Archive for ‘Painting’

October 25, 2010

Camera Fail

by Nate Birkholz

My camera has died, sadly. This morning someone in front of me slammed on their brakes for Lord knows what reason, and my camera flew into the footboards. Ever since, I cannot successfully start the camera, the lens assembly seems unable to open. Sad times. I’ll have to use my iPhone, which is not the optimal way to take photos for a miniatures blog.

October 23, 2010

Assembly School

by Nate Birkholz

In the last few weeks since my honeymoon, I have assembled and pinned a ridiculous number of models, especially considering how much work I have to do these days. I had to prepare for a 15-point Tooth-n-Claw/Mangled Metal tournament the week I got back, so I assembled the Feral and the Pureblood (and eKaya and Laris, whom I did not pin). I had endless difficulty getting the pin holes to match on these models, in fact one of the Feral arms was drilled three times to get it to align, and the tails were an anatomically-appropriate pain.

The Pureblood came together somehow in a way that the front arm doesn’t reach the ground, so I will have to re-base him, but I just wanted to finish by that point so I could play in the tournament.

His legs don't go all the way to the ground.

After that I discovered that next month’s tournament will be a 25-point Steamroller event, and I wanted to try eKrueger since I have had some trouble with ranged forces. I assembled and pinned eKrueger, the Gnarlhorn (drilled through the left arm socket into the kneck hole, so I’ll have to Miliput that), the Ravager Whitemane, an Argus, and the Druids of Orboros–all of the druids are pinned except the designated leader model, since I didn’t think I could drill deep enough into the hands to matter. Krueger required me to drill the right arm twice to get an aligned pin, and the arm came loose going in and out of the foam on a single round trip to the FLGS; I hope the latest glue holds, not sure where to go from there if it doesn’t.

After this I wanted to assemble one set of my Warpborn Skinwalkers. I got one hand pinned, tried and failed to pin another, and couldn’t figure out how to pin the bodies. After some investigation into cementing with Miliput in the bodies, I got impatient and just scored the metal and superglued the bodies, arms, and heads. I am sure I will pay for my impatience, so I will wait to see how they hold up going in and out of the foam as well as on the table before I basecoat them.

Have you seen our pitchforks and torches?

Finally, after two weeks of sticking my fingers together with glue, developing a significantly intimate relationship with my pin vise, and several trips to the Internets to learn new swear words, I felt the need to paint. On Monday we are starting a new D&D campaign, and I am resurrecting my Swordmage character from my old San Diego gaming group. I had a basecoated model for this since March or so, and the clock was ticking, so I am going quickly and am not doing him as a real “showcase” paint job. I painted the cloth parts first, and then did a first coat of various browns.

Eladrin Dance Team Swordmage.


Next I applied a liberal coat of Devlan Mud to the various browns.

Talk to the hand.

Tomorrow I will highlight the browns, wash again, add a final highlight, then finish of the detailing. A technique I discovered while painting Baldur is to highlight brown leather only with the base color of the leather, instead of with a lighter color. That reads more as leather to my eye than making a lightened version of the base color. I found a tutorial on painting leather online, but it didn’t help me, I’m afraid.

September 14, 2010

More Hairless

by Nate Birkholz

I finished basing Baldur, then ran around everywhere in and outside the building trying to find decent lighting; the outdoor light in NorCal is really bright these days and I couldn’t find indirect light that worked. I think I need to invest in a light tent from Ebay. Next I will have to take the sealing plunge, I am considering using brush on matte varnish from Liquitex.

Under the hood? Cue ball. But don't tease, he's sensitive. And has a 5 foot stone sword.

No updates from me for a couple weeks, probably. I am getting married Saturday. Insert Sustained Attack joke here, but I’m pleased as punch.

September 11, 2010

Has He Considered Minoxidil?

by Nate Birkholz

I finished primary painting on Baldur today. I mainly have a small amount of cleanup to do, and have to base the model, and then figure out what to do about sealing him.

Reach or no reach, he's compensating.

I painted the sword separately: the paint had some adhesion issues, as you can see in the hilt, and I had a hard time getting the peg into the slot, even though it had dry fit fine before I painted the model (but after priming). I drybrushed it pretty heavily, but enough primer shows through that I probably would never qualify for hardcore with this model. As I noted before, the green of the cloth isn’t quite what I was looking for, but it works. The shoulders are drybrushed as recommended in the Hordes Primal MkII rulebook, and that went very smoothly, thanks PP! That’s as close as I’ll ever get to those amazing studio paint jobs.

The tunic is the same color as the upper leather kilt, and at first I had tried too hard to highlight it with a lightened base color. I re-basecoated it, washed with Citadel Devlan Mud, and added highlights with some of the basecoat color thinned 2:1, and it worked much better. It isn’t quite as good as the result I got on the kilt, for an unknpwn reason to me, but I am pleased overall.

His left hand didn’t quite work as intended, but his right hand was perfect. I basecoated with VMC Brown Rose, painted three glazes of 4:1 thinned VMC Sunny Skin Tone, highlighted with slightly thinned VMC Pale Flesh, washed with Citadel Ogryn Flesh, then highlighted with a drybrush of the thinned Pale Flesh. I liked the result so much that I tried painting all the flesh on one of my Tharn Bloodtrackers with the formula, and it’s not working at that scope of skin showing.

I really need to make or find a lightbox, because I have nowhere with quality light to take a photo.

I was expecting a deer in my headlights, not this.

Probably about 7 hours in the model so far.

September 8, 2010

Baldur Than Whom?

by Nate Birkholz

After losing handily with Baldur last night, I decided to get him painted. I’m not going too crazy with painting him–for one thing the model is pretty straightforward, especially after finishing The Old Witch of Khador. It’s a decent model, don’t get me wrong, just not from the advanced class. I like the studio paint job but I wanted some more contrast on the model.

The stone sporran makes running painful.

I started with the green under-robes, then did the leathern kilts. If I had it to do again, I’d do the under-robes starting with a darker forest green basecoat, but it’s fine the way it is. I did a lot of layer blending with very thin coats of lighter green, then did some very careful highlighting with only-slightly-thinned paint of the highlight color mixed with white. Then I washed all over–twice–with GW Thraka Green wash and added touches of the highlight on top. It’s much more obvious on the back:

Maybe he should consider a ultilikilt.

The effect is luminescent in person, in fact it almost looks opalescent, which is why I am wishing it was darker.

The leather was pretty simple, I used two shades of brown–highlighted lightly with the base colors mixed with white–and a pale sand color for the stitching. Then I washed the leather heavily with Devlan Mud. I like the effect: it’s more table-ready than show-ready, but it works for me.

I also have been working on the face, but it’s a tough face to paint and I think I’m about done, except for trying to get eyes in under the hood. Similarly, the fingers were really not working the way I want, so I am going to move on. I’ll be using copper for the metal on my Circle army, so I’ll do the shoulders in green and copper. I’ll be adding the sword after the rest is painted: I decided not to pin it, too much that can go wrong working on such a thin piece, I feel.

I also assembled a bunch of pieces from my army, including a few of my Druids of Orboros, and basecoated the flesh of one of my Tharn Bloodtrackers. I primered her in black, which was inattention on my part, but I’m rolling with it.

September 4, 2010

PAX Prime

by Nate Birkholz

I got to spend an hour walking around PAX today. I made for the Privateer booth right away, where I bought the Druid Wilder, The Stonekeeper UA, and No Quarter 32. They have the Trollbloods book on the shelf, and I was tempted, momentarily, but ended up resisting the fell call. There are also the new metal versions for sale of the 2010 Warmachine Battlebox sculpts; I was tempted by the excellent pSorcha pose, but since I don’t ever anticipate playing Sorcha, and I have too many models to paint as it is, I passed it by.  Edit: Forgot to mention that the Reeves of Orboros UA is for sale at the show as well.

Much Lead for sale (That's right, I said lead. Why, when I was younger, minis were made of lead, see...)

Lots of Monsterpocalypse demos, actually.

I got the pleasure of meeting the very personable BobaFerret of Privateer Press and Lost Hemisphere fame. I got to play a brief demo game of Hordes with the Circle and Troll battleboxes. I looked over the gallery of recent models and the studio paint jobs are simply amazing: they don’t even look like hey are painted, mostly, and the surface of the models is a smooth as…a very smooth thing. 

That is definitely going to hurt you more than it hurts me.

A leader of rocks.

I don't care what the P+S is, I'm still gonna hit you with this axe.

I hear these guys do a lot of audience participation, but they never smile...

There was someone in a great Thagrosh costume at the booth, flanked by a couple of lovely Nyss ladies. 

Epic Thagrosh indeed

Ravyn was in attendence as well, dressed as eKaya in a great costume with an appropriately-attired stuffed Laris. Aapparently she’ll be giving more details soon about the tree frogs of  death that are her shredder army. I got a few minutes too walk around the Iron Arena room before I bolted for dinner. I intend to be back tomorrow!