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.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Reaper: Deckard, deathpriest (cleric for D&D)

Here's my cleric figure, painted using the same burnt orange palette as my wizard. This effort turned out brighter, which is ok.
This is the first figure painted on my new table. Next up is a Warhammer Empire halberd regiment. I'll try to get a couple colors thrown on them, anyway. I'm not in the mood to paint a regiment, but I really should try; my Empire army has been sitting ever so patiently on those shelves.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Table is done!

Well here it is, the new painting table! You've seen it go together; the only thing added since last you saw was some polyurethane/stain (satin walnut.)

Rackham Confrontation wizard (and familiar) finished!

(click for larger pic)

Well, alrighty then; I've finished the wizard. I also had a little time to throw some paint on a dragon familiar for the wizard. I used the same burnt orange on the belly of the familiar to tie it with the wizard. After doing a few D&D repaints and a massive barbarian figure (all of which were fun to do), it was nice to settle down and take a few extra minutes to do something a little nicer.
Now I'm waiting for my cleric figure to arrive.
I'm also thinking about getting a new camera. I think the CCD in mine has gone bad; I have a dark spot in all the images. I actually Photoshop the spot out of all my pics; that is why I continue to use this backdrop- it's easy to use the clone tool to cover up dark spots, rogue hairs and other debris. And, so far, it's been easy enough to compose the photos around the spot.
Still, a new camera would be nice, especially one where I can control the f-stop/aperature settings. I'll have to spend a little more -- maybe not -- I'll have to shop around. Worst case: I'll get another Canon Powershot. This little guy has worked well for me for casual shots of minis, I just want to kick it to the next level BAM!

Ah what the hell; here's a couple more shots:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rackham Confrontation wizard continued

Here's another couple pics of the Rackham wizard showing the work on the tabard. I still like this burnt orange combination and might use it on another miniature which is currently on its way to me in the mail (Reaper's Deckard nightveil, death priest). I know, I know: Deckard would "work" better with a dark palette, but I want something different, something bright, something that makes this figure say, "I'm SO badass that I don't need dark colors to indicate my badassidness." Like a tough guy who wears pink. That's not a final decision yet; that choice will be between the burnt orange and a bright red. Maybe I'll have a change of heart. I'll have a better idea when I have that figure in hand.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Rackham Confrontation wizard started

I forget which wizard this is, specifically. That's not important; I'm painting him for fun. I've had him sitting around for a while and decided it was his turn to get some color. I wanted to share him with you all at this stage because I like this burnt orange palette I've used on his cloak.
The colors used from base to highlight (all Wargames Foundry paints) were Dusky Flesh 6B, Orange Shade 3A, Orange 3B, Orange light 3C, Yellow light 2C and (just a spot of) Raw Linen 30C.
The front and back tabards have been started with Storm Blue, but will be finished with a lighter blue. (I'll get those final colors posted when I actually decide which ones to use.) The tabard trim and cartouches all will be in metallic gold. Books, potions and and other accessories will just be a hodge-podge palette.
Still haven't decided on a color for the snake at his feet (you can see it to the left of the wizard's feet in the third photo.) That snake was another one of my early green stuff creation. Reminds me of a Far Side cartoon when god is creating snakes by rolling them out of clay, and he thinks to himself, "These are easy!"

Friday, October 16, 2009

Heresy Big Boris/Conan conversion Finished!

Here it is. I used a simple palette. Cape turned out nice. Now back to stuff on the table.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Heresy Big Boris/Conan conversion 3 (plus bonus caped fighter)

Movin' right along! The hair is in place. Not my best effort; it doesn't have that wind-swept look to it, but at least it looks like it's moving. Otherwise, figure conversion is complete! Woo-hoo! Tomorrow, I'll prime, and I'll hopefully get to painting early Friday. I'm on vacation (staying at home), so I have time. I think I can get this figure completely done by the end of the weekend.

And below is actually my second try at a cape using my cap jig. This cape turned out a bit slender and long. It still worked, so I put it on a random fighter (one who would look good with a cape anyway.)

Heresy Big Boris/Conan conversion 2

So I got the figure assembled. Long loin cloths added (for dramatics not utility.) Also added a poignard (dagger) on the front of his belt to hide a bad seam between the cloth and his leg.
I filled the gaps between the arms and the torso, also, more importantly, added more green stuff to extend the cape forward over his shoulders connecting to a simple broche in front.
All that's left to do is add hair, and I'm scared of doing it at this point; everything else has gone so very well. I'm a little nervous that something will have to fail, and it will be the most important part. I'll have time to relax before I attack the hair while I let the latest addition of green stuff set.

Another Heresy Big Boris/Conan conversion

It's gonna be hard for me to top this conversion for a while (if I can pull this one off that is.) Again, I've gone with a Big Boris from Heresy It's just a great figure to convert since it has just enough options to give me what I need.

The first change I wanted to do was to take the sword off his shoulder and have him holding it point to the ground (I DO like the sword rested on the shoulder- it's a fantastic I'm-a-casual-barbarian-who's-gonna-varnish-the-floor-with-your-brains pose, but I wanted to do a nice cliche I'm-standing-here-looking-glorious-upon-a-rock-with-my-cape-flowing pose.) I also made this change because the sword would have gotten in my way when I came to sculpting the hair; I'm still a beginner and don't want to sculpt around other stuff just yet.
The first thing I had to do was switch out the hands; I can't rotate the whole sword hand to the position I want because that would leave the hand in the wrong orientation. Instead of swapping the hilt and blade of the sword, I simply used the hand on the axe (along with most of the axe handle). If you look at the picture below, the parts highlighted in green is what I will use. The stuff in red is what I'll cut away. The bottom of the current axe handle is where I will connect the top of the sword.

And below are all the parts I will be using (only the greenstuff long, Conan hair is not shown; I haven't made it yet.)

AND here is the figure, after some drilling and pinning, dry-fitted. It all fits! I think this is going to work. I can hardly wait! Yes, he'll get a head. He'll also be getting that long, flowing cape from my previous green stuff cape post. I will also give him a long loin cloth flowing in the wind- it won't be as wildly whipping as the cape, but it will help add to the illusion of wind.

Green stuff: Making a cape using a jig

So I purchase a couple clay pusher tools yesterday, and I wanted to give them a try on some green stuff. I haven't done any cloaks or capes yet, so I decided to have a go.
The going was rough; there weren't very many tutorials online (many were defunct, and most without pictures!) So I had to teach myself. One of the things I came up with (not saying I'm the first to do this), was to use Super Sculpey to make a jig of sorts- a cape jig! You can either take a block of Sculpey and sculpt a cape in it (See Step 1) or you can take an existing figure's cape and push it into the Sculpey forming a push mold. (Actually, I guess this jig is more of a push-mold...but jig is faster to type :)

Step 2: Get out some greenstuff and flatten it out into sort of a teardrop shape (or cape shape if you're able to do so- I'm not able to just yet.)

Step 3: If you, like me, are unable to hand-form a cape shape, use a knife to cut the shape out of your green stuff. Don't worry about fingerprints at this point.

Step 4: Place your cape on the jig. It's important to lubricate the jig a bit. I use olive oil. Don't add too much or your cape will slide around while you work on it, but don't place too little or the cape will stick. Fingerprints still? No worries, we'll get them out soon.

Step 5: Use a tool to press the cape into the grooves of the jig. Hooray, I get to use my new clayshaper! This step should start to smooth out any fingerprints you may have left.

Step 6: You're almost finished! Smooth out any fingerprints and add some curve to the folds of your cape. I haven't left a cape to dry ON the jig yet. You can try if you want. Otherwise, gently lift/peel the cape off your jig. After the cape is off the jig, you can gently manipulate it into a more billowing shape, or drop it as is straight onto your figure. I let mine dry a bit, then manipulate some more folds, ripples and billows into it. I also gut out a partial circle near the top to fit around the figure's neck. You may need to do small things like this on your own, but the main cape is done! Set it aside and let it dry!

This last picture is my third try at a cape using the jig, and my best effort. I didn't want a wimpy little cape hanging off this barbarian's neck, I wanted a flowing cape ripping through the wind, large like a battle flag whip-cracking its folds announcing the arrival of my barbarian!
It takes a little practice (and a lot of cussing) to get this kind of billowage, but the jig did most of the hard work for me. Go ahead and have a go!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Repainted D&D Umber Hulk

Yep, more repainted D&D figures. I have quite a few to do. I do look forward, however, to painting up another Big Boris from Heresy. I have a couple on the way, one of which will become yet another Conan. Sure, I like Conan, but this will also give me more practice with green stuff.
I also picked up a couple clay pusher tools since every sculptor and his mother has said these are the best tools on God's green Earth for sculpting God's green stuff.

This Umber Hulk (shown before and after) has actually been drybrushed ochre with a sepia ink wash. So, Jeff, it's an Ochre Hulk, now. Not much changed with this repaint; the wash and blacklining is a little more even, and there's some better-defined texture on the chitin. It's a beast I'd put on my gaming table for sure, so I'm giving this one a "B." Can I grade my own stuff?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Repainted D&D Chain golem

And here's the other titan figure I finished today. Again, nothing special done here.
I tried to do the figure with some steel/silver colors, but it was looking like the original figure. So I added some rust effects, and this is how it turned out. Meh- not bad.
I think to do a proper rust effect, I'd have to go in close and stipple the rust colors on, but this is a LARGE figure, and I think the effect would be better than it is, but only marginally when viewing from a tabletop distance. So I kept it as is shown here.

I threw in a detail shot of the floor. This was painted directly on the original flat base. A few sketched-on highlights helps the illusion of three dimensions. I've also threw on a couple washes of ink to "stain" the floor. I've done this to a couple figures lately, and I like the weathering effect it creates. I don't know about other inks manufactures, but GW's inks are nice to work with and dry to a matte finish.

I also think the cracks in the floor are pretty sweet (in my best show-and-tell voice.)

Repainted Earth Titan

I picked up another gob of minis from my patron, Jeff, to repaint. I started with a couple easy ones, this Earth Titan as well as a chain golem (almost finished).
This one was really fun, a lot of drybrushing, trying out new colors from my new palette, making a couple Sculpey rocks and spreading a crap-ton of static grass. It's difficult to see in these pics, but a couple small rocks are actually gold nuggets; If your D&D party defeats this guy, they have to walk away with some kind of reward!
The figure on the far left in the photo is what the figure looked like before.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Making bits of rubble using Sculpey

It's been a while since my last Super Sculpey project, but the gears have been turning and I needed a warmup project. This project shows a simple way to make masonry rubble that can be used as pieces for a figure base or as scatter for small pieces of terrain (or large pieces if you're ambitious enough to use this technique for large amounts of rubble.)

Step 1: Knead a ball of Sculpey and then roll it flat; I tried to roll it about 1/16 of an inch thick.

Step 2: Take a sharp knife or other sharp straight edge and cut parallel lines into your flattened Sculpey (Try to cut as deep as possible without cutting all the way through so that your set of bricks stays together for ease of cutting the rest of the lines). Again, cut them to about 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch wide. These don't have to be the exact same size as one another since they will be used as rubble (unless you plan on actually building structures with these pieces!)

Step 3: Cut lines across your first set of lines, Now you can see your bricks! Put it in the oven and watch an episode of Family Guy.

Step 4: Take your bricks out of the oven and let them cool off (putting them in the freezer will cause a bit of contraction; this contraction is not noticeable AND actually strengthens the baked Sculpey.) Start breaking up your piece into separate bricks. I used some clippers to snap each brick off (my cuts weren't deep enough to be able to finger-snap each piece off.)

Step 5: Pile of rubble! Get a container for your rubble and use it as needed. This project took me 45 minutes, and I have bricks for a year (unless I start to make a bunch of urban terrain.)
Sculpey takes superglue and acrylic paint very well. If you hate painting, don't forget that Sculpey also comes in a bunch of different colors.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Warhammer: Tilean Mercenary (+ New paint thinning technique!)

Before we get on to this post, I wanted to share a new technique I learned over at the Warhammer Fantasy Battle Reporter forum: Almost ALL experienced painters will tell you not to paint direct from the pot; you should put the paint on a palette of some sort and thin it with just a little bit of water. I've tried it, and I can never get the mix/ratio right- it's either too thin or not enough to make it worth my while (ie- still seems as thick as it was right out of the pot.) I also don't like putting paint on a palette where it will dry out faster, wasting paint. So I've been mostly using the paint straight from the pot.
Well, EagleX16 over at the aforementioned forum suggested this: Dip your brush in the paint, then dip the brush into some water. Don't necessarily submerge the brush in water, just kind of poke the surface of the water with it. And it works!! The paint is perfectly thinned and goes on well. Here, I've been flying an old twin engine transport of a thick-coated brush, and someone brings me a P-51 mustang and says, "try flying this."
"Oh shit, this is much better!"
You should notice a difference, especially if you're a straight-from-the-pot person. The paint will go on smoother, the brush will glide faster and the colors should be just as bright. Give it a try!

In the Warhammer world, for those not in the know, The Empire is a collection of (somewhat) unified provinces. When they go to war against a common enemy (or one another), they'll sometimes fill their ranks with crossbowmen from Tilea, a country that lies to the south of the Empire.
This is about the most standard uniform of the Tileans, red and yellow alternating.
I wanted to do this figure in these colors because red and yellow are commonly the most difficult to deal with in most painting ranges. But it just took some patience, the right basecoat colors (I chose a warm gray for the red and a darkish tan/orange for the yellow) and a couple extra layers to get some decent hues.

This figure is also one of the first EVER that I purchased when I decided to get into minis painting. In fact, I remember what exactly I bought that day at the brand new Games Workshop in Fairfax, Va.: A pack of 3 Reiksguard (yep, you got three fgures in a blister back then), a pack of 3 Tilean crossbowmen, and a pack of 3 greatswords. I still have all those figures.

This figure will be added to my mini museum of my random Warhammer figures. Maybe I should build a shelf ... Charlie!