Thursday, July 21, 2011

From the Desk: Uh oh! What's this? Rats!

Yes, I've found myself asking what the heck I've done. I picked up the Warhammer starter box (Island of Blood) with the intention of starting a Skaven army. How did I arrive at this point? Well honestly I'm still loving Warmachine and Hordes, but sometimes I find myself not quite up to the brainpower challenge for it. My work is sometimes quite mentally taxing. When that happens on the weekly gaming night, I find myself to be a pretty meager opponent. Warhammer being more of a "beer and pretzels" game will be a nice option for those times when I just don't have the capacity for the intricacies of Warmachine. As much as I enjoyed Malifaux before, it's even more mentally taxing than Warmachine, so it has fallen by the wayside.

So what's my plan for Skaven? Well quite honestly, it's going to be a while before I get much done since I'm going on a family vacation in a couple days. However I've started to mull over a theme for this new army. That theme: AquaRats! This was sort of a goofy decision, so let me elaborate. First off, I was very inspired by the theme work my friend did on his "Magma Trolls" recently. You can read lots about it on his blog here. The theme really ties them all together and they look striking on the table. So in that same spirit, I wanted to try to have a solid theme like this as well. So I was looking at my pile of Skaven bits and debating what I could do. Well, first of all, I picked Skaven for a couple reasons. First, I dig the models. I really like them a lot actually, and I think I can paint them relatively fast as well. Second, I was born in the year of the rat! Coincidence? I think not! Second, I'm an Aquarius, so going with a water theme was a quick inspiration. I like the idea of a swarm of rats all wearing various shades of blue so that when they rank up, it looks like a flowing stream.

So with a theme idea chosen, I need to start deciding how to make that theme really solid and obvious in the army. I'll be posting a bunch more as I work through the details. It's going to be several weeks before I start any real painting anyway, so I've got lots of times to think about how I'm going to do things like convert a Doomwheel into a Waterwheel.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Nephilim Protector

And here he is! The third of my Nephilim. This actually rounds out my collection of beasts for Legion with at least one of each kind. The irony being that I've been playing Menoth the last couple weeks (gotta try out the battle engine). So while my Legion force is enjoying a bit of a vacation, it's getting closer to fully painted.

The Protector here was quite different from the others. The obvious amount of metal covering him made it a little different of a project to tackle. One side effect as well was figuring out where to put the sigil on him. I ended up using the back of one arm which worked out pretty well, despite my initial fear of it looking odd.

What went well:
* Painting all three at once - This helped a lot. There was enough variation in them that I could take a break from the uniform work and do something specific to keep things fresh.
* Metal patterns - Doing bright highlights on the patterning of the armor plates really made them pop nicely. I really like the overall look. Plus using a blue ink wash gives it a nice tint as well that ties much more of the model together.

What could have been better:
* Flesh - I think the flesh could have been better. Some of the recesses could have been darker to create better contrast, and some places could be a bit smoother.
* Metals - Overall I'm pretty happy with the metals, but some areas could have been cleaned up a bit.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Nephilim Bolt Thrower

Two down! Again, brief review on this one. I think the Bolt Thrower was my favorite of the three sculpts. Not my favorite to paint though, due to the inaccessibility of some of the areas of the model. But sculpt-wise, it's pretty amazing. The muscles, armor, crossbow, and pretty much everything has a lot of nice detail to it. This one also afforded some variation in color with the wood grain. For that I used a base of Rucksack Tan, then painted thin lines using VMC Pale Sand, then washed that with slightly thinned VMC Wood Grain. Quick but effective.

Ironically, after I sealed it, I noticed an oversight. It's annoying when that happens. However it's the back side of the crossbow where it's hard to even notice, so I'm not going to worry about it. The metal is basically painted as wood instead, so it's not very obvious anyway.

Ok, so one more to go. My goal is to have him done by tomorrow night, but I still have a lot of metal highlighting left to do, not to mention basing him. Back to work!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Nephilim Soldier

Geez, almost two weeks since my last post. I'm really falling off of the pace I was hoping for. Nonetheless, I've finished up the Nephilim Soldier. The other two won't be far behind. Note that I'm now switching over to using my iPhone for pictures instead of the previous lightbox and kodak set up. This is much quicker for getting photos to the blog. Plus right now the lightbox is torn down and the space is being used to store stuff while we remodel our kitchen. I'm just going to do a quick review of this model and spend more time when I finish the last of the Nephilim.

Out of the three, I think I liked painting this one best. Everything on the model is easy to get to, and the wings afforded some extra color to the overall model. He doesn't have nearly as much metallic work to him (which is why I finished him first), so I wanted to put a little extra punch to the sword. Overall I'm fairly happy with it. Having never even proxied a Soldier before, I'm looking forward to giving him a try soon.

Ok, back to the painting station. Two more Nephilim to go!

Sunday, July 03, 2011

From the Desk: New "Camera" Comparison, and more

So I recently upgraded my phone from the "CyberShot" to an iPhone 4. I was curious to compare the photo quality of the iPhone 4 to my Kodak EasyShare. Below is a side-by-side comparison, but with a couple key differences...
To be fair, the photos weren't taken in the same place. The Kodak photo (left) was taken in the lightbox. The iPhone photo (right) was taken on my painting desk without the benefit of the lightbox to properly bounce light around, nor with the assistance of a tripod. The net result is still pretty competitive though. I have to say, for the ease of management, the iPhone is taking pretty much just as good a photos. There's a brightness shift, but nothing terrible. I may start doing most of my photos this way just because it's so much easier.

In addition, I've been working on my Nephilim. Here's a shot of the 3 together. Skin, wings and major chitin are all done. Now it's on to the armor, which will probably take me a good week to finish.