 Chi-Ha Tank for my Imperial Japanese Army forces. Can't say that it is the best job, but it works for what I needed at the time..

What was cool about this is that it is my first tank to be painted in a while.. and one that I tried a lot of different techniques taught to me by John the Weekend Workshop runner, and also the Forgeworld Armor book..

Plus I got to play around with a new product from PK-Pro that is pretty cool..

Anyways, first things first.. what I wanted with this piece was something that had the camo that was typical back then. So I started with the brightest color here and base covered everything with it.

From here I put down some strips of the masking putty. Think of it like the stuff that you hang posters on walls with, except that it only sticks to itself! And the paint just peels away afterwards even! So with it down we sprayed on the brown.

Next color was green, and the extra layers of the putty sitting on top.

And then we did another shot of yellow.. no ideas on why.. just because?

When it was all peeled away there.. we can see the straight lines that the putty gave me.

At this point is when I began to throw a lot of different techniques and styles onto the tank. Starting with some oil washes, the chipping with brown/black/silver, the splatter marks I made with different colors and thicknesses. The only drawback was I went overboard with all these styles and the end result shows a tank that is very very dark and begins to lose some of its features to all the extras.

I also threw and played around with pigments once it was all assembled to give it a "lived" in look on the battlefield. Again.. less is more here... and I need to remember that lesson for next time!

But it did fine in it's first game and overall was able to take out a few units, and make the anti-tank units really work for their line of sight against it. Though all things considered I think it still came out well enough, and better photos hopefully will be coming soon. Though any comments on what I can do to correct or fix it are very much appreciated. Comment below!

In the meantime.. now I need to focus on my infantry forces to support this light tank here on the field!

Good luck to me here!
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