Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Female Ranger bust.. WIP

So over the weekend I begun work on a female bust of what can only be explained to be a ranger. She is kinda part of my dwarf project, but not fully. More on that comment much later.. maybe :)

But with this as a start, and me very happy with this drawing/painting of the bust, off I went! With the same colors but on a black base ( kinda a mistake I guess ) I take off on this piece!

Honestly this was not a bad start for me on the bust. It was not the best, but not terrible.. though somewhere after this the shading, and washes of the cloak got really muddy. And then dirty. And then it all went pear shaped and I threw a bit of an artistic hissy fit on it, and left it alone for the rest of the evening. Going back at it the next day.

I think it could have survived this original color with some more controlled painting, but the mojo fell out of me somehow on this, and I just couldn't keep my mind straight on it. But the blocking out of the other colors were working well enough at least at this point for me.

Though the skin color came out really patchy and chalky.. though I might be able to use that to my advantage later on.

Going with a darker brown leather cloak so far, and a slightly warmer shoulder pad also. I also tried to make the border of the cloak a bit lighter, but am not happy with it either. So I might tint it yellow back to the original idea with it. The cloak itself needs more variations, so I need to go back over my notes on how to paint leather, and get more photos for inspiration on it. But less is more is not the strategy to go with this piece..

When looking at it under the heavy lights, you can see variations a bit better, but under regular lights or daylight, they all but disappear. So I have to go back at it and push the contrast even further. And by further I mean take it to the MAX! And maybe work some tonalities into it as well, something that Banshee attempted to bash into my skull in Augsburg, but seems it has not completely taken hold yet.

Though I am more happy with how the shoulder pad came out. But I would prefer to have a different look than that for the cloak. And the flat black on it will all be silver when I get to the metal working stage.

After a quick chat with my good buddy Denny Crane on Facebook, he urged me to just keep going on the cloak. And to drybrush a lighter color on it, and then maybe the yellow tone back into it. So I surprisingly dove back into it Monday night with a heavy drybrush, and some more colors in my wet palette.

Surprisingly it worked! Or at least gave me more confidence on the piece, and took it into the right direction. Still requires some glazes to bring it all together again, but it is moving on the right direction once more for me.

Now if I can only get the subtleties of the skin down and working properly for it.. then I would begin to really be happy. But I think that will require me to dive into the oils or paint retarders to get working properly.. time will tell though I guess! Oh and I need to stare.. I mean reference.. more female forms to understand how light and shadows work on open cleavage.. might take me several sessions to understand that.. :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Review: Laszlo Adoba terrain books

So it has been a while since I had done the review articles ( or any articles here it seems ).

For this review I wanted to tackle a few magazine/books that I have been hoarding recently. The first 2 of the Let's Build a Diorama I picked up at Euro Militaire last year. And the other 2, Stone objects and Accessories I just picked up off of Amazon.

All I can really say is that they are all excellent books. Though quite intimidating, and of a different style of terrain building/painting. Much more realistic than some of the pieces and styles out there. And I am still working up the nerve to begin to use aspects from it!

In the first book of Diorama's 1.. here you can see a shot from it that shows off the different aspects of a war torn wall. The book goes into incredible details on how to achieve each aspect of his with step by step photos and text explainations.

Though I have not seen exactly where I can use this on smaller projects, it does make me really want to give it a go on a larger piece. Something with many pieces or models in play. But to build such a piece, and have the models fit as well will be quite an interesting trial for myself.

In the second book he goes into more about foliage.

And rocks.. but not just rocks from rocks or cork, but also from plastic, molds, self-made molds, etc. And how to work them to work for you. With a combo of painting, scratching, washing, etc to create different styles of rocks and finishes for them.

His last 2 books that I picked up are more about the smaller details whereas the first 2 were about the big picture ( kinda ).

Stones, stone ornaments, and fountains was the key parts for it. Including the use of water effects to make the fountains come alive. His techniques for weathering are nothing new, but the explainations can assist many with regards to how to apply them!

But his last book here.. the accessories book. WOWZERS!

Really dives into the details on how to create the interior details of old houses that have sat around, or even newer places that have antique furniture. Using clay, and balsa wood for the most parts here.

Mega wow part for me.. this photos below..

A full on old school cast iron radiator! Wow.. combined with the techniques from his diorama books ( bricks and foliage ) and probably some stone work tossed in for good measure if needed. Amazing right there with regards to the level of skill needed for it. But he breaks it down quite well enough ( and this is pre-3D printing.. but does involve some basic casting ).

Honestly.. just reading the books ( which is a common occurrence for me ) brings so much inspiration for me. But also fear and dread lol. Cause I know if I go down this route then I will be in a project for a long while, and although there is a good chance it will turn out good.. there is a good chance I will get stuck with it and the need for fast painting might take over. So hopefully I can overcome this fear, jump into a mega project that uses some of these techniques, and really make the most of the tricks shown here!

Anyone else have such books? Or books that they pull on for inspiration for future projects? Please share them below!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Weekend Adventure - Model Railroad Convention

Another weekend, and well.. another convention!

Was quite happily surprised to find out that there was a convention to be held in our little home town here of Basingstoke over the weekend. Makes the trip to get there easier and faster! Less "Are we there yet?" from Junior ( and myself at times! ).

First impressions was WOW on some of the pieces up on display here. Junior was amazed at how they moved, and how they could connect without someone helping ( unlike some of the others we saw apparently ) and would take off again. He wondered what "magic" was involved here to make it happen. :) Was a nice moment to hear that!

Some, as my son said, were just lovely. The above being a prime example of all the small ( on a already small scale ) scenes that were included. Just makes you want to dive into it, and build one up yourself!

One of the largest scale train sets here at the show. I really have no clue about the difference scales, but this seems close to what a 28mm scale would be fitting in. Making it more interesting to me and junior ( shown in the top photo ). I think this might be the scale ( or close to it ) that I would prefer to do ( if space, time and money were no object! ) cause I could double it as a gaming table as well :D Or at least pretend that would be possible...

Though I have to say that although there were a lo of interesting set ups to see at the shows, not many were really up for chatting too much. I guess with it being on the second day, most were kind of burnt out, or ready for a bit of a siesta already. That and most were hidden behind their backdrops fiddling with their train settings instead of checking out the people looking at the displays.

And the traders were a real hodge podge of collections. From the trains, to the tracks, to the buildings.. there were a fair few pieces to look at, but nothing that really stood out to me. Aside from the few bits that I did pick up below.

From left to right.. a book on train buildings and how to work with the plastic buildings available. Has some good scratch building ideas within it as well as the history of the train buildings over the years. Some styrene stripes for later on. And the last pieces are some plastic/resin ( not sure which ) stone patterns. Saw them for cheap, and thought they could be useful for small vignette bases. NIce crisp details on them as well which was great!

Below are some more photos of the show.. with regards to some of the other train set ups! Now to get back to planning out what I would like to do when I get to retirement age ;)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Relic Brits have landed...

My army for Relics has arrived! I did pick up a starter pack and the rulebook at the convention over the weekend. But the bulk of the forces were ordered from The Outpost due to the Tor Gaming website being closed for inventory checks for the conventions themselves. And was redirected to alternatives such as The Outpost.

But they arrived nicely today, and all smushed into a single medium sized box.

So what did I get though? Well.. simple put.. all of it :D As starting a skirmish army should be made like :)

I now have the following from my main order..

  • Puppeteer
  • 6 Highlanders
  • 2 Marksmen
  • Company Master Sergeant
  • 9 Troopers
  • 2 Light Calvary
  • Bomber

And you can see them all assembled above also. Quite a few had some nasty mold lines, but nothing that a file or 3 couldn't tackle nicely. Aside from that they assembled quite easily overall. 

Though they were not terrible, they are not the easiest. That or I have been pampered too much with resin and high end plastics. 

What is a problem is that I still have the second starter to assemble as yet :( Thankfully it is only 9 models in total though!

Onwards.. and now to go and review how Simon made up his bases to his Brits so that I can steal be inspired for my own bases :) More on that soon enough I guess :D

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Project UK... finished?

This has been one heck of a long road for me. A commission that I started when I was still living in Turkey.

The last 2 figures for the collection were these lovely ladies. Both from the Khador range within the Privateer Press group. The brief for them was to make them red and green without making them look too christmas-y there. While also keeping them heavy in the armor sections.

So real metals as with the rest of the pieces in this collection, and also some new work on the reds and greens. I had fun painting these up though, even if they took me a lot longer than I was anticipating then.

I am happy with how the bronze sections came out though. Working with the Scale75 colors here, and working in some browns/blacks into the shadow folds. And then washing them with Army Painter Strong/Dark tones to tone them down a bit.

The base of the one on the left though also has one of my newly casted rock pieces. Yes.. I have attempted to cast something.. can't say the process was a complete success, but it is working nicely together. And I hope to make some more rocks, and other things, in time.

It will be a huge relief to be able to hand off the rest of the models back to their owner. My hope is that they are received well, and that he is happy with them, albeit a "bit" later received than originally intended.

But it is good to have so many projects being completed.. and I hope to keep the tread moving along! Let's see if I can keep the momentum here!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Review: Scale75 Smog Riders

Now this was a surprise to myself, and a great one at that.

Scale75 contacted me the week before last asking if I would like to review a few of their soon to be released range of miniatures built to help increase ones ability to paint. Simple sculpts that have a resemblance to their existing ranges ( and some of the existing being replicated in Chibi format here ).

To be honest, my first reaction was a resounding yes. I mean.. why not!

The pre-release photos and such of the pieces is great from Scale75, but then again it is their product. For me it is always nice to see what they look like in hand and compare it against other pieces that I have.

So.. let's look at that then shall we? :)

Due to them being the pre-release pieces I did not get the fancy boxes that they will come in. Nor the paperwork that will be accompanied with them. But that is not what I was asked to review. I got the models.. and in this case I got Kitty Reimer and Matt Darcy to have a look at.

As you can see, both models come in 4 pieces each. A main body, left/right arms, and an oversized head. This is quite chibi in looks, but there is a reason for it. To give the painter a bigger area in which to play with and bring their techniques to bear.

The sculpting of them both are kept simple. Again with the focus to make the painting easier. So then when looking at these pieces you can really go to town on how to get some blending action happening. Plus the Chibi look of the pieces they can also be a bit less in the layers if required.

Assembly of them was simple enough. There was a bit of flash that was needed to be cleaned up. And the umbrella arm on Kitty needed to be cleaned up to fit properly within the slot within her body. And there is a bit of a gap between the body and the head at the neck.

Once assembled, Matt's left arm is blocking the face a bit to make painting it a bit harder, but not impossible.

Though those are the only bad parts I can make against them. Aside from that, they put together quickly and easily. The flash and mold lines were minimal. And with them being 40mm in total height, and their bases being 30mm, there is a lot of space again to play with.

When lined up to other models you can see how large they really are though.

A Forge World Chaos Priest. Mindwork Games Psycho Clown. And a Knight Models commander ( can't remember the name of the model ).

So they are a bit larger than the average model, and in their own scale, but considering that they are made and built with the purpose to paint easier then this might be a good idea.

I will be having a look at them soon enough to paint up. If they are meant to be easier and fun to paint up, then it should be quick to do. Just need to figure out how or what I will do for a base. Do I tackle them as a gaming model, and make the base as such, or do I aim for them to be on a socket ( and then look for something suitable? ).  Thoughts?

Hope you enjoyed the review, and I am looking forward to seeing what other ways that these pieces can be painted vs the studio painters :D
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