Sunday, January 26, 2014

7 - Airbrush Interlude!

Today I dropped everything and worked on a new project. I found a giant spider in my Shelf of Unpainted Monsters, and decided it looked like good airbrush fodder. I primed it yesterday and fired up the airbrush today. I put the brown base coat on with my original airbrush, and then used my new airbrush that's supposed to be able to do a fine spray to do the orange and yellow bands.

Here it is post airbrush:

I wasn't able to get a much finer line out of the new airbrush than I'd gotten previously out of the other one. I'm not sure if that's just as fine as can be gotten from an airbrush, or if it's that I need more practice. I will keep working with it, maybe consult with an expert or two, and see what I can find out.

Still, I'm not unhappy with the result. I do need to practice, though. It took two or three rounds with each of the colors to get it that neat, and there's still some spots where I had over spray to clean up with a brush.

Here he is post detailing, and next to a human figure for scale.He's meant to be good enough for gaming, not a masterpiece. Overall, I think it took about 3 hours. Maybe a bit less, because some of that time was spent testing out the new airbrush on cardboard to get a feel for how it would behave. I'm also counting airbrush cleanup time in that.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Finished the base, worked on the vestal

I did some work on the blood vestal, so there are pictures of a semi-nude below.

Also, some words on why I haven't been painting/posting very often. I live in a part of the country that's experiencing super cold temperatures. My painting area is in an addition on the back of my house which has lots of windows, isn't heated well and I'm pretty sure isn't insulated well.I have a space heater back there for the winter, but when it's in the single digits that's just not enough. So, until we get back to more normal winter temperatures and it's more comfortable to spend time back there, I won't be doing so much painting.

But first, my wood plank base insert. You can see I've trimmed it down to fit into a 1" square base, and put primer on it. It'll be a little easier to see once there's paint on it.

This is a comparison to a metal base insert I bought from Reaper.There are definitely some differences. The purchased one has wider planks, long straight grain, and there are cross cuts where the planks end. Also, their planks are more consistent in width than mine, and I think the texture is more pronounced. Of those differences, I should have put in the cross cuts. I might still be able to do it, if I'm very careful. I might also just leave it as-is. As for the more pronounced texture, I'm going to see how mine takes paint. That'll give me a better idea if I need to replicate that or not.

I do have another base insert in the works that I didn't get pictures of. It's just some green stuff that I pressed some sandpaper into for texture. The texture is subtle, so I'm hoping it might be suitable for asphalt.

Also worked on the next practice dummy. I'll finish the sticks next time. On previous versions, I ran into trouble working on that last part. I didn't have anywhere to hold that didn't have soft putty on it, so I'd end up accidentally squishing parts and needing to re-texture them. So, I'm letting this much dry and will finish the rest later.

And lastly, I put shading on the vestal's skin. It needs some smoothing and clean up.I'm trying to get a similar level of quality to the previous vestals, but finish her in fewer hours of painting time. Though, since I don't really track how long I spend on a particular model, I'm not going to have any good data to determine if I'm accomplishing that or not. :p I should probably start tracking my hours, if I'm going to care about that sort of thing.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

New Projects

So, even though I have a couple things in progress, today I started new projects. More sculpting than painting, too.

First of all, another armature for a practice dummy. This one is done with brass rod instead of silver wire. There are two reasons for this - first and foremost, I'm out of silver wire and need to get some more. Second, I had some trouble with the silver wire bending very easily as I was trying to work on the piece. This stuff is a little stiffer, so maybe it won't have that problem. Now, I've found I can do a practice dummy in two passes - one for the sticks, and one for the cloth. So maybe I can finish this one in two or three days.

Since I'd mixed up a bunch of putty, I decided to try out making a base insert. It's meant to be a wood plank floor. Once it's cured, I'll trim it down to fit in a one inch square base. By doing it after the stuff has hardened, I can get a nice sharp edge on it.

I also got out the airbrush and put a base bone color on this Reaper Bones giant skeleton. Not sure when I'll work on him, because I want to get on with the vestal and lizard man. But I did want to brush the dust off the airbrush and practice with it again.

There's a lot of neat details on that guy...places where his bones are splinted together. There's a sword stuck in his rib cage. The club in the arm that I haven't attached to him yet is a headstone. So, it's a little more going on with him that just a skeleton with a rusty sword.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Practice Dummy

I did the clean up on Karick and tried to get better pictures. I don't really think they are better. Not sure why, I can't seem to get him in good focus.

Also today, I finished off my most recent sculpting practice dummy. I might do one or two more of these, but I think I'm pretty much done. I kinda like this one, though it's definitely not perfect. I have no idea how the sculptors get their putty to come out so smooth and sharp. Mine is always full of creases and fingerprints.

I also prepped a couple things today - washed some Bones marines that I might paint soon for a game, and boiled the Bones I Giant Skeleton to straighten up a couple of bendy bits on him. I'm hoping tomorrow to spend some quality time with my airbrush on that guy before the football games.

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Finished Karick-Dar. You can see the OSL from the lightsaber on his back. It's pretty subtle, but I don't recall those things as giving off a ton of light (physics be damned!). I do have to do a bit of touch up where his feet are attached to the base once the glue dries. And I may try to get better pictures camera does not get along with this guy.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Karick's arm and base

I put Karick's arm on and finished the metals. Put color on the lightsaber, but didn't get to the OSL - I had to give the glue some time to set, so I worked on other things while that was happening.

One of the things I worked on was Karick's base. I debated on what color to make the stone, and thought maybe an alabaster. That's how I base coated it, but upon further reflection I'm not sure having a light colored base will be a good idea - it might draw the eye down to the base instead of to the figure. On the other hand, I'm not sure about making it gray stone - he's already got an awful lot of gray. So I'm not sure. I'm going to have to think about it a bit more.

Oh, and I think that's meant to be parchment on the top step. Really, really big parchment.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Robes Done

Well, I may go back and do a little touch-up, but by and large his clothing is done. Which makes him mostly done. There's the lightsaber and some metal rivets or something on the backs of his gloves. Well, and his base. I'm going to see how far I can get on the lightsaber next time. I'm planning to use it as my OSL light source. I've made one or two previous attempts at OSL. They didn't come out great. So, this may be where I screw up the figure. :)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Too blue

I started by layering black on to Karick's robe.

It was kinda of odd putting the black on. I was trying to layer it in everywhere except the highlights, which as it turns out is quite different from just putting a shadow color in where the shadows are. I don't think I did too horribly bad, but clearly it'd take some practice.

That being said, I wasn't thrilled with the overall look. It was still very blue, and wasn't coming out as deep a black as I wanted. So, I went back over the whole thing in black. I'll do it the way I usually do black, and try Laszlo's technique again on a mini that I don't have a strong idea in mind for.

Here he is with the black.

And, I had a little time left after, so I put a base coat on this guy. I'll be working on him behind Karick and the vestal.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

More of the Apprentice

Also some more pictures of the vestal below.

But in the meantime, some Karick-Dar. I finished the inner layer of clothing and put a base coat on the outer, which will be black. Why, then, did I paint it blue? I'm trying a technique from Laszlo Jakusovsky's DVD on painting difficult colors.You start with blue, then shade down to the black, and that keeps the highlights from going chalky. We shall see how it works out.

And I finished the base coat on the vestal. Not much to see there, just a more solid base.

Sunday, January 5, 2014


Note: I'm getting back to one of the blood vestals, so there are semi-nude minis below.

Finished the zombies. Like I said, about half an hour of work, and they're done. I've put them with the rest of their brethren, and they'll probably get boxed up to wait for a walk on in a 1st level dungeon.

Hey, remember this guy? I put some shading and lining on his grays. Next, I want to narrow the shadow areas a bit by bringing the base color back in, and then maybe glaze some color into the mid tones a la Michael Proctor (now that I'm working with a color light enough it might actually show up). We'll see. Those areas are quite narrow, so there's not a lot of room to work with the additional tones. I might rather try it first on something with nice, large swaths of cloth to work with.

And, starting the 4th of 5 blood vestals. I put a couple layers of the base color on her skin. It needs a couple more to get to a nice solid base. The face on her certainly is expressive...she's awfully annoyed at somebody.

Saturday, January 4, 2014


So, here is he. The completed shadow demon. I do think it's pretty clear which parts got a lot of attention and which I rushed through, but I think he came out OK over all...and I'm glad to be moving on to something else. Not that I don't like this guy; he's just been on the table way too long. I tried for sort of a marble base. I'll hit it with some gloss after he's been sealed to help it with that polished look.

Also, I went to a local paint day today and worked on some speed-paint zombies. These are almost done - I'd have finished them there, but I forgot to pack a brush for dry brushing and wasn't going to sacrifice a good brush to some zombies. They need maybe another half hour to get finished. Then I think I'll have finished all my Bones I zombies.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Metal and Gems

So, I finished the gold metal and did his gems. It was kind of rushed. To finish him off, I need to:

  • Paint the base
  • Attach the sword to his arm
  • Touch up the spots where there's been some chipping and rub off
Hopefully I can finish him in one more session. I think he'll have turned out OK, but it'll be abundantly clear which parts got a lot of attention and which parts did not.