Sunday, October 21, 2012

From the Desk: Weekend Roundup #13 (and 14 and 15)

UHhhmm... Yeah. This whole weekly update thing just isn't always possible. More about that below while I play catch-up in typical sound-byte fashion. This is gonna be a long one so get a drink and buckle up or else tune and surf away.

Here's progress on the Succubus. Not a whole lot unfortunately, but most of the base coating is done.

No pictures, but the themed transport trays for my Gators are primed and base coated and have a couple washes on them. Next step is highlighting and then just the Envirotex and final details.

Skarre got finished! No more updates there! Hooray! Also I'm fully painted on Cryx finally! Double hooray!

If y'all haven't seen this already, check it out! Massive Voodoo are doing a big competition. I hope I can get something together to enter for it.

A tiny bit more progress on the sorceress for the Throne. Nothing amazing, but I'm happy to be keeping things moving.

Proteus is all assembled on his base and primed! Not sure when I'll start him, but he's there.

Oh, and here's an amusing pic... I got the Extreme Carnivean and some spare parts to create an alternate Shepherd with. Here you can see one of the eCarnivean's claws next to what is normally a Spawning Vessel Acolyte. It's, uh, big! I'll do a whole series of posts on it as I make progress, but don't hold your breath of course.

And battles! Harbinger vs Venethrax! Lytro gallery.

And that's that! Well, except for the explanation of so few posts. My work is crazynastyhello right now. The last 2 weeks I have painted almost nothing other than the flagstone bases. I was gone for a whole week, and tomorrow in fact I leave for another trip so there isn't going to be any more updates for probably a couple more weeks. It's frustrating, but on the flip-side, my job does a marvelous job of paying for my hobby (among other things) and this next trip promises to give me some excellent inspiration as well. I'll post photos when I get back.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Pirate Queen Skarre

Finally done! After sitting on my desk for probably 3 months, Skarre is finished. A very big reason that she got done this week and not 6 more weeks from now is pretty much my desire to wrap her up before I leave on a bunch of work travel. More about that in my weekend roundup post later today.

This model is delicious. Seriously, I really enjoyed painting this model. I could have spent a lot more time on her. It's got a nice pose and overall I feel like it's fairly accessible. My only gripe is the left side of her face which is (probably) meant to be mostly hidden and shadowed, but it has just enough space to make questionable. There's enough gap such that some light could legitimately get in, meaning it should be visible. On the other hand, it is heavily obscured, making it easy to justify it being mostly shadowed. Again, tough call. Otherwise it's a majestic model. Kudos to the sculptor.

What worked well:
* Dark and brooding - I wanted a color scheme that created some stronger contrast in terms of brightness, but overall had a darker look. I feel like that worked out pretty well here.
* Lighting focus - I wanted to be very intentional about how I handled the highlights and shadows, and particularly how the eye was drawn. I feel like this also worked out pretty well. There's lots of deep shadows, with highlights predominantly on the upward-facing areas. The notable exception is her face where I purposefully highlighted brighter than the light would hit, specifically to draw in the eye better.
* Glowing parts - The glowing green pieces worked out pretty well, standing out as glowing against much darker surroundings, but not so overpowering as to draw the eyes completely away from her face.
* Ink glazes - I used a couple layers of ink glazes on the blue and purple surfaces to smooth out the blending better. This worked extremely well. I've read about this before plenty of times, but this was the first time I really felt like my own execution of it worked rather than ruined.

What could have been better:
* Multiple slops - During the course of painting I had a number of unfortunate slops. Particularly on her, uh, boobs. So many layers of paint there.
* Spending more time - I could have easily spent more time on this model and smoothed everything out better. The camera is a harsh mistress and really reveals the flaws. After staring at it for so long though, it was just time to be done.
* Some freehand - Adding some freehand, particularly on the cloak, would have really kicked it up a notch. Plus I need to start doing more freehand work to get better and more confident about it.
* Metals - Yeah, just... yeah... I spent a fair amount of time on them, but this model is rife with tiny details and had a lot of trouble getting the metals right. I think that my entire approach for the basecoating was probably flawed there. Definitely a lesson learned for the next time.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Daily Inspiration: Clever Basing

Today's inspiration comes from the Tale of Painters blog. This blog routinely has impressive stuff and good tips and tutorials. This particular model however struck me because of the clever basing element. I love how this guy is peeling up the deck plating and revealing some piping underneath. It helps make the base seem less like a gaming marker and more like a micro-diorama. Kudos guys!

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Naga Nightcrawler

Once again I'm fully painted on Legion beasts. This particular model was an interesting change from the others. It has relatively little skin which posed a problem for me. Specifically getting a glowing rune on him. But after consulting with some friends of mine, I settled on the neck near the base of the skull and it worked out fine.

What worked well:
* Speed painting this guy worked great. He really only took about 3 nights of painting to get done, and while working on other projects as well.
* Including the rune was good, even though I was hesitant. I like the way it worked out.
* Simplicity over complexity. Rather than trying to get fancy with basing or color schemes or whatever, I decided to keep things simple and I think it really paid off.

What could have been better:
* The "legs" could stand out a bit better. They sort of blend in, but even on the studio scheme they tend to blend in as well.
* More shading on the undersides of various places of chitin would have helped bring a little more dramatic feel to the overall look. I just didn't take it that one extra notch.