Monday, February 28, 2011

Tournament Report and Something More

So yesterday I was at a 25pt tier fight tournament at my LGS. The super quick summary is that I ended with 3 wins and 1 loss. And that 1 loss was because my opponent made his tough roll on Borka and my remaining attacks missed. The unfortunate part was that 1 loss was in the first round, so my 3-and-1 record didn't actually net me a 2nd place either. Anyway, there were 16 people there. The faction spread was quite interesting: 3 Legion, 2 Menoth, 1 Circle, 3 Trolls, 2 Mercs, 2 Cygnar and 3 Khador. The whole tournament was a pile of fun and everyone had a great time.

Ok, with that summary of the tournament out of the way, I'm going to do something different for the rest of the summary. I attempted to take pictures of several of the painted models at the tournament to showcase how there are some very dedicated painter/players at the LGS.

These trolls were painted by my buddy Mike. His new painting blog is here. I really like what he's done with the obsidian theme to his troll army.
It's a shame this picture didn't come out better. This chap's Gun Mages were really nice. The color scheme is really striking and the work on the browns in particular was quite nice.
These Troll wealps were painted by my buddy Lance, who also has a new painting blog here. He's started a new Troll army and painting them using a "magma" theme. He refers to these wealps as "briquettes".
These were Alan's new Rhulic force that he's been working on. I managed to snap this group shot because it was, unfortunately for him, his destroyed pile.
Another model by Lance, this Devastator is a cool example of an aged and damaged jack. For this tournament, Lance was loaning it out to Henry who is still assembling his Khador army.
Unfortunately I have to admit I didn't catch this fellow's name, but he had been working on his Cygnar jacks and this one really caught my eye.
Mahir's Nemo was definitely striking in color. This particular battle was an amusing "old man" fight between pNemo and pDoomshaper.
This shot was less about the models, and more about the situation. It was Khador on Khador and I was stunned at the scrum taking place. And yes, there was a wrecked Spriggan in the pile too. Go Karchev!
And finally this Woldwarden, who was about to deliver a might thump to eSeverius' noggin!
Ok, well that about wraps it up for me tonight. It was awesome to see so much dedication to painting at the tournament. But now, time to get some sleep. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to seal up Anyssa and post pictures.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Saeryn, Omen of Everblight

This model was actually completed a couple weeks ago, but due to extended visitors I wasn't able to reassemble my photo area. So finally I'm getting back into the painting swing and getting caught up on projects that were partially started. Tomorrow there's a 25pt tier tournament at the LGS, so I'm in a bit of a scramble to have things ready for that as well. I've been working on Anyssa the last couple days and just finally got her in enough of a state that I can use her on the table. I'll have pics of her in a couple more days when I finish painting her. For now though, I want to ramble on about Saeryn and where my head has been in regards to painting lately.

Overall Saeryn was a pretty enjoyable model to paint. After my feeling of moderate success with Vayl, I wanted to spend some extra time on this warlock as well.

What worked well:
* Black armor - I spent a lot of time on the black armor pieces, and despite them being a bit washed out in the photos, the highlighting worked out pretty much to my liking.
* Green cloth - Using the colors from Vayl as a template, I again spent a lot of time focused on the green cloth parts of the model. My real goal is practicing my color theory, so it does look a little "overdone" in contrast to the rest of the model.
* Leather straps - I'm not sure what I did on these, but overall I like how most of them turned out.
* Base - For some reason, the basing material turned out great, looking like broken layers of slate. No skill. Just random luck on this one.

What could have been better:
* Skin - The shading on the skin was hit and miss though. The outstretched arm was a little odd to work through and I'm still not comfortable with the end result.
* Metals - As usual, I'm not completely happy with the metals. It's not that I'm unhappy with them, I just feel like they could have been so much better. I suspect it's because I don't shade them down enough and the highlights are just too bright of metallic.

Time for some rambling thoughts... So lately, in addition to being busy, I've been in a bit of a painting funk. I'm working on Anyssa right now and it's hard to focus on maximum quality. I'll elaborate more about that particular model when I post the final pictures. In general though, it's been hard lately to sit down and paint for more than an hour or so, which really undermines my focus on quality. Honestly I need to re-frame how I go about painting probably, especially in light of my goal to paint the War Hog for KublaCon this year. It's a big multifaceted model that will require a lot of hours of work. If I'm ever going to pull it off, I need to be able to summon a high focus on quality on a routine basis.

Ok, enough rambling. Time to sleep and dream of winning tomorrow's tournament!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

From the Desk: Musing About Mood

Continuing my trend of contemplative posts (due to a busy home life), I've been thinking about how to create an overall mood for a model. It's easy to say that I want to do this, but the actual execution is something I tend to fail at routinely. As I start to work out a scheme for my War Hog, I'm examining my own process of how I go about painting. I typically fall into a trap of having an army scheme and just painting to that with some slight variations. This pretty much excludes any concerted attempt at a holistic painting approach. But let's back up a bit and look at some examples of creating mood.

Yesterday a friend of mine forwarded me this link to a post on the PP forums. The paint job on this Adeptis Rahn is quite impressive. However it's not just the blending quality, basing, OSL execution, or color choices that do it. The overall mood is what makes it impressive. The whole piece gives an overall feeling of arcane power and darkness. The paint scheme really ties the whole thing together and draws the eyes to key places. It's easy to look at it as a completed work and see the whole composition, but staring at a primed piece of metal can make it hard to invoke the "mind's eye" and see that end state before it happens.

Of course, there are numerous other examples of this, not the least of which are Ramos and Tiriel by EricJ. Both of these are examples of dark mood, but there are plenty of others as well. I've found CMON to be a valuable resource for this by looking at some of the top rated models and artists and getting a better feeling for whether a model seems to exude a singular feeling or not.

So what do I take away from this in terms of my War Hog? Well, that's a tough question. As a model, the War Hog itself is a frankenstein of components and surfaces. Marrying them together into a single vision is going to be a challenge, and something I need to put decidedly more thought into. My first impulse is to create a mood of rage. Pure... animalistic... RAGE.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

From the Desk: Random Inspiration

Like most people, my life is a roller coaster. Sometimes I get a lot of time to paint, like 2 weeks ago. Other times I get almost none. I have house guests for the next month and this is cutting into my hobby time (rightfully so). My photo area has to be taken down whenever we have guests too, so anything I do manage to complete won't get posted until the end of the month.

On the flip side, I have come across various sources of inspiration, and one in particular I wanted to share was this thread from the BrushThralls forums. It's a showcase of a number of top-quality painted models from a variety of artists. I'll warn you though, this thread can potentially break your will to paint if not taken in context. I recommend keeping two things in mind while viewing it (and any other painting blogs for that matter):
1) The artists painting these models are doing them for painting competitions and pour many hours into them.
2) Instead of focusing on how well they are painted, look for ideas on color schemes, bases or even just little features that jump out (yeah Butcher, I'm looking at that base of yours).