Saturday, April 22, 2017

Base: Speckling, Throne

I finished the stone effect on the base. Happily, the speckling didn't take nearly as long as I expected. I think it was 2 - 3 hours. As expected, applying the glaze after was maybe 15 minutes. I'm really quite happy with the end result.

So, moving on. Next will be putting together the throne and painting it. I set the pieces together to see what the fit was like and what cleaning and filling would be needed.

That looks like a lot of filling - the joins where the back and bottom meet, as well as that weird straight groove flaw in the back. Except, someone is going to be sitting on the throne, which means part of this may be hidden. Let's see how much.

Looks like that bit on the back will be hidden, but not so much the join between the back and bottom. I'll still have some filling to do. However, first I noticed this:

The back piece was warped, meaning it wouldn't sit flat against the back wall like I want. Resin can be reshaped somewhat if it's heated, though, so I put the piece in very hot water for a few minutes, then put it under weights to try to flatten it. It definitely helped. I'm letting it sit without weight for a day or so to see if it re-bends or if it holds straight. If it re-bends, I'll do the same treatment again until the straightening takes.

I also noticed that the bottom piece of the throne is canted slightly - rather than the sides going up square, they're at a slight angle. I don't think it will show once everything is in place, so I'm not going to try to fix it. I'm not sure I could fix it without damaging the thing anyway.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Base: Marbling

I got the streaks for the stone texture on the floor and steps of my base. This probably took somewhere around 6 six hours.

Now I need to go back and do the stippling, which will probably take a similar amount of time. Maybe (hopefully) a bit less. After that will be a light glaze with the base color, which should be fast. And then after that, I'll probably put a coat of sealer on it.

Then I'll move on to cleaning up and preparing the throne, and I'll have to decide if I want to do it in the same stone or something different.

Friday, April 14, 2017


I did the various base coats on the diorama base today. Here it is, masked off for the first application of color, which is black that went on to the back, bottom, and edges.

After I airbrushed everything, I touched up some edges by hand. There were a few spots where a color got where it wasn't supposed to be, even with the masking, and some places where the masking left unpainted spots. Here's the end result.

I'm quite pleased. Next will be doing the detail work on the floor and steps.

While I had the airbrush going, I also base coated the barbarian's base.

It still needs shading and highlights, and some brown on the areas that are meant to be earth rather than rock.

Thursday, April 13, 2017


I got back to the barbarian today, and worked on the armor sleeve. I'm trying out a texture technique on the leather. The strap is pretty much finished, and I'm happy with the results. The sleeve is only partly done and still needs a fair bit of work.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Diorama: More Base, More Weapons

More diorama work today. I started by trying out the airbrush for the back wall. This is the other side of my test piece.

I had a lot of trouble with my airbrush today. The base color I was using was too thick, I think, to go through it well. When I finally got it unclogged, it still wasn't working great. But I went back with thinner paint, and got it going well enough. I'm probably going to try using the airbrush for at least base coating the whole thing, and probably the faded out color on the back wall as well. I think I'll use a lighter color for that, though. I like the fade out, but what I've got there is a bit too much.

Then I went on to the weapons. I removed the monster hand from the club and started painting the swords.

I also did some prep work on my actual base. I put in the grooves (fewer of them than on the test piece) and wet the piece down to raise the grain. I'll sand it back down smooth, and then when I put the water-based paint on it It shouldn't raise the grain again, or at least not much. I did learn an important lesson from this: Wetting the wood swells the fibers, so I should have done that before putting in the grooves. I had to re-do the grooves after wetting the wood down, because the swelling of the fibers meant the original grooves were lost. Lesson for next time.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Diorama: Base, Weapons

I started by painting one of my plasticard swords today. It's a rough job, as I decided part way through that it just wasn't working. The gold isn't terrible, and that gives me hope that with enough time and practice I could get it. Start with a sword that's less chunky, for one thing...that looks kinda like  a Fisher Price starter blade in shape.

But, the cock is ticking, and I don't think I have that kind of time. So I went back through my Bones collection and found these weapons:

I could put the sword with the Tyranid sword, or maybe just put the club up across the top by itself. I'm going to work with these a while and see.

Then I went on to texturing the base. I got myself a sample image to work from and then tried to replicate it.The blocks are all variations. They all have the same lighter streaks, The leftmost has dark blue speckles in the streaks and brown speckles in the base color. The next to the right has just bleu speckles. The next to the right has no speckles. Each of those tiles has a heavy glaze of the base color on the left half. The rightmost til has both black and blue speckles again, and a lighter glaze on the left side.

I'm pretty happy with the results. At least one of these will work for me, I just have to decide what look I like best.

I had a little time left so I went on to painting the back. Base coat of beige, then fading to the darker orange. I futzed with it for a while...the final would need to be smoother. Tomorrow I might try with the airbrush to see if I can get a smoother gradient. I also tried putting a couple of cracks in it. Not awesome, but promising. Overall I'm pretty happy with it all.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Barbarian: Necklace, Bracer

Got back to the barbarian today. I might push to finish this guy up, we'll see. I did the details of his necklace today, and put a base coat on that armored sleeve. I'm going to have to go back and do the metal rings separately...that's going to be a lot of work. I'm also not sure I love the reddish brown with the yellower brown of his hair, but I'm going to press forward. Once there's shading on it, and the metal rings, it might be different.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Diorama: Base

I got in to the diorama's base today. I wanted to figure out how to put some grooves in the base to look like stone blocks, and how to put some chips and irregularities into the edges. For the grooves, I used a dead ball point pen. It made a line by compressing the fibers without cutting them, so it didn't leave behind messy bits. (Also learned that running a dead pen over wood really hard will apparently get it working again. Go figure.)

The breaks in the edge I did with a file, then used to sandpaper to soften the edges. Over all, I'm pretty happy with the physical texture. The paint still needs work. I want to put in some speckling and color variation, for starters. The paint lines also need some cleaning up, which I may or may not do since this is a practice piece.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Barbarian: Hair

Got back to the barbarian's hair. I still need to do another round of highlights, but it's starting to get there.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Barbarian: Clothes

I worked some on a commission item today, so all I got to on the barbarian was base coating his...let's go with 'kilt', though I don't think I'm going to put a pattern on it. I've always seen this guy done in red, so I'm doing something else. Besides, I think the blue will go nice with the skin tone.

I should have worked on his hair. I'll get back to that next time.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Diorama: Swords

I've started trying to make swords out of plasticard to use in the diorama - I want to hang a couple of swords on the wall behind the throne.

So far, it's just experiments and practice. Straight swords are harder than curved, it turns out.

They are quite flat, but since they're supposed to hang on a wall I'm hoping I will be able to add enough depth with paint that it'll be OK. Paint on a couple of these will be the next step.

I've also got the final base piece for the diorama and have been doing a bit of gap filling with it. I plan to start putting paint on it soon.

I've also picked up a couple of commission pieces, so posts will be a bit more infrequent while I work on those as well as these other projects.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Barbarian: Skin, Hair

I got back to the barbarian today. I brought some red back into the shadows and put highlights on his skin. I wasn't happy with the highlights initially. They seemed a little too stark, a little too pale. I also wasn't sure I was thrilled with the skin tone for him overall. So, I went back and glazed over everything with Bronzed Skin. That knocked down the highlights a bit and gave everything a less pink tint.

After I glazed the skin, I was still trying to decide if I was happy with the skin or not. It looks more contrasty in person that in the pictures, but I still wasn't sure about the tone. I decided to fill in the face details and his hair to help me decide. This is when I noticed his face was cast a little funky, so I think I have some work to do there. He also has surprisingly tiny eyes for a 54mm figure.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Jeannie: Lighting, Highlights

I continued working on the source lighting effect from the ball of flame today, lightening up the reflected light on the closest surfaces and refining it some. I also messed about with the positioning of the lighted areas a little. It still needs work...that lighting on her arm is now awful opaque and chunky. But it's progress.

I also did some shading and highlighting on the rest of her skin. It was kinda quick and dirty, but even so, it's amazing what a difference it makes. I'm going to try bringing some of the blue in as a light glaze over a couple of the high points.

You might notice I didn't put shadows under her legs. That's because I plan to give the clouds a slight glow.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Jeannie: Flames

Got back to OSL practice with Jeannie today. I painted the ball of flame and then just started laying out roughly where I think the light from that flame would go and at what intensity. It still needs a lot of work. I don't think I quite have all the light placement right yet, either.

This is a somewhat helpful trick for OSL - shine a light on the figure from the direction of the light source, It's not perfect - the sculpted light source will itself block some of it, though I suppose that just means the shadow placement will tell you something about where the light might go. The flashlight is probably also putting out a wider beam that the source would. However, it's still helpful for visualizing where the light would go, just don't use it as gospel.

What it tells me is I should think about broadening the lighted area across her breasts, and also bring some of the light on to other leg. However, the light source on the figure may not be giving off as strong a light as my flashlight is, so I may choose not to carry the lighting effect that far.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Barbarian: Still Shading. Also, some swords.

I added in the next layer of shadows on the barbarian's skin today. I'd have liked to get farther, but I didn't. I'm pretty happy that I don't feel like I have to do a ton of smoothing, but I think I am going to bring some of the red lighter shadow back.

I spent some time working on the next steps for the diorama. I want a couple of swords to hang over Conan's head, so I started looking at options for those. I started making one out of plasticard; since the thing will be stuck to a wall it doesn't need to be perfectly 3-D. A flat back isn't a problem. I didn't really finish it, but ran into some issues. This plasticard has a grid on one side, which made a weak spot where the 'hilt' broke off. The guard would also need some more shaping. I'm pretty happy with how the shape of the blade came out.

I also found a couple of leftover Tyranid arms and am looking in to using those. The top one in the picture is as it was originally. The second one is after I removed the arm and the hand. I think it still needs some work to reshape the hilt and guard a bit to get rid of the organic look. That plastic was surprisingly soft and easy to work, though.

Friday, March 17, 2017


I got a late start tonight and didn't feel up to doing careful blending,'s a barrel. Just something quick and easy.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Barbarian: Shading Skin

Started shading the skin on the barbarian today. This is really just roughing in the first couple layers of shadows. I'm going back to trying red in the shadows again. This time I'm using a less vibrant red than last time. Hopefully that'll help me a little, and so far I think it is. That's RMS Redstone in the shadows now, which is a pretty desaturated red. I might go purple, blue, or brown in the deep shadows. Haven't decided.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Verocithrax: Teeth, Horns. Jeannie: Boots, Cloth.

Finished up Verocithrax's teeth and his horns. I think he's done at this point. I'll let him sit for a day or two and see if I want to change anything, then seal him and put him with the others.

I had a little time after finishing him, so I put a base coat on Jeannie's boots and loin cloth. Next for her will be putting in the value changes from the light sources.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Verocithrax: Highlights, Face

I'm trying to wrap up Verocithrax and move on to more building on the diorama. So, I focused on him today. I put on a layer of brighter highlights, brought some more of the base red back into the shadows in various places, and then did his eyes, tongue, and started the teeth.

I think the horns I'll do as black, or maybe dark brown or purple that will read as close to black.

Sunday, March 12, 2017


Yes, it's been a bit. I was without internet for  few days. I was still painting, though.

First, finished off Hellakin.

Also got some paint on Jeannie. I'm going with darker skin and hair on her to make my life easier with the OSL. In OSL, the light source should generally be the brightest thing on the figure. That's harder if you use light colors for the figure. Next for her is either going to be placing highlights and shadows from the flame, or base coating her boots and loincloth so I can place highlights from both light sources at once.

And, the barbarian. He's been primed and is starting to get a base coat. He's probably going to end up with a kilt-like thing so I can practice textured cloth again.

Last, I started on the 5th head for the diorama. This is least, his head. I'm going to go brighter with the highlights.