Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Portal Round 2 Entry Finished

So round 2 is finished, and we have submitted out Entries as of last Monday!

This overtook me for the month of January. Almost all consuming. MOre so as my idea and plans for the entry grew and grew! But the end result is one that I quite enjoy, even if it is a bit dark ( 2 high sides on a small base will do that ).

I did learn a lot on this piece, including but not limited to the placement of pieces. Proper planning ( or improper planning in most cases! ) on how to build a more elaborate base.

That some aspects of the base are better than others ( like the oil drum is great, but the signs might be a bit much ). But as much as it grew, I still kept to my original design. Something that in the past I would have given up on and gone a completely different route!

The final result though I have to say is a real bugger to photograph :) There are lots  of interesting things on it, but unless you find the right angle it will be a nightmare. Something that I hope will make people look at it further when in person, but via my photos it is not probably the best piece to show off.

And since he is entered for the Portal competition, which is solely online, this could very well play against me. I have also sent it off to Massive Voodoo's Bananalicious contest for their diorama category.. again where the photos can only say so much on the overall piece.

But win, lose or draw ( if that exists? ) I came out with a mammoth project within 3 weeks of prep, plan and paint. Which results in one heck of a strange little diorama.

Hope you all enjoy it, and if I am still in the competition, then let's see how I do for round 3.. and what the criteria is ;)

Thoughts? Comments? Or dare I say it, critiques for this piece?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Portal Entry round 2 continues.. slowly..

I posted about the starting of this project back on January 9th, and only now posting more about it! Yikes! Best correct that!

The deadline for the project is fast approaching ( Monday at midnight is what we were last told! ). And as such, I think I took on far too much of an ambitious project than I realized. Especially with my normal daily schedule being needed to be worked on!

But progress I have made since the last post on it!

Here is what the base looked like with the initial sketches applied, and some extreme highlights applied to give it a sense of direction. Of course it cannot stay this way as the project is to be about a post apoc like area, that has plenty of weathering on it!

Well in the area of extras for the base I started with a simple weathering technique I picked up ( or refined would be a better word ) with John at one of his Weekend Workshops. Process was simple enough.

  • Spray down a couple different rust like colors with the airbrush. 
  • Spray down 2-3 layers of heavy chipping fluid. Ensuring to let it dry fully, and naturally between the layers ( using a hairdryer removes the activator or whatever in the chipping medium and ruins the effect ). 
  • Spray down my main colors ( in this case army green? )
  • Pick out the details and do some layers for some highlights as well. 
  • Then taking a warm, stiff brush, slowly rub off the top layers of paint from the pieces. Exposing the rusty colors below. 
And Voila! Rusty pieces ready for the dio!

Though they look a bit ... um.. stark in contrast to the rest of the alleyway.. and everything is still looking very clean. Too clean rather..

This is where I began to really experiment on how to continue with this. Especially with the bricks on the path ( which I took several attempts at! ).

Unfortunately due to it being experimental, I don't have so many photos.. but the general premise of the steps were the below:

  • Take out several different pigment powders. Apply them directly to the base without water and rub or dump them into the cracks and sides of the wall.. Rubbing them in with a stiff brush once more. 
  • Add a bit of pigment fixer to some areas ( mostly cracks ) and then dump some more on top
  • Add some AK interactive Rust Liquid on areas. It doesn't come across as full rusty, but more dirty and muddy even on this scene. 
  • Add more pigments.. just start throwing them on top of each other, and work them into the base. 
  • Take some Modelmates Sand Liquid Pigments, thinned a bit with water, and begin to layer that on the bricks.. 
  • Beginning to like the effects!
  • Add more pigments :) Rub them in some more. 
As you can see it is a very scientific method to the madness going on here.. but when it was all said and done.. the piece looked more together and definitely dirtier with the pigments and liquids applied. 

The AK Interactive stuff really helped on the signs though. Just a tough of it, and then worked with a damp brush and it spread out nicely. Making the chipped aspects look more real. Spreading the color out a bit, while still making the chipped parts stand out ( in some cases ... I overdid it a few times! ). 

Now I begin to work on the models themselves.. you can see the Ottoman standing in his alleyway ( though not fixed yet ) waiting for the trader to arrive.. oh and his mount ( whom I hope to finish! ). 

Quick work on the models themselves ( amazing how fast 28mm scale pieces are to paint compared to 1/6 scale busts! ). 

Looking forward to seeing how the scene builds up, and what else I can push into it yet. 

Hope you enjoy this so far, and expect some more ( final ) photos next week! Enjoy the weekend in the meantime!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Review Tuesday: Massive Voodoo Tutorials

The masters of disasters pictured above are the source of today's review. The boys who are bigger than life ( I mean look at them.. they are taller than that door there! ). Kinda creepy? Maybe... but let's continue all the same.

But the review is not fully on those 2, but on what they bring to the community. Especially with regards to their Tutorials they have on Massive Voodoo.

Reason for this is that over the process of creating my current base work, I have dug into their archives quite a bit to pull out some interesting tidbits.

Things like the bricks... though I had learned some of this from the basing class back in August last year. But it was great to re-read their thoughts on how to apply it and here to apply it.

Or using some of the wood pieces to better applications ( even if I didn't fully use it, but it was great for inspiration ).

And this tutorial I really want to use, but need to see if time will permit me to get it done before the end time of the competition. Adding some posters to the walls ( even with all those lovely bricks and slabs made ).

One trick that I do want to do is to add some more litter to the base. Especially with regards to the newspapers and magazines from this tutorial.. 

But I digress... cause there are plenty of items on their Tutorials at the moment... such as adding pigments to the base to weather it up ( though John will have words from this as I did do his weathering class also ).

So to end this small, weird, review of the Massive Voodoo Tutorial section.. just wanted to point out how much information is out there. Massive Voodoo is just one avenue, but one that has quite a wealth of information available. One that has been around for over 5 yrs and continues to grow on a weekly basis!

All images are from the tutorials themselves, taken by the Massive Voodoo crew.. who I will get a chance to meet up with again in February! Looking forward to it already! And what new tricks they have learned since our last encounter :D

Now go. Get inspired, and PAINT!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Review: Swedish Artbook - Ur Varselklotet

This week's review is a bit different in that it is an artbook instead of a model. But since there was some nice comments about me showing what drives my inspiration on my current project, I though i would show it off a bit more.

Oh and the back of the book with the ISBN number perhaps?

Some of the more astute observers there would notice that the title and back of the book is in Swedish.. and well I can tell/show you that the inside of the book is also in Swedish.

But honestly I did not buy this book for the writing. I bought it for the great photos and inspiration that comes with them. Thankfully Burak had the same idea when he bought one while there, and showed it to me.. it was then a simple thing of doing a mission to find and buy my own!

I mean not all photos are the greatest for miniatures like the one above ( and heck this does not help too much if one is on a diet as well! ).

But seeing the artist's interpretation of what a ( I can only guess ) failed invasion attempt on Earth would look like.

I like the manner in which he shows how us Humans have adapted to the new environment, and have incorporated the technology into our lives.

This top photo reminds me of Industria Mechanika pieces. Especially the flying barge there is comparable to one of his pieces shown here. If not a bit more modern however ;)

Though what really struck me was the resurgence of dinosaurs alongside the technology. As if the Aliens had brought forth long since dead DNA, and just let nature take its course.

This was part of what grabbed me and put me into my main thought of the current diorama project that I am building.

And I do have hopes to do another one at some point that expands on this further. But will see if/when that happens. I think I could really do a nice piece here as the machinery is mostly geometric shapes, and simple enough to replicate.

Unless of course I want to try something a bit more difficult and then there are plenty of images with those within the book.

So there you go. One of the artbooks I have picked up recently that is helping me come up with some new and different ideas for my projects.

Wondering if anyone else out there is doing the same?

Monday, January 12, 2015

WIP... Dwarf Bust

Game plan here is like many.. start with some sort of color as a base, in this case an orange brown color. Later on I will see that this was a poor choice.. but it is only paint and thus can always be painted over.

Layered in some more colors with the airbrush. Again it is just basic levels, and too monotone for the colors overall.

And then I went into a really weird direction, and not one that I can say was for the right on it. The beard was too bright at this point, and honestly not the direction that I wanted this bust to go in. I wanted it to be a lot darker, older, and aged like the wrinkles suspect.

And that is exactly what I did. And I really began to play with the shadows on this piece. I did not like how clean it was before. But it is in a style that is not one that I have learned much in classes as it is mostly finding the appropriate main colors, and then using GW Washes to help filter and adjust the colors.

Definitely in a much better direction for me here, and I can go much further on the skin of course. But the darker beard is really framing his face the way I would like it to be. And now that I have a direction that I like on this piece, the motivation is quite high to push forward on it!

And once I get a bit further on the beard, I will be working on the metal beads. They will also be a bit dark as I don't want them to pull focus either.

Though the gash on his forehead is looking good.. and will need to play around with it a bit further to make it look like it is a bit fresh, a comment that I received concerning my Slayer Bust that I pained 2 yrs ago.

Let's see how it goes in the coming weeks.. but more focus on the Portal entry.. let's see how that goes ;)

Friday, January 9, 2015

Portal Paint Off - Round 2!

ARE... YOU... READY!!!!!!

So here we go for Round 2. New theme, rules, and set of hings to accomplish here!

This round the title is "Stranger in a Strange Land". And this round is a Sci-Fi themed round. We have to build a base that fits into a Post Apocalyptic theme. With the technique being weathering. Seems like the perfect recipe considering all the classes I have taken, and especially the class that Roman gave last August on basing for Sci-fi, Post Apoc styled settings :D

Seems simple enough. 

Now some of the things that I lost marks for in the first round were concerning lack of following the Title ( Which was something about power and responsibility or something :) ), and lack of ambition with regards tot he project. 

So this time I want to go a bit .. bigger! So here are some of the first photos of the project build. Warning there are a lot of photos!

Yeah.. going a bit bigger indeed this round! :) 

My thoughts for this is to take from a cartoon called Samurai Jack. Where a Samaurai from the feudal age goes off to fight against a great evil. But before the evil can be vanquished, the deamon sends him into the future where his powers are more powerful and has a better chance of taking him out!

I love this cartoon quite a bit, and it brought forth the idea of a Stranger in a Strange Land. And if I can try this theme with another part of history. 

So for this I looked into a few models and this time I pulled a model from a previous commission. I had an old model from the Ottoman empire. A spearman with some funky clothing. 

So the first parts is of me building a frame for some large buildings. And create a kind of alleyway scenario for the man to show up. 

Oh and the Dinosaur? I had picked up a book while in Sweden that was awesome for inspiration. 

It is all about how this artist makes what seems to be a normal situation, and adds in Aliens, crashed spaceships, power supplies from another race, and dinosaurs :) 

I especially like the photo here above with the dinosaurs looking to be penned up like they have been domesticated. 

Here I begin to add a bit more bricks to the walls, and created a tunnel section. I want to have something standing there originally have some alien/robot hobo sitting in the tunnel looking for a handout. 

And I continued the building of the brick wall, and created some stairs.. Currently they go no where, but let's see what I can do with it in time ;) I also had some stairs at the end of the alley, like you have to climb down them to get to this underhive!

I begin to have some issues with the piece at this point as I feel that the space is too small.. and my ideas are getting far too large for what I want to do here... 

Such as having a sign attached to the side of the building. Something like a shop or motel or girls sign :) To give the stairs some reason. 

I continued the building up of the alley.. and it is all framing at this point. 

And since I was struggling for space, I began to think of alternative set ups thanks to some comments from Mrs Lee. 

I toyed with this idea a bit, and put the project on hold for a few days while some new sockets arrived. Some that had a bigger footprint for me to work with. Something akin to the huge piece of balsa wood that is shown there. 

But when the pieces came I found a good piece that is similar to my original socket but wider and longer. 

So the thought is still back to the original idea of a Time Travelling Ottoman, who is stuck in the future due to some sort of mishap against an ancient foe of the Ottoman Empire. Along with his mighty steed in tow that will be holding his packs. Maybe chatting with a trader, in some back alley dealings? 

And as far as how the alley will look like.. I am thinking of some of these scenes where the alley is crowded with signs and wires and other knick/knacks adorning the walls. 

Let's see how it goes.. as I have plans to work on it some more this weekend. 
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