Sunday, 30 October 2011

The Witch King and fun with greenstuff...

So the mission to clear my painting desk continues – I've had the Witch King model sat around waiting to be finished for a long, long time (more than a year) – I've been stuck on painting the flaming sword.  The GW studio paint job just doesn't do it for me, so in the end I bit the bullet and had another go with OSL.

It’s by no means perfect, but I think it looks OK, and it at least gives a good effect, even if the technique needs some work.  The black was highlighted with Charadon Granite and Dheneb Stone, then glazed over with diluted black again, which works pretty well, and provides a good surround for the flame and light.

Originally I had painted the sword metallic and tried to blend the flame colours into it, but that didn't look at all right, so I went for a solid yellow, highlighted out to a very pale yellow on the opposite edge of the blade. The OSL on the sleeve looks pretty good - I tried to imagine the sphere of light around the blade and paint the OSL effect with that in mind - I think it might stop a bit short on the end of the sleeve.  From the back view, I'm really pleased with the way the helmet looks - it actually looks like it's reflecting the flame properly.

My local model shop had run out of the Humbrol matt varnish I usually spray on my models, so I took a chance and bought a can of the Tamiya equivalent.  Now bearing in mind I've not had the best of experiences with Tamiya paint (I still can't get that one pot open), I probably should have thought twice about it.

I was a bit impatient however, and bought the Tamiya stuff, without doing any research (yeah, I know).  Looking on the web afterwards, some people recommended not using it as it can do funny things to the paint beneath, but after trying it out on a test model first, the Witch King got a coat of varnish.  What I didn't notice from the test model was it's a little shinier than the finish I get from the Humbrol spray - it appears somewhere between the Humbrol Matt and GW's Purity Seal.  It's not bad, but it is noticeable - I think I will be going back to the Humbrol spray, or, finally getting around to ordering myself some Testor's Dullcote.

...and I'm going to be leaving anything made by Tamiya well alone.

In other news, I've actually used green stuff for the first time!  Yes I know, it's taken me long enough, and I haven't done anything particularly clever with it, but the results are pretty good for a first attempt.

I followed Dark Templar's advice and sculpted in more trunk and some roots, so it looks a little more natural.  The base will be the first thing I paint on this mini, so I should have some work in progress shots soon.

Work on the next article continues, as the deadline is the end of the week (I'm not panicking, honest).  I've done a bit of practicing with the camera recently and I'm going to be looking at some new backgrounds for the photos.  I've set myself a target of one blog post a week, usually on a Saturday or Sunday - we'll see how that goes...

As always comments and criticism welcome!

Saturday, 22 October 2011

A Beast among us…

So the DIY is on hold for a week or so until the plaster is properly dry - a bit annoying, but nothing I can do about it other than be patient.

I’m still on my “clearing the painting desk” mission, and my next finished miniature is this beauty from Reaper:

Beastman at Kenny's

My photography has improved a little – this picture was taken under the supervision of Kenny, owner of the Ancible and the guy who takes all the pictures of my finished miniatures for the articles, using his setup.  He gave me a crash course on taking pictures of miniatures, and I’ve learned a hell of a lot.  One of the main things I’ve learned is that I don’t have anywhere near enough light (see my pictures below).  Not sure how I’m going to solve that bit yet, without spending plenty of money…

Beastman Angle

This miniature was an absolute blast to paint (yep, he’s meant to look Khornate) – the skin I’m particularly pleased with:

  • Base:  P3 Beast Hide
  • Shade:  Devlan Mud
  • 1st highlight: Beast Hide
  • 2nd highlight: 1:1 mix of Beast Hide and P3 Ryn Flesh
  • 3rd highlight: Ryn Flesh
  • Glaze: Gryphonne Sepia

The final glaze really seemed to tone everything down and tie it all together, I’m tempted to use it more often.

Beastman Rear

The rest of the miniature was painted how I usually do things, the horns were a bit of a challenge as in trying to remove some pretty nasty mould lines, I had to sacrifice some of the ridge detail, which had to be recreated using paint.  Thankfully the tops of the horns were clear of mould lines, and they painted up really nicely.  It’s often tempting to dry-brush things like that, but painting on the highlights with a fine detail brush really can make a difference.

Just another bit on photography.  I’ve also learned that trying to do things on automatic really isn’t going to work, this stuff has to be done manually to get decent pictures.  Yet another area where it doesn’t pay to take short cuts!

I retook a picture of the assassin from the last post:

Better Assassin Kneeling

Still not perfect, but definitely better than the previous pictures!

A quick list of things learned:

  • You can never have too much light
  • The camera settings need to be done manually, automatic doesn’t cut it
  • Background light (from windows, overhead lights, etc) can have a huge effect
  • The background you put your model in front of can have a huge effect too…

Beastman on Red Background (I won’t be using a red background often…)

So a big thank you to our glorious dictator leader for the crash course.  I now have to get some photography practice in, and when the lair is set up properly I’ll have a permanent place to have the camera set up

The next article, Bikou, and maybe something else are next on my plate.  Off to Warfare at Reading next month, I noticed Black Scorpion Miniatures will be there, so I maybe picking up some Elven Pirates…

As always, comments and criticism welcome!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Getting there…

It’s been a while!  All work and no play makes Andy a dull boy.  I’m trying to make some time every day to paint, but it’s been a bit tricky recently.  I’m slowly clearing all the half finished projects on my workbench – first up is the Reaper Assassin I started a while back.  The photos were taken quickly as I don’t have somewhere to set up properly at the moment

Assassin Front

I wasn’t quite sure how to paint him, I didn’t want to do variations on black as it wouldn’t be much fun to paint, and I wanted to do something a little more colourful, but not gaudy.  so I tried the old “Charadon Granite as a basecoat for everything and wash it all with Badab Black” trick that I’ve used on Warhammer Fantasy models in the past.  I had somewhat mixed results with this - the cloak, the boots and the green elements worked really well with this method, but the purple really did not, so I had to re-base the purple.

Assassin Side

I’m really, really happy with the dagger, particularly the blade, which came out fantastically (the pictures don’t do it justice to be honest) .  I also feel like I’m getting the hang of skin tones – for this chap I wanted a paler skin, so I tried a different method:

  • Base:  Dheneb Stone
  • Wash: Gryphonne Sepia
  • 1st highlight: Dheneb Stone
  • 2nd highlight: Dheneb Stone and Skull White

The cloak was a simply highlighting with Charadon Granite and more and more Dheneb Stone added, and finished up with a glaze of very diluted Badab Black to tie it all together.

Assassin Rear

Not a complicated paint job by any means, and he was pretty quick to paint.  He’s quite a classic fantasy type of miniature, feeling a bit “old school D&D”.  With my current love for Reaper miniatures, it would be nice to find a good set of universal fantasy skirmish rules to use these guys in – anyone know of any?

Work on the new lair continues, and I think most of the hard work is done, and the painting should be finished by next weekend.  I did the major job today and plastered the old fireplace:

Lair WIP

I think it’s fair to say that I won’t be putting plasterers out of business any time soon, and it’s going to take some Polycell products to make it all smooth, but for my first attempt at plastering it’s not too bad.  It was a much easier process than I thought it would be – and once you get into the flow of it, it’s actually quite relaxing.

Miniatures wise, next up is Bikou (the Ninja from Bushido), another Reaper mini and stuff for my next Ancible article.

As always, comments and criticism welcome!