Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Undead Shamblers - Almost finished?

Well I have come to the point where I need to call this beauty finished. At least for now.

My energy levels are already quite depleted and so putting effort into a piece that I might just be making worse is not a good thing to be doing.

It has been a great project to work on, and I know there are areas that I need to update, and will in time, but for now it is finished. And I call it a day.

It was a good project to get myself back into painting something more than just table top, and allows me to now get back to long overdue projects that I have wanted to get done, or have started but never finished.

It will come with me to Denmark in June to get some additional feedback while at Roman's workshop. And depending on time I might be able to do minor adjustments to it.

At the moment though he is finished, and I now ponder if I should keep the socket in wood, or paint it black. I am of 2 minds of it at the moment as both have their merits.

Enjoy and now I am off to find another mini project to get me back to understanding how paint flows once more before I start in on the larger pieces!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Undead Shamblers.. the paint WIP

Although it is coming together well.. we are still very much in the WIP phase of the project here.

But I am beginning to see how the piece will all fit together and see how the various colors are working in harmony in many areas.

Let me take a few steps back from the above photo though to show the progress overall however..

Last photo of the build for the base was seeing us with this. A multi-level base set for multiple models to sit on top of it.

With a bit of quick wet blending we see ourselves to this point. Where I now know that the brickwork is going to be an earthy brown/orange scheme, and the wood is going to be an aged white/blue scheme. A bit of color contrast in play here.. and some decent colors put together that I will then place throughout the models as well.

Same colors as the base, just taken up a bit further with the cream tones to make him stand out a bit further.

With him placed in front of the base we can see that there is continuity but also contrast between them. Dunno if this was the result of years of classes with the masters of figure painting.. or I just lucked out with my color choices this time around. Either way, they are shaping up nicely!

Moving onto the rest I still enjoy how it is all going together.. though later on I realise I should have switched the colors of the great sword and the crossbow guys. As the blue guy in front of the blue door and the orange guy in front of the orange wall don't work out as nicely... but the front man still stands out nicely and pulls focus so that is a nice thing at least!

After some playing around with the details further I got to intensify the brickwork on the wall in particularly to bring out some more light on the piece. The zombies also got a bit more work done on them before we began to add some foliage onto the castle wall/ruins there.

I don't have as many photos as I wish at this point as I was getting very much into the piece here. But I might have jumped the gun a bit also by putting them to the base already. Was a bit quick, but now I can see how they all fit to the piece however and how I need to tie them in more.

Such as with all the greenry on the base, I need to now work in that green color to the zombies themselves to tie them better into the scene. Also to add a bit more variation to the shadows as well with potentially some blues or violets/purples.

But now the hard part of the piece and one that I begin to falter at usually.. the details and finishing of the piece. To spend the time and effort ( and patience ) on it to get all the tiny details to really pop out better now on it.

From the base stonework, to the foliage, to the zombies, to the rust, to the door, to the small little insects that might get put onto the base even still. I suspect that the zombies are going to get pulled from the base to get some touch ups once I have an idea on how to proceed.. but for now it rests as is.

Hopefully the weekend brings some time for me to expand upon it further!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Undead Shamblers... Imbrian Arts - Base Building...

So I got the chance to paint up the Shamblers ( my wording ) from Imbrian Arts by Jody Siegal. A bit of pre-release for his kickstarter that has just completed (successfully I might add!).

Although I have his range as it is now ( aside from the Bat Demon ) I decided to do a small diorama with his zombie trio here as they are so detailed and nice to play with. Plus they immediately screamed out for a group photo type setting..

So with that in mind, I got to work on building up a base for them in some sort of castle like setting.

Of course this comes down to having the right socket to fit them all with. This one coming from Pete's Bases in UK. A nice round base to give an interesting shape to the models.

Thing for this project however was to make some brick walls. I was given a few ideas on how to achieve it, but I decided to go back to some casting of Plaster of Paris. Taking some blisters I got to work out some blocks of plaster to be used later on.

The hardest one to make was the round one. This was made by hot glue gunning a plastic cup cut to shape to the socket. Then the plaster was poured straight into the socket. Thankfully it didn't stick to either the wood nor the plastic of the cup. In the end I got a nice cast of a circle that I could use for the base of the .. well.. base... :D

Some mock ups of the base with the models lining up to where I was hoping for them to be placed on the base when it was put together.

A central column was the beginning idea, and then having stairs to one side, and no idea as yet to the right hand side. But I knew that I wanted to have some levels within the piece to give it some variety overall.

After some work I got the idea to do a platform on the right. And the stairs were to go up to a door. As you can see I started to carve straight into the plaster to create the stone texture. The walls are superglued to the base, but I did add pins for connection points. Both to the base and to each other just in case.

I would constantly put the models up against the base to check placement. And also for scale of the base vs the models.

Stone work began on the central pillar which is now turned into some sort of wall. A wooden door tossed in, and some wooden flooring as well for the platform. Then of course a ton of rubble throughout the base. The wooden beam sticking out.. no idea but thought maybe at some point there was a larger frame for the platform?

This time I began to put the models up a bit to show off their heights compared to the base as well. Helped me to understand if I had messed it up yet or not! :D Seems things were ok thus far though.. aside from the door. A good comment I received on Facebook about this was that the door looked too new in comparison to the rest of the base. So it was torn off, and replaced with a more shabby door!

Which was fun to make as it allowed me to pull out my old but never used Balsa wood cutter... yes.. these exist.. and honestly it was really cool to use. I can see it getting more use in the future if I wanted to make something more symmetrical ( or just want clean cuts on the balsa wood ).

End result came out ok.. the back side has nothing on it, and I will keep it empty and painted black. Trying to focus it from the front if possible.

Next post will be about the painting, but hopefully you enjoyed this base building aspect however :D

Thursday, March 30, 2017

PS4 Controller/Headset mod/paint

Again an older piece of work that I did up cause I was bored or something.

Actually the headset I did cause I had a spare faceplate for it, and I thought it would be cool to spice it up a bit. And it turned out so well that I had an itch to do it to something else.

Turns out my son soon there after wrecked one of the controllers from mashing the X button too hard while playing Lego Jurassic Park.

So with it not working and me looking to do another mod, this was a win/win for me. Controller is already not working nice, so I can wreck it without worries. Or if I don't cock it all up I have a nicely modded controller!

So after a bunch of swearing and sweating.. I was able to get the cover off. Actually I have to say that it was not so bad and I could do it again but I would change my approach a bit next time however so as not to cause gouges in the seams.

After a quick grey primer or 3.. I then had to think on what I wanted to do. And for this I was aiming to go like the headset and do a rusty controller. So I pulled out the ModelMates Rust bottles and just slathered it all over the controller.

I do regret this now though as I then read and saw that ModelMates is no longer operating.. so the stock I have is the last I suspect I will have unless there are vendors with stock left. Cause it is a great product, but I know that the owner was having health issues so there is potentially a reason that he stopped trading.

Once it was covered and dried. I would go and do a ton of AK Heavy Chipping Fluid over the controller. Like everywhere over it. And let that dry overnight this time ( usually for tanks I can let it go in an hour or so.. but this was to take some more abuse so.. ).

After it all had dried I went and did a pale blue scheme overall with the airbrush. Trying to make the areas near the holes a bit brighter overall. No idea what I was doing here, but I was having fun while doing it so alls good in my book in that regards!

From here I would do and begin the chipping process. Removing a bit of the top levels of paint to reveal the rusty sections below. I also then put in ( temp ) the buttons to see if I should paint them or leave them basic.

In the end I left them only because they would take a lot of abuse and could rub off fast regardless of how much varnish I might apply later on.

When all was said and done, some massive amounts of gloss varnish were applied. With each layer given an hour to dry and cure before another was applied. And then as a final touch a few layers of matte varnish to bring it all back down in reflections.

My hope was that all these layers of varnish would assist in sealing the colors in and keep them from rubbing off.

I can say that after a month or so of playing with it since sealing it up, that it did not work. It might be good enough for my son to button mash more on Lego games. But with my fat greasy palms, the paint is beginning to lift, and get sticky on the sides. Will need to reseal it at some point, and have already made it permanently his personal controller ( which he thinks is cool cause its a special color ).

Lesson learned on this. And if I were to do it again ( not likely atm as all the controller work nicely ) then I will need to find alternative methods then.

For now, I am off to Duke of Bavaria to set up for the first time by myself as a trade stall! Wish me luck and hope to see lots of great pieces painted while there! Oh and maybe sell a few models while I'm at it.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Japanese Ronin

Here is a piece coming from a Greek sculptor by the name of Stavros Zouliatis. He sculpted this piece up for his personal collection before putting it up for offer to get cast and sold. Again I was lucky enough to pick this up from him to get to work on.

Coming in 6 pieces total, and standing 75mm tall, this Ronin figure has a lot of nice details to play around with.

While chatting with Stavros about the model, he did state that one of his inspiration for the musculature on it was from Iggy Pop! I was a bit taken aback, but can see the resemblance a bit with regards to the chest section.

Though I am not sure if Iggy is as ripped as this Ronin is on the back!

I do like how the casting has made it so that each part fits perfectly to each other. And very little work was required to get it packed up ready for shipping.

Overall I think it is a stellar piece, and I am happy to see a small ground section included with the sculpt that we can include with the kit.

So the Ronin is standing 75mm tall without the base, and is now available from Mr Lee's Minis for 40 GBP.

Message us on the page, or email us at for purchase and shipping details.

Can't wait to show off my painting of him.. but for now back to prep for Duke of Bavaria!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Innuit Warrior

Another figure I have painted in the previous weeks. One that I was really happy with how it was progressing and got a lot of great feedback from some great artists throughout the community. People like Oleksandr who co-sculpted it with Bran. Or from Roman Gruba who has been pushing texture and color manipulation on models more and more recently.

So with those behind me, I really tried to push my painting to new heights with some colors and textures.

The back sections were really pushed further with adding such a red into the shadows of the blue throughout the figure. Something that I haven't done before, and should do more of. If I continue to do more showcase pieces. I really like how it turned out in the end, and hope to push myself to do more of this in the coming year if and when time allows.

The only place that I really did not like was how poor the water effects came out, but I was able to just cover it in snow to hide the mistakes.

Hope to take it with me to Duke this weekend coming up, and see how Roman Gruba likes it in person, or what I could do to fix or improve it more.

Enjoy the week!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

ECW Parliament forces

So a long time ago now ( 5 yrs? ) I had painted some ECW models from Warlords for a friend of mine back in Istanbul. No idea what he did with them or used them for.. but I painted them. I did not have fun with them back then.

For whatever reason I have started to paint up a full force this time and for myself even! I have to say that this first unit was the hardest slog of painting I have done for a while. And I will need to figure out another way to do it going forward. I think the biggest issue was the manner in which they are based. Being 4 to such a small base overall, so needing to come up with alternative methods to prep, paint and then move them to the proper base afterwards.

I really worked to make this as easy as possible and failed horribly in the beginning. There were lots of drybrushing throughout the process, but I do hope to fix it in future units.

Ground work was a pain, as I needed to remove them from other MDF bases, and then reapply them to the new bases in the right positions. This was trouble especially with the pikes to try to align them all up without crossing each other.

The only thing that I did figure out to work nicely was how to paint all the Pikes. Which was tac'd to a round socket, primed, and airbrushed. Helped to get a good coverage without stabbing myself with them attached on the models themselves.

When all finished though they do look interesting though. And I do want to see what this will look like when I get the full force painted up and onto the table. Transportation of it all will be a pain cause of the pikes, but I have ideas for that. Though I need to find a ton of very thin magnets to attach to the bottom of them to make this work. Something to find on ebay at some point I suspect.

My hope is that once I have moved house, and have a bit more space around to set this all up, I can plow through this army quickly enough to get them all done, and then have a few games with it at the club. Until then.. enjoy!
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