Friday, November 30, 2007

WWX: All Your Base!

Spent this evening working on the base some more. It's mostly done at this point except for putting some static grass and flock and such on it. The remaining work was pretty straightforward:

* Grass base - This is just Iosan green as a base coat with a couple washes of Ordic Olive and Battlefield Brown. My goal here isn't to make it look great, just to provide enough base so that when the static grass and flocking go on top, it looks decent.

* Rocks - Very easy. Just Trollblood Highlight as a base coat, followed by a wash of Ironhull Grey and then highlights of Frostbite.

* Skulls - These I tried something new. Base coat of Jack Bone, then a wash of Vallejo Smoke, then highlights of Menoth White Highlight.

I also put down a base coat of Coal Black over all the skin and fur. After a couple of discussions, I'm going to try to make the skin black and the fur medium grey. It's going to be a stretch for my skills, but it's all about painting like I have a pair.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Grissel Bloodsong

Grissel marks the fully painted mark for my trolls. I'm now down to just my alt sculpt paladin left to paint. Looks like I'll reach fully painted before Christmas!

There's a couple key things I want to highlight before signing off for the night. First, I'm very happy with how the overall look of the model turned out. It wasn't the best paint job, but I was focused on practicing overall color balance, and specific effects. This one isn't perfect, and the sculpt itself didn't help, but I feel like it worked out ok. The leathers, metals, and wood grain were things I wanted to practice new techniques on too, and they panned out ok I think.

The second item is my photo setup is getting better. I tried out a bunch of different paper backdrops and found that paper is just too reflective. So now I've got a medium grey felt and that seems to be working quite well.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Cork Bases

Just a quick post.... I decided to experiment with using corkboard for basing. I picked up some cheap cork tiles from the local craft store and followed the excellent tutorial from the Brushthralls site. Here's the end result, which I am quite happy with given the amount of effort needed.

The corkboard I used is actually pretty decent quality, which has plusses and minuses. It did result in a rather flat-topped rock, which looked somewhat unnatural at first. So, I added some moss to the top and that seemed to really help the overall look. Probably next time I'll use more moss and put some on the sides, as well as put together 2 "levels" of cork.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

WWX: Suit Up!

This is going to be a massive project. I started painting the armor plates today and it really hit me how big this is. The model itself is huge, which is causing a couple problems, not the least of which is the sheer amount of brush strokes needed to get the whole thing painted. However, even more annoying, is holding the model is a problem. It's heavy enough that holding it much has caused primer to rub off in a few places. So, to combat that, I've glued and pinned it to the top of an old Testors spray can. Hopefully this will let me hold it safely and still be able to get at the parts I need to get to.

The armor plates are pretty straight forward. First I did the insets, starting with Necrotite Green (3 coats to get a nice smooth undercoat. Next I did a wash of Wurm Green. Then I started doing shading working from Wurm Green through Ordic Olive, then to Cryx Bane Base. I decided to shade rather than highlight because the inset plates were simply easier to shade into the recesses rather than try to blend highlights into the centers of the plate areas.

Once this step was done, I put down a base of Pig Iron on the plates, then covered that with Brass Balls. I find that a base coat of Pig Iron really helps when adding yellowish metallics so that it doesn't take as many coats of paint to get good coverage.

I'll probably do some additional work on the metals of the plates, but I'm exhausted tonight, so I'm going to give it a rest for now.

Friday, November 23, 2007

WWX: Primed and Ready

Primed the WWX this morning. Here's a pic, just for kicks. I started painting the armor plates tonight but honestly didn't get very far. Just filled in the base coat of green on the plates. I can already tell this is going to be a monstrous project.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

WWX: Smoothing the Longcat

I picked up the WWX from Lance today so that I could finish up the last bit of sculpt cleanup and prep work. Most of the work was done already with a couple exceptions. There were a couple join spots that needed smoothing, especially at the waist. Also the right hand and teeth needed to be attached. Anyway, the remaining cleanup was pretty easy. Here's a couple pics...

This project is a Christmas present for Sean, so I'm saving all these posts as drafts until such time as the gift is given. I'm going to once again try to take as many pictures as possible and document all the steps as I go.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Victory... sort of...

I played against Eric last night, finally. It's been a long time since either of us played, so there was a fair amount of amateur hour going on. I totally forgot to feat and pull focus from my wracks. Eric totally forgot the extra dice from Liquid Courage when he did a run on Kreoss. In the end, we were getting short on time so he made a run on Kreoss with Borka. If he'd remembered the extra dice, he probably would have killed Kreoss. As it turned out, he came close, but Kreoss lived and then delivered a mighty beatdown on Borka. My dice did some mild betrayal at a couple key points, but overall I can't complain too much. Eric did a good job of defusing my first-strike plan. Very fun game though!

Last night's game illustrated a key point to Warmachine/Hordes: The game is complex, and if you haven't played for a while, it's easy to forget all the intricacies of the models. Timing and special features are a key to the game.

Some highlights from my side of the table:
  • Fielded Hawk for the first time and she was awesome! She whacks champs good! She's like a super Daughter of the Flame.
  • Fielded the Sunburst and it was, for the most part, innefective.
  • Fielded Grogspar, and he continues to rock.
  • Borka's feat round + Liquid Courage + Fell Caller's Inspire is just ridiculous.
  • Calvarly can be dangerous, but I spend alot of effort maneuvering to avoid them and thus negate alot of their value.

Project: Transport

I'm going to start a new sub-project... building a better carrying case. I'm rather inspired based on a post from the Privateer boards. I've been using the Army Transport case for a while now, and I like it, but I have a couple issues:
  1. I have the small case, cause the larger cases are... well... large. I like the size of the small case.
  2. The trays, although very protective, are 1 per level in my case.
  3. It's hard to make a tray that will fit lots of models, and a varied set of models. Maybe there's a secret art to it, but I seem to have optimized my trays to specific models too much, and now I can't really store other models in those trays.

So my plan is simple: I want to create some trays that are essentially half-sized to the normal foam trays I have, and make them so that the models can stand upright (to avoid foam rubbing against the model's paint, and make the slots a little more flexible in terms of what models will fit. I've already got a pile of cardboard, so the real first step is to find the foam.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Testament of Menoth

This week's installment is the Testament of Menoth. I'm glad to get him done for a couple reasons, not the least of which is I love this sculpt. It was however, a little challenging to paint. For some reason I just couldn't find my groove until I was about halfway through. I kept struggling with what order to paint the various sections in. Eventually I had to just set the model down, examine the whole thing, and make a tactical plan of how to go about painting it. This was very uncharacteristic for me. Typically I just intuitively work my way through the model without having to think too much about it. The most tactical I usually get is to just make a list of all the remaining small details. Anyway, once I got organized, it was a pleasure to paint. I'm really looking forward to fielding him, if I can ever get a game in. *sigh* It's been probably 6 weeks since I played last, but that's another model.

Something specific to note on this model is that I took extra time and care in "shading" the metals, particularly on his weapon. This is one of my goals for the next few models. I'm also starting to get a bit more of the hang of the 2-brush method, although I still have a long ways to go (as evidenced by the poor blending on his black robe).

Monday, November 12, 2007

Link Dump

Just a quick post, more for my own tracking than anything else. Below are a couple interesting links that I didn't want to lose track of.

Tiny Magnets! - These little guys seem like they could be real useful for a whole variety of applications.

Kublacon Painting Competion 07 - These are the pics of the winning entries from Kublacon07.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

First Mate Hawk

Here she is, in all her pirate goodness. Hawk was somewhat challenging to paint due to her dainty nature, but overall was a pleasure. Painting smaller models like this is definately challenging and sharpening my skills.

Here's some notes of things I put extra effort into, or tried a new technique:

  • The leathers were something I put more effort into than before. I used to use one layer of paint, one of ink, and then maybe a highlight if I felt ambitious. For these I went a little further. The lighter brown used Bootstrap Leather, then a wash of Battlefield Brown, then three highlight layers of Bootstrap Leather and Rucksack Tan. The darker leathers were a base of Bloodstone, then a wash of GW Skaven Brown ink, then 3 highlights of Bloodstone and Khador Red Highlight. It was more work for sure, but I'm very happy with the results.
  • The blades of her swords were done with multiple highlights of various metals, all the way to pure Vallejo Metal Medium. Highlighting and working metals is something I definately need alot more experience with.
  • I specifically tried to work hard on her face, all the way down to carefully painting the eyes and shading the lips with a touch of a fleshy pink color.
  • Purple is a color I've never really worked with, and this model presented a nice opportunity for that. Of course, it also lead to a rather "Joker"ish look to her, but I'm ok with that. Overall the purple worked pretty well, using Beaten Purple, Carnal Pink, and GW Hybrid Purple ink, and of course some Thamar Black.

I'm now down to 3 models left to paint. I totally enjoyed painting this pirate, and am looking forward to getting some more to paint. For this model, I designate her as "unbounded" for time, and just to keep working on until I feel that she's really done to my satisfaction. This is in preparation towards the Kublacon painting competition next year. I'm not expecting to win, but I'd like to feel like not a shmuck putting one of my models in the competition. I'm sure I'll be posting more about that in the near future.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Krielstone Scribes

I think I've finally found a methodology to painting squads that keeps me from getting too frustrated. Rather than working by color, I work by element, completely shading that element before moving to the next one. This served me pretty well working on these guys. It also helps to pick larger elements at the start if possible. For these guys I did skin first, then main leathers, then weapons. By that point they were 70% covered in paint. Anyway, it's nice to have these little buggers finished. This leaves me with just one troll left, and 4 models total unpainted.