Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Widow Weaver

Grace, beauty, and twistedness. Love this model and it's story. It dresses like a proper nanny and quietly invokes nightmares in them in order to steal those nightmares away. Terror hidden under frilly victorian manners.
I tried to keep my color range as limited as possible here, creating a much more subtle triad of yellowish-off-white, light magenta, and deep blue.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

From the Desk: Weekend Roundup #137

Two days late, and lazy fast...

Life has been super busy for me lately. Holidays, family visits, promotion at work, family health issues, traveling, etc. Just a rough time in general for the hobby. Here's what I've been working on...

Made more blanks for Malifaux bases. Lots of them. I'm planning to paint lots more Neverborn. Widow Weaver is mostly done as well (probably post tomorrow). Angel Eyes is started, and Carver is primed. I'm actually planning to paint Carver in Sketch Style as described by Matt DiPietro. More about that in the future though.

Played 2 games of Malifaux last week as a part of our campaign (week 3).
Total games played this year: 53

Quick review of progress against my 2016 goals: Basically everything is done except for painting the Batman model. I'm not sure I'm going to manage to pull that off actually.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

10 Years of Blogging

This last week my blog turned 10 years old. It's a little staggering to realize I've been posting here that long now. If I'm honest with myself this blog started as a "me too" response to all the other blogging going on there. Over the years it has sometimes felt like a chore, and there's obviously been times when Blogger changed and caused me problems. However despite my original reasons and challenges over time, this blog has become a huge source of self-motivation for myself. I feel that a few reflections are in order...

My favorite lessons learned:
* Building a portable assembly kit was one of the smartest things I did. It allowed me to keep projects moving even when life forces me into weird corners. Having it as a modular kit that I can expand and reorganize has just made it even more valuable over the years.
* 10 years ago I only used GW paints. Now I have paints from 10 different makers and an appreciation for why each one is useful in different situations. My eye for color has also improved which is why having all these different paints is so valuable. The real lesson though is that experimenting with new paints and techniques is always a good idea.
* Keeping a painting journal has been incredible useful. I'm not great at doing it all the time, but being able to go back and reference past projects and formulas has been very helpful many times now.
* Color theory is totally a thing. It allows for a little analytical process in the midst of the creative process and has really helped bring my projects to life better. More on that below.
* Basing is also a thing. The more I do it, the more I appreciate doing it. Whether it's to create a uniform army theme or to tell a story, basing is something I truly enjoy rather than "just do".

And now a couple comparison photos and some thoughts about my painting journey:

This first photo shows Ashlynn (painted Nov 2006), and Taelor (painted June 2016). The comparison is pretty interesting. The first thing I noticed when I put them side-by-side was that my sense of brightness range is much better managed later on. Taelor's overall brightness is pretty even with much of the brighter parts centered on her torso and face to draw attention to the center, but still not overly bright. Ashlynn on the other hand has a really bright face and the metallics are pushed far too bright.
The second thing I noticed was the basing. Even though Taelor wasn't any sort of fancy project, the base helps tell a small piece of a story, whereas Ashlynn's base is, well, her standing on a rock. The difference in basing efforts over the course of time has definitely changed for the better.
The last thing I noticed is just the amount of push in the shading and highlighting. More about that in my other comparison picture though...

This second photo shows Alexia (painted Nov 2006) and Mysterious Effigy (painted Oct 2016). This comparison is extra fascinating to me because it really spotlights how I use color differently now. I remember finishing Alexia and being stoked about the color work on her. Looking back at it now though, It was still just a hack. The cloak has good color variation in it, but everything else is too flat. The Mysterious Effigy on the other hand used a triadic color scheme. My shading and highlighting techniques involve shifting tonal values towards cool and warm colors, and in general I push the contrast much farther than I would have ever considered back then. I also attempted to balance color usage around areas of the model in order to keep the overall appearance of the model more balanced.
My favorite projects/accomplishments/events/things:
* Painting a huge Cygnar army as a uniform project still feels like an amazing accomplishment.
* Building my own paint rack was sort of a separate project but often when I look at it I'm really pleased with myself.
* Learning to use an airbrush was a ton of fun, even though I'm still learning how to use it.
* Playing Unbound with Jason Soles as his last MK2 game of Warmachine was perhaps one of my favorite games ever played.
* Painting the Archangel was a huge project that I really threw myself into and used the airbrush a lot for, and learned a lot about painting very large projects.

Some interesting stats over the last 10 years:
* Total posts: 1119
* Total models painted: 712
* Most popular post by hits: Paint Toxicity

Friday, November 11, 2016


Bloodwretches done. My normal process of getting posts on this blog has finally been completely gronked, so this is my first post testing out a new method. Hopefully this works out ok.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Mysterious Effigy

Now this model was a delight to work on, but not without challenges. This post is going to be a bit of a rambler here, so don't be shy about just looking at the photos and then moving on if you aren't interested in the process.

So this plastic model has no logical place for it's tiny tiny appendages to attach to a base. Not without making it even more fragile. So I dealt with this by putting a pin in under the dress to attach to the base. Getting it centered properly on the base was a bit of a challenge and required a bunch of careful measuring but worked out well in the end. I would highly recommend this method to anyone else attempting this model. This also gave me an easy way to prime it and mount it while painting as well which was invaluable. The pin of course was painted black at the end. One mistake I made was to glue the pin into the base prior to sealing the model. This is a problem since I wanted the base to remain gloss-coated, but wanted to put a final matte seal on the model itself.

I had been intending to paint this model for a while, and to a higher standard than my current stuff. However a bonus opportunity came up to paint it for a facebook group Halloween challenge so it really helped jump-start my muse. I opted for a nice pumpkin-orange dress color and then worked from there. I focused on a triadic color scheme (orange/cyan/purple) to try for a bit of color harmony.
One challenge I faced was the masks. I originally wanted to tint each one of them slightly to reflect the mood that the masks themselves showed. I left this to the very end to decide though and I am sure glad I waited. I feel like adding the tinting could have easily thrown off the whole color balance and made the model just look too busy.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

From the Desk: Weekend Roundup #136

Turbo mode...

Not a lot of progress. The last week has been busy with home improvement work. Mysterious Effigy is done and just need to post pictures. Started the 2 Bloodwretches. Widow Weaver wants to be started but isn't yet. Not much else to report unfortunately.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

From the Desk: Weekend Roundup #135

I'm sleepy...

Spending a lot of time on this one model. Really enjoying it too. I'm getting close to done, but still a few hours more work left to do.
Also primed the Bloodwretches. Other stuff got done as well. I'm down to 3 remaining Legion models, none of which I'm at all interested in painting of course.