Tuesday, April 26, 2016

IG Vendetta - Working Lights Conversion

So this is a project I did a long time ago when trying to customize my IG army. I learned a LOT from it, and while I am looking at doing a few more with working electricity, I will definitely change how I wire and what I wire.

Ideally my next one will actually have the turbines rotate on fans, and the battery will be better hidden. Live and learn.

First some shots of the bird without her lights on. 

I fully painted the cockpit prior to assembly, including the instrument panels. This is one area I would change, in that I think a light needs to be in the panels giving a glow to the pilots faces.
Simple, poster board counterweight on the base

And now with lights on

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Underwater Skitarii Conversion: Cult Neptune WIP

So I've added some more weathering (in this case oxidation) and some OSL to the Skitarii army. This is a project I put on hold almost a year ago when I lost interest with the split Skitarii / Ad Mech codices. With the detachment and rumored coming combined codex, I'm a little more interested in seeing it through as I don't feel as limited now and can build the army more along the rule of cool, which is important when I'm look for a conversion based army.

The basic soldiers are mostly a color test for me, before I try to tackle the rest of the army, which is going to have major conversion work. I'm probably going to try the onager next. Like the AoS Chaos army, I'm attempting to 'speed' paint this army seeing what I can achieve with as few colors, layers, and time as possible.

The only conversions on these guys is the 'technically' mismatched helmets for their weapons (these just felt more 'atlantis' and '20,000 leagues under the sea' than the hooded robes) and the scales on their cloaks, done with a layer of greenstuff that I think stamped with a wire mesh.

The ruins and buildings around I'm trying to make feel like an 'atlantis' ruin, thus the glyphs and color choices. 

I've never really been happy with my OSL. I'm getting better compared to when I started, and one of the biggest lessons I learned was that you can't use just one color. You have to start with the darkest going the farthest, then build up to your lightest color dry brush only near the source. I know that's obvious and easy for most of you, but I honestly never knew that. The colors on this are a little off too, in that the sources are more orange than the reflections, which appear green. This is probably because I'm dry brushing on top of a metallic for the latter areas, and it's not working well. Not sure though.

Criticism? Compliments? Concerns? I always love comments on how I can get better. Thanks for reading.


Monday, April 18, 2016

Stormcast Eternal: Finished Model?

Back to the Forces of Sigmar

Taking a break from all the Chaos I've been painting, I went back to the Sigmarites to keep my motivation high. 

I finally have one of the Stormcast Eternals at a point that I feel comfortable showing it and calling it 'finished'. I have a terrible habit of never being truly done with a model or an army, but if these guys are ever going to see the table top I have to stop somewhere. 

I can always add more detail to each model later, after all. 


Hopefully I'll be able to get a few more done, then when I truly feel comfortable with the final paint job I'll move to the characters. Thanks for reading!

Monday, April 4, 2016

WIP - Bloodreavers with Chrome Paint

First Bloodreavers Underway

Not much to report here, other than the first few bloodreavers have been started. I need to clean up the paint job and finish the layering and bases, but these are fun models to paint - they give a lot more 'flesh' to the army and help break up the silver and purple that was overwhelming the other models. I'm still painting the miniatures unassembled for the most part, which is greatly slowing my assembly-line strategy I'm used to. 

Friday, April 1, 2016

New Photo Setup - Thanks to Mengel Miniatures

So I was lucky enough to get a quick email back from Tyler Mengel, with http://www.mengelminiatures.com. I have been simply inspired by Tyler's work for a long time, and while I always am learning painting technique from him, this time I got some help on the set up for my photographs.

Previously I had been either using my iPhone or a Nikon that I have, but never had invested in any sort of light box. After reading an article over on Mengel Miniatures I decided to invest in one and purchased what Tyler said he was using. I'll let the before and after shots below speak for themselves.

With the light Box

What a huge difference compared to my previous posts. I'm really excited as this does two things for me:

1) Good photos of models help you pick out the mistakes. Seriously. I mean, I would fully admit the guy above is a work in progress, but it is so much easier to see where the blends need to be cleaned up, where I had some flesh color get on the armor, where I need to put in edge highlights, etc.

2) It hopefully will make reading the blog a bit more enjoyable

A huge thanks to Tyler again for even responding to me with his personal opinion!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Warhammer / AoS - Using Chrome Paint

Few things:

1) Had a new baby, which has drastically cut into my modeling, and especially my posting time. What can I say, priorities. Sorry for the drought.

2) I really wanted to try a few new techniques. Specifically,

  • figure out a way to paint warhammer models with chrome paint
  • find an ultra quick way to base models
  • paint a 'clean' chaos army

I don't own any Games Workshop chaos armies specifically, however I did by the AoS starter so I had some guys itching for finishing.

Starting Out - Chrome Paint

I did some tests with the chrome paint on other surfaces, and realized that if you don't apply enough the result is more foggy, akin to GW metallics. This mean that to get the closest to true 'chrome' I would lose some detail. Also, because it was in a can, I had to do this step first and paint everything else on top of the chrome, making sure to keep the metal clean as I went up. 

Ohhh, Shiney

This created a few interesting issues - 1) It was like using a metallic primer, and all my other colors were impacted by this. They appeared VERY different than I'm used to going over a black primer. Also, because I thin them down, and because of the 'finish' of the chrome, most almost turned into glazes or washes... It was hard to get coats to really stick to the chrome paint. 

I enjoyed the control I had, though, as a single layer of any color looked semi-metallic with the chrome under it. By applying second layers strategically, I was able to get the other colors to almost appear 'cosmic' or flow-y. I'm aware that doesn't make sense and that I made up one of those words, but I really was trying to go for a 'warp' feeling to the purple metal, and this accidentally achieved that for me. Like most of the things I like best in my work, this was an accident. 

Additional Layers

It should be noted, I painted the models UNASSEMBLED! I knew I would have to do this because I'm just not good enough to get all the areas painted on such complex 3D models. Interestingly enough, the thickness of the chrome paint made dry-fitting the models extremely easy, and they held themselves together without glue. 

Painting these AoS figures unassembled is so much easier and faster!

There you can see a single layer of purple. I would go back and add a second (very thinned) to the recesses, along with a wash of nuln oil only in the recesses as well. This gave the purple a great ethereal feel and depth. 

Washes Make You a Better Painter

I was quasi-speed painting these models. My goal is to have them all done in 2 weeks, working only 2-3 hours a day. To do this, I'm applying base layers to the models unassembled and not too worried about being sloppy. I'm then applying washes, especially thick where colors meet to add depth and hide my mistakes. Finally, I glue and assemble the models and apply the highlights only where I can reach, which makes sense anyway as if I can reach it with a brush it shouldn't have a strong highlight. 
See how sloppy? No big deal, the washes hide all of that!

Here you can see a model with sloppy base colors, although just by itself you can see the effect I'm going for on the axe. The washes will clean this up. 

Quick Drybrush

Not going to lie, I actually almost prefer this model without his armor and cloak on

See the skull on the left? Doesn't look 'big' because the eyes need more shadows

I realized that I wanted to give a quick dry brush on top of my colors prior to assembly. 

I never would have been able to paint his next if I assembled first.

And here he is dry fit so I can start finding mistakes and seeing how the colors are working together on the model. 

Chrome Shadows - First Big Issue

After working with the chrome and dryfitting the models, I realized that it didn't look realistic because it lacked connection shadows. I'm sure theres a more scientific word for it, but that's what I call the thing you achieve when you black-line a model. Where two chrome pieces met, there wasn't enough of a shadow to make the model feel like it was dynamic and had weight. So to achieve this, I went back through and did a SMALL black line with nuln oil. I used as little as possible, as when it drys GW washes matte your colors, and if the chrome loses its shine that complete defeats it's purpose. I only know this because I butchered one poor guy who now has the dullest armor in the army. LEARN FROM ME!

Bases - The Quickest Way to Base your Models

For the bases, I decided to not use any paint. I simply applied PVA glue, placed large pieces where I wanted them, then dipped in sand. Thats garden mulch, cork, and railroad ballast. 

Only trick is to make sure your models feet fit - I place one on the flat cork for good connection

Once the glue dried I just globbed on seraphim sepia

God that was easy

This meant each base took literally about 60 seconds of work including gluing and painting, just not including dry time. 

Work in Progress

I still need to finish lots more models, but I'm rather happy with how the army is turning out. My goal is to get every model to the dry brush and assembled stage, which is where all these models are now. Once everyone is there, I will go back and apply all the final highlights in an assembly line fashion. 

AKA, please excuse the lack of layers and highlights on these!