You'll find a little of everything here. Genres covered in this blog include (so far) prehistorics, fantasy, old west, swashbucklers, pulp, Blood Bowl, Ghostbusters, gladiators, nautical, science fiction and samurai in 6mm, 15mm, 28mm, 40mm, 42mm and 54mm sizes. You'll also find terrain, scenery, basing, gaming, modeling, tutorials, repaints, conversions, art and thoughts in general about the hobby.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

42mm samurai: Working on the peasant's house

I guess the building itch hit me early, and just at the right time (I had three hours of free time), so I got most of it finished. I still need to work on the roof (not sure if I'll use toweling or fake fur for the thatch- or maybe even sculpey??) I had originally intended to do the roof later; Usually when I build, I do everything all at once, and since the roof comes last, I tend to build it in a rush. Since I'm saving this roof for later, I hope to do a better job of it.

The construction of the main structure here was pretty easy. I drew up some plans, and glued together some modular walls (as seen below.) This time around, I actually calculated how much wood I would need (and only had about 6 inches of wood left over after finishing.) I decided not to recreate any teahouses or specific architecture, instead going for a generic "Japanese" look.

I built the raised floor as a separate piece, giving me a solid base on which I could glue the wall sections. Before gluing the walls to the base, I painted everything (to make it easy to get the brush where it needed to be.) I added a couple layers of framing around the top of the walls to give the roof an even base to work with, and to give the structure more strength- And it's strong; I wouldn't stand on it, but this house just feels more robust than any of my card buildings. Anyway- here's some photos!

Friday, December 30, 2011

42mm samurai: Standing with yari (and lumber)

" ... And lumber?"
Sure, it sounded like some of you wanted me to post stages of my work. Well, "stage 1" is lumber :)
Ok, it's going to be a small peasant's house- nothing spectacularly designed, but it will still incorporate mostly wood (instead of card.)

The samurai has a first layer of brown to serve as an undercoat to the red armor he will be wearing. This sculpt is one of a couple of the newer figures offered in Steve Barber's 42mm samurai range (the other being the ikko-ikki monk posted earlier in this blog.)

Next weekend, I'll finally have (after six months) more than 2 consecutive days off work (3 days!) So I think I'll try to build my little peasant house then (or finish it then, if I get the itch to start building during the week.)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

42mm samurai: Kneeling ashigaru

Another easier figure to paint; I may have rushed it a touch, but it still turned out ok. The sashimono is a bit large (I was in a rush at that phase,) but it won't matter too much since these figures are just for skirmishing.

I've been thinking about getting a few more ashigaru to put together a small battleline (and give me an excuse to get a banner man or two.) But that's just a thought; I still have one more samurai to paint from this current batch, as well as a teahouse/house/small temple to build ... maybe. (I need to get up the gumption to buy a bunch of wood and take the time to lay it one plank at a time- If I do this building, I want to do it right.)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

42mm samurai: Some new Japanese goods (and some old)

I had a few minutes here and there yesterday, so I threw these new (on the three GW cavalry bases in front) accessories together. Each individual pack and jar was actually already made (from Sculpey) when I originally started with this range; I've just mounted them on the bases and painted them up finally.

To help nudge me toward building a small Japanese house/shed, I've based these latest accessories to be placed indoors.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

42mm samurai: Samurai charging with yari

This one didn't turn out as good as I hoped, but it still turned out nice. I wanted the lacing to be a bit brighter, but I think I dig the all-around darker look.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

42mm Samurai: First colors on charging samurai

This sculpt is probably my least favorite to paint (yet still one of my favorite poses of the range.) The sculpting is good, but it requires a gentle hand to pick out the fine lacing on the armor. Later, I'll try a couple washes to see if I further define the lacing. I think some very fine blacklining between each color will help also, if the washes don't take. As my art teacher always says: "You have to massage the art."

I was unsure about what colors to use on this sculpt, knowing that the fine lacing would require some good quality paints, but the colors turned out nice; I just needed to put a few light layers on, building up the color.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

42mm Samurai: Ikko ikki finished

Wow, that took no time at all (in actual painting time- probably about 35 minutes total) a testament to how paintable these sculpts are.
For armor and lacing, I kept it simple and humble - black armor (with just a touch of dark brown,) and light brown lacings.
And I think I'm getting better at hammering out my katanas. For those who don't know my method of making swords, you can see a tutorial here.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

42mm samurai: A little Ikko ikki work

Well, my desire to paint has definitely returned. Now, I just need to find the energy after the still- (ever) busy work day. I won't do a step-by-step of postings, per se, but I will post pictures after each evening that I manage to get any significant painting finished.

This evening, I managed to get a couple colors thrown onto my ikko ikki monk. I knew I wanted to paint his pants white, and his shirt some off-white or drab, but I'm not quite sure what color to do his armor. Any suggestions?

I think, so far, of all Steve's samurai, this one is my favorite. I don't know why; he just is. Once I get the colors chosen for the armor and lacings, I think this figure should paint up rather quickly.

Sorry, I didn't keep an eye on what specific colors I used; I just grabbed offhand what jars looked good to me. My oriental flesh recipe is the same as my caucasian; I simply used a different base color (I think it was Foundry Dusky Flesh light (6C), mixing it with each subsequent highlight from my base recipe.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

42mm Samurai: First paint applied

I don't normally post such a small step, but since it's been almost two months since I last put paint to something, I figured I'd celebrate the tiny achievement with a post. It's been years since I went more than a month without painting something.

I chose to do the flesh first (I usually do it last) so as to make the figures come "alive." This way, they will beckon me to finish the job each time I walk past the painting table.

I like Steve Barber's samurai sculpts; they look good and paint up easy! I wish he would do more, but understand that sculptors, like painters, get a yearning to do different things along the way. Steve, if you're reading this, if you ever do more samurai, I'd like some unarmored fighting samurai so I can play Kurosawa-type games.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Priming under way (and here's more envelope art)

Samurai are sitting in their first coat of primer. In the mean time, here's another piece of envelope art for your enjoyment:

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

42mm Samurai: Weapons made

Nothing major going on; I just hammered out a few weapons for my latest batch of samurai. This photo does, however, show what the Ikko Ikki monk (far left) and Samurai standing with yari (second from left) look like.

I don't plan on any major conversion work on these other than the weapons and the back banners that I'll add later. Still waiting for bases; they've been ordered and have been shipped. I hope to at least get these primed by this weekend.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Samurai arrived but...

...It's been so long (relatively) since I last painted that I hadn't realized I was out of bases. So this evening, I ordered some 40mm lipped bases (what I base my 42mm samurai on.) Ah- it just hit me: I hadn't ordered any bases lately because I've been basing my large-scale figures on poker chips. I think my samurai would also work on the poker chips, but they're already based on the lipped bases. Oh well.

Anyway, these (Steve Barber) samurai look nice. One of them is an Ikko-ikki monk which looks better than I expected. When the bases arrive and stuff gets assembled, I'll post some pics. The other poses I have are a samurai standing with a yari, samurai attacking with yari and an ashigaru kneeling (wearing helmet) with a yari.

While we wait for bases, I'll just keep posting my art from letters (and elsewhere.)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I also enjoy drawing on envelopes

I draw on just about every envelope I send through the mail. Unfortunately, I don't have many scans of them because the envelope art is the last step before I drop the letter off. But I scanned this one (addresses left off for privacy, of course):

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Still waiting for samurai; Here's a squirrel

That's right: I can paint giant robots, AND cute little squirrels. It's also meant as a piece of incidental art for  my letter-writing (hence, all the white space.)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Quick piece of Giant Robot art

Of all the things I've drawn, I can't remember the last time I've drawn a giant robot. So here's a quick one. It started off as a doodle, and went from there. (In case anyone is interested, it's watercolor pencil, ink, brush and pen on paper.) Since it's on regular old paper, I'm gonna write a letter on it to a couple cousins with kids who like this kind of thing. (And yes, the robot is saying, "Petoo, petoo," as he devastates his enemies with his plasma eye disintegrator rays.

In the meantime, I've had a piece of old masonite for a while trying to think of something to paint on it; I think I'll try a giant robot in acrylics (complete with background sky in ominous, cliche reds.)

Also- 42mm Samurai are on their way, so hopefully miniatures will be returning here, soon!