Sunday, March 30, 2014

Not as much progress as I'd like.

So, I was hoping to get a lot done on the elf today. No such luck. I've gotten a cold, and spent most of the afternoon sleeping. :p

I did tone down the highest highlights in her hair a bit, and start shading the dress. The good news is, once the dress is done the figure will be most of the way there. I'm thinking about doing some freehand, though, which will slow it up a bit.

And also finished the latest practice dummy. It's not great, but it's clearly about the best I'm going to get. I don't think there's been much improvement in the last couple.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Elf & practice dummy

I finished the elf's hair as well as the base coat of her dress. I'm not sure about the hair. I might knock those highlights down just a hair. They're so light, I think they kind of overwhelm the rest of the highlights.

Also worked on the next (and hopefully last) round of practice dummies.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Based hair and dress

I've put a base coat on the elf's hair and dress. The dress is just preliminary; I wanted to see what the color palette would look like. In the process, I also found that the lining that I did wasn't really sufficient. There are a couple places, like where the dress meets her legs, where there's a pretty deep valley that I though I had filled in with a dark color...but it isn't. It doesn't really show unless you get in there very close and at just the right angle, but if you do that it's pretty apparent. Also, getting to all the bits of the dress without slopping on to other parts of the figure is very tricky. I also learned that her hair has a ton of tiny nooks and crannies. I'm not sure yet that there isn't something I missed.

So...she's gonna be a bit of a challenge.

While I was at it, I worked on shading the shadow sister's skin and lining around it.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Elf Skin

I highlighted her skin, cleaned up a couple of the shadow spots, and did her lips and eyes. Next will be the base coat of her hair.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Elf Chick

So, I'm going to focus on the elf lady for a while, even with the fuzzy primer --actually, because of the fuzzy primer. Since she seems kinda likely to be the least viable candidate, I want to get her far enough along to decide if it'll work out or not. That way, if it doesn't work out, I can stop working on her and focus on the others.

Also, I really like the figure, and last year I took home silver with a model that was just as maybe it won't be so bad.

Anyway, here I've shaded her skin and lined around where the skin meets clothing, jewelry, etc.

I'll have to clean up the lining around her sandals, most likely. Also I think I'll need to work on her back a little. I let the shadow area get too broad, then I tried to pull it back, but that wasn't working out great. And, it looks like there's a light stripe in the shading of her left thigh, there on the back. Need to clean that up too.

Monday, March 24, 2014

On competition pieces...

So, here's some of the potential competition pieces I'm going to work on.

Picking the piece to work on is an important first step. You want a good sculpt that's interesting and going to be appealing to the judges - which means 'good' is subjective, to a certain extent. You want one that was cast as well; if nothing else, it'll save you time not having to do a ton of clean-up on it. You want something that's going to work well with whatever techniques you plan to use, and plays to your strengths as a painter.

For me, I have practical considerations to keep in mind as well. Anything I take to ReaperCon will either be shipped there or flown there in luggage, so it has to be sturdy enough to survive packing and shipping. It has to be something I'm going to stay interested in painting for as long as it'll take me to finish it. And, since I'm pulling a lot of stuff from my box of pre-primed figures, it would be nice if it had a minimum of primer problems and/or things I overlooked when cleaning it up the first time.

So, let's take a look at the elf lady from last time:

I've painted over the green stuff patch under her arm, and solidified the base coat. But she has some issues. First of all, she's got Fuzzy Primer Syndrome. I've gone over the figure with brush-on sealer to try to smooth that out. It's helped some, but there's still texture there. Also, there are a couple casting issues. There's a few pits; a couple on the back of her left leg, one above her left knee. You can see that one in the front view. There's also a mold line on her left knee that isn't visible in the pictures. It's small, so it may not show...but it might. As far as pacakbility goes, she's got that skinny staff, but it's attached to the rest of the figure in two places, so I think when packed carefully it'll be OK. As a plus, she doesn't have any glued-on parts, so she won't have that instability, at least.

So, all told, she may not be my best choice. But I'm going to keep going for a while, mostly because I really like this mini, and see how it goes.

Next, a Reaper mini. This is for the little diorama I plan to make with the practice dummy (more on that later).

No fuzzy primer - it's brush-on. But she does have that arm and sword sticking out, and another arm that gets glued on. Still, the arms are pretty solid, so I think it'll be OK in transit. I also have shipped another instance of this figure successfully, so I have some confidence it'll work.

This thief is a fallback if the elf lady doesn't work out. Again, it's brush on primer, so it's not fuzzy. There might be a couple mold lines I have to worry about, but they don't show in the pictures. I like her, but I don't think she's quite as interesting a figure as the elf.

And finally, the practice dummy. I thought I was done. Turns out there's a pretty significant flaw in the last one I made. Here's the picture again...can you spot it?

There's no gathers in the cloth around where the tie is. So, it looks a little funny. I'll have to make another.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Next pieces

So, I did a lot of prep work yesterday and today, trying to get pieces ready for paint. Since a couple of these might go into competition, I'm trying to be extra careful with the prep. I did start putting paint on this elf lady from Dark Sword.

But, it didn't last long, as I noticed a big pit and mold line in her underarm that would have to be fixed. So I put some green stuff I had mixed up in there. Once that's had time to set overnight, I'll primer it, them go back to finishing her base coat.

I had green stuff mixed up because I also worked on my latest practice dummy. I'm not sure if I like this one or the last one better. I'll compare them and decide which of the two to use in my vignette.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Stillwater's Done!

So, here he is, detailed and based. He's not getting added to my count because he's not part of my collection. I think he came out OK; we'll see what my friend says.

And some shots from a higher angle to show the base, which I sculpted.

So, next time will be on to new items. I'm going to start some potential competition pieces for ReaperCon. I've picked out a couple and started to prep them. I have some issues with consistency, though, so starting out by deciding 'I'm going to do a great job on this one!' often doesn't work out for me.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Under the gun(s)

Got a little farther on Stillwater. I detailed the machete and sheath, brought up the highlights on the jeans and jacket just a touch, and put the base coat on the guns. Also finished his base, which I'll also show below. Turns out the texture is fine. I think all I have left on him is the detailing on the guns!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Multiple projects today

Did some more work on Stillwater - shaded and highlighted the jacket, and worked on the machete and sheath. I think I need to bring up the highlights on his jeans and jacket a little more, just in a few select places. I don't want them to look really faded, but I think it needs a little more contrast.

Also started on his base. This is the base coat, with a wash for details. The wood grain might be too delicate. I suspect it'd need to be deeper to really show.

And, I worked on my next practice dummy. The fork in the top branch may not have been the best idea ever, but so be it.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Stillwater's Shirt

Changed the color of Stillwater's shirt, using just the mechanism I said I would - made the highlights wider and brighter, and then glazed it with a more purpley purple. I also worked on his jeans. They might be finished, or I might decide to futz with them some more. They look pretty decent in the pictures. Not quite as good live, I think.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Finished the marines. But first, Stillwater. I put a base coat on his jeans and jacket. The jacket and shirt aren't distinct enough, so I'm going to try broadening and lightening the highlights, then glazing the whole thing with a more purple-y purple. I think that'll help separate it from the jacket, and also look a little more like the pictures I've been looking at. (This guy is supposed to be based on the Woody Harrelson character from Zombieland.)

And, the marines. Hardly my best work ever, but they'll do for the game.

Monday, March 10, 2014


So, I'm mostly done with the marines. Just got to finish the bases , and a nib on the flame thrower that I was going to paint red but missed. They should be done next time, and then I'll get back to Stillwater and start pieces for ReaperCon (because if I don't they won't be done in time).

Sunday, March 9, 2014

A little closer

Did the detailing on the marines' armor, and put on some lighter highlights. Did their packs and a few other details. They're coming along. Going to have to figure out what to do with their bases pretty soon.