Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Donatello Garage Kit

Such a huge kit... and quite a bit of fun to paint up. An interesting piece to say the least, and one that I tried a few different tactics on.

But let's start at the beginning... build, and prime.

The fit for it is great actually. Very little work on the joins needed, and only one piece really needed to be filled in. But there were a few mold lines that I have to shave down. And this is not resin that you want to be sucking in if at all possible.

Black Primer with a white shadow thrown onto it. Thought here was to make the light source come from in front of him... not sure it worked in the very end, but it was a shot at doing it all the same!

I painted the skin with Tamiya colors. The thought here being since it was such a large model I would need quite a bit of paint to cover it. Thing is that the Tamiya has great coverage, but comes out mad shiny! Really was not expecting that.. not at all! But I would dilute the shiny with some Vallejo Green to layer it down.

From here you can see the shiny has gone down significantly with the Vallejo coverage, and then the padding, wraps, and shell got their base coats applied. This time by brush. Coverage was crap over such a large piece, and it took quite a few swipes to make it happen.

The purple I went for on Donnie here was super strong though. And I think it really works well for him and the cartoon look that he has on him.

At this point I realized that it needs to have a black oil wash in order to really make the piece pop. And it will help with the pieces such as the wraps and padding.

The base plate was really fun to paint up cause I basically just layered on a single color and then drybrushed the hell out of it with light grey and white. The newspapers were written with some New York and Daily News type titles. And the pizza.. which is not the greatest sculpt piece of the bunch.

So the only thing I need to do to the base, and the model itself is again the oil wash. Which will make the entire thing stand out more.. I hope! Though I will need to remove some of the oils I believe though cause I will only want it within the crevices of the piece and not to darken the entire piece.

Future Mr Lee problem on that though... cause I suspect there will be some trial and many errors when I get to that point of the model.. in the meantime he sits on my bigger projects shelf..

Some decent pieces, some easy pieces, some very difficult pieces that will get work on at some point throughout this year :D

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Combo Review.. Kromlech German Grots

I posted up about the German Orc here yesterday. But today I want to talk about the quality of these pieces and models themselves. That and the SBS of the Grot Shot caller.. all models are from Kromlech.

So the above photo shows them at the beginning stages and to be honest the assembly stages of these models were brilliant.

Normally with the plastic/resin hybrid pieces there is a lot of flash, and mold lines. Though with these there were barely any mold lines, and no flash.

As far as packaging goes though, it is pretty simple. Plastic blister, with some foam insert to keep them secure.

Though I will have to say that the level of details on the models at first glance is great. Plenty of details to play with, however once I got into the painting section I could see that not all of them survived the casting pieces.

One specific area was the Orc Surgeon face.

I want to think that the huge ridges under the eyes were glasses. So painted them as such, but at the same time it could have just as easily been huge cheek bone pieces jutting out there. Both ways don't really work cause there are not enough details there to do really much with them.

But in other sections like on the apron, and for the main captain there are plenty of details there that stick out nice and will be a pure joy to paint up!

For now though here is a bit of a SBS on the Grot Blowhorn..

This Grot had a lot more flat areas on the skin areas. Having a lot of fun to play on this now, and the rest of it got painted up quickly last night.

End result is another piece that I had fun painting, and is the beginning of the trio of Grots. I am no fully convinced of the rust on the horn, but then again it is a start. I might throw a bit more on it though once it has time to full settle :)

Though after seeing how well these paint up, I might be looking at picking up more in the future then. Switch the mentality of them on a diorama, and put them back onto gaming bases. And have a decent little German forces that I could use against maybe another Orc American forces that was kickstarted a while back :D

But that might be the stretch with regards to cost and time.

Monday, February 23, 2015

German Orcs - Surgeon

For some reason this weekend I had an urge to paint up something gamey.. something that had a bit more details than say the Ottoman Traveller from my round 2 entry to Portal, but something that wasn't as detailed as say something from Scale75.

With a box full of plastic, metal and resin, I had a few choices. And I spent a good few hours pondering over them, and finally pulling out all my resin gaming pieces. Of which I have 3 Grots and 3 Orcs from Kromlech miniatures. Very expressionistic models that are decent quality, but nothing over the top.

So with this in mind.. I started to prime them up, and got started with the Surgeon first. Why him? Well actually no idea, but he had decent details but not as many as say the captain there ( who is quite large and impressive on his own! ).

Black primer on, and I dig into the piece old school. Well old school for me at the moment whereby I mean I don't use the airbrush to set a zential light on him or basecoat him in his main color with it. This is kinda old school for me to do it by normal brush, and I had fun doing it as well.

After Banshee's latest class as well I was not really too concerned about a super smooth finish on him either. The roughness gives it a bit of texture. Not fully what Banshee would have done, but small steps in that direction I believe. :)

I attempted to keep a very cold color scheme for him, and would attempt to warm it up a bit within the skins. Not fully pulling it off at the moment, but again small steps. And I can say that the Orc skin came out much better than in my previous attempts. Especially since I began to introduce oranges, and reds more into it, but also pale skintones or yellow/whites. And a variation of blues to mix up the green for it, since I didn't pull any generic greens to make it in the first place! :) Huge step forward for me there!

At some point it was just too clean... and for a surgeon that is just not right is it!

So voila! Here is some blood applied! Though I think he is still too clean ( coming from other good friends giving me feedback on this ).. and perhaps he should be having a bit more blood on his hands, sleeves...

I have to say that it was a real joy to get back into painting, and then to take some photos of the progress as he continued on. I think that I needed to mix the techniques I learned on pieces that will move faster in the painting progress. And his was a great step in that direction.

Heck I even got some movement on a second model over the weekend here.. which was the Grot Blowhorn guy for the artillery.

He is not finished, but I am having a lot of fun with his skintones. Especially since the oranges and pale skins added to the green really added some nice variations to it! But not a fan of the front of that jacket atm.. more contrast is required. But let's see how it goes, and how this group of misfits finish up.. heck.. maybe they might all sit on the same base as well :D

Friday, February 20, 2015

Banshee Workshop Review - Augsburg!

Ok.. so yesterday's post was a prelude to today's post. Which will go into the full details of the workshop from last weekend.

I can just say to begin with that it was a huge learning curve, with expertise that could span weeks or months, and became probably one of my most emotional workshops I have gone to so far in my "career" of going to painting classes.

I am not the highest or best painter out there ( regardless of what my ego whispers to me at night while I sleep! ), but my expectations of what to learn from the class was that it would push me a bit out of my comfort zone. Something that I was prepared to have done to me...

Reality was that the jump in talent and technique was much higher than I anticipated!

Now this is not a bad thing mind you.. because I have gone through this before ( waaaaay back when I started going to classes such as Dervish's class... who was also a student in this class! ).

Stephan doing his style in the Banshee class.. 

Heck, there was even the Massive Voodoo crew as students in this class! So painting alongside some of my teachers from previous classes was pretty epic for me as well...

Oh and this creepy guy also.. no idea why he was there, but at least he stuck around to give some more insight and advice on how we can make fun of him more ;) 

There was a ton of theory to put into place ( and some of it I had a grasp on thanks to earlier classes with Banshee ). But due to the extremely high talent found from those participating in this class, Alfonso was able to kick it up a few notches and go quite deep into the theory.

We started with some simple things such as the light to dark on basic colors theory and practice.

I was able to get this down fairly well enough. Which I am thankful for, though I have done it a few times.. And it can always be better though..

The next practice for colors was a super secret technique that Alfonso is the master of to understand and explain.

I tried to post a photo of it above, but this happened.. nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition while posting online!

But that's ok cause you can see everyone was still hard at work trying to finish up their activities here.

And another of Banshee's explanations where he takes the largest piece of paper he can find.. "liberates" our paints from the confines of how we use them today, and shows us the color theory and ambient nature of the colors.

When we did begin to look at our models, we began with trying to come up with a color scheme. Although I had already painted the Ronin previously ( as can be seen here ) I had chosen the Damiyo from the Andrea range. Probably not the best choice in the end though as it was quite a difficult model to figure out. more so than any of us at imagined! Such is my life to choose the hard path ;)

Though it was funny to hear a comment from Alfonso about painting and painters who try to highlight without white. That some want to add color to their pieces, so they just highlight with yellow. Was happy that I left my Ronin at home then, cause that is kind what I did to it :D

Above are my 2 ideas for the piece. The first one being too much red on it ( even if my piece was primed red ) and the second one was more likely to happen. But at least this way I had a plan of action on how to tackle the model.

As you can see.. Banshee was quite enthused with the model and gave me some tips on how to tackle it as well.

No idea why I focused on the back ( probably cause the folds are easier to manage? ) but this is where I worked most of the technique. Banshee constantly trying to push me into more extreme contrasts as you can see on the front side. To really sketch out where the light would fall, and how it would fall on this clothing style/texture.

When I had gone and blended it too much, Alfonso came back to reintroduce tonal change into the piece, as well as helping me introduce texture to it.

One of the impacts of the class for sure for me. To understand when texture is enough, when to add more, and how to not lose it while glazing or painting over and around it.

We basically spent all of Saturday night, and Sunday working on our pieces, and the below shows the results from what can be said of being barely 10 hrs of painting ( if that really! ).

Such high contrast, energized pieces started from the class participants here. And all in different warm/cold patterns. Starting from white, grey, black, red or multiple color primers as well!

Fantastic results really.. and I suspect that due to the amount of energy everyone had while leaving on the new techniques that they all learned that we will see a huge influx of Ronin's ( and maybe a Damiyo? ) appearing on places like Putty&Paint or Facebook soon enough! Looking forward to that!

And again the great group of guys doing their thang at the end of the workshop.. posing for the camera while I attempted to get it sorted and ready for the group photo..

Hope you enjoyed the review.. take a few things from it.. wish I had more photos but the intensity of the class was one that made me focus more on painting than taking photos.. but below are a few shots also of the guys while we watched Banshee make his magic on his mini bust!

Enjoy the weekend!

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