Monday, June 17, 2013
And by 5% more, I mean that I have one out of 20 painted.
This past weekend was a very busy one, with it being Father's Day here in the US (and other countries too I hear). My two lovely daughters and my wife took me strawberry picking for the day! We managed to pick almost 20 pounds of strawberries in about an hour and spent the rest of the time running around, playing on slides, and having a leisurely lunch. When the girls were napping I had a chance to work on my display board, getting some of the details in place, but I still have a TON (or TONNE depending on where you are) of work to go on it. Photos of the board will be revealed after the in-store Armies On Parade event.
Anyway, I finished up this guy late last night. I hope you like him : )
Here are the other 19, all on their "painting bases" ready for their primer coat. The greenstuff on their gauntlets is to correct my atrocious sculpting on their hands. Next time the hands will be better, I promise!
And as a little added extra, I've put a few different pieces of kit on their backs. Some are plain, some get grenades, some canteens, others pouches etc.
Anyway, I must get back to it!
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Some of you may remember this post from April about my first sculpted figure... The Bridge Guard?
Well, today a package arrived from my friend Chris Borer (famed Slayer Sword winner and the guy behind Full Borer Miniatures). After he did such a great job on my casting last year, I managed to cajole Chris into casting up my dude for this year's Armies On Parade project : )
Once again Chris managed to replicate all the flaws in my sculpting perfectly ; ) The brownstuff seen on the figure below is primarily to correct problems with my sculpting for the hands, a pretty crappy job really, but it's all about learning, right?
Anyway, I now have 20 of these to assemble and get primed.
Time is ticking!
Monday, June 10, 2013
Well, it took a little longer than I originally expected, but asking advice from various folks (you, my kind readers, included) have made for a piece all the better for it.
When last we spoke, I was uncertain about the "face" of the Knight and was contemplating an icon of some kind. Over the weekend I was in Austin for WarGamesCon and spoke with Mondel "GAR" Garcia, who sent me down a different track. We chatted about brightening up the front of the plate, and deepening the shadows to make it pop more. While most of the shading was done with thinned brown, black, and green, GAR suggested adding in some blue (the complimentary color of the "orange" brass). It certainly worked well and I'm pleased with the final results.
I hope you like them too. Enjoy the rest of the photos of Volsinii Imperator.
Thursday, June 6, 2013
A little change of pace for you all today. I've never really been a "car guy". I mean, I appreciate them, but I've never felt the need to get an old car and spend hours tinkering away in a back shed somewhere. I have toy soldiers for that ; )
Having said all of that, my dad and my father-in-law are "car guys", so when my parents' visit from Australia intersected with the National Street Rod Association show in York, PA, last weekend, I tagged along to admire the conversion work that many enthusiastic "hobbyists" (yep, just like we toy soldier hobbyists) had put into their treasured cars.
Here are a bunch of photos I took of cars I liked the look of (or at least an element of), and some interesting paint jobs.
Above: I really liked the subtle color scheme of this old Ford
Above: I loved the solid lines of this great car.
Above and Below: Such a great way to preserve the paint in the state it was uncovered in a barn.
Above and Below: We also made a trip to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum Annex, where I got to take a close up look at the Space Shuttle Discovery. I was amazed by the interesting texture on the shuttle itself. We're so used to seeing long distance shots of the shuttle, or smooth plastic kits, but the real shuttle is incredibly rough and "patchworked" in appearance. Very cool.
Above: And finally, here's an almost Orky hotrod with two V8s in series. Apparently you can run it with one engine,
or engage both with some tricky engineering. Of course, with both running it chews through the gasoline!
Monday, June 3, 2013
Here's the current state of play on my Knight. The brassy bronze is finished, the silver metallics are almost complete, and a number of the details are complete too.
While at Kublacon, I asked the opinion of a few painter friends and the answer to the "dark or bright" question was, not truly surprisingly, "Both". I've approached it all as another, slightly zenithal, thing. Imagining a stronger light source from above, my upwards-facing surfaces are bright silver, while the shadows are quite dark/matte. As you gone further down the model, the metallics become less bright, perhaps with only a thin, glinting edge here and there.
These last two shots show that idea a little more, but also show the soot-blackened exhaust pipes and the rivets picked out in shiny silver.
Back to the grind ; )
Saturday, June 1, 2013
With my last WIP of my Knight, a couple of you were interested in how I'd done the brassy bronzey armor plates. Well, here's a quick recipe to get you started on your own tarnished/burnished combo.
Step 1: I used Vallejo's Tinny Tin as the base coat.
Step 2: Highlight with a mix of Tinny Tin and Vallejo Brassy Brass.
Step 3: Highlight with Brassy Brass.
Step 4: Begin shading with thinned wash of Vallejo Charred Brown mixed with a little Black.
Step 5: Continue shading by adding more Black.
Step 6: Once you are satisfied with the depth of your shading, take it one step further with a thin glaze mixed from two Secret Weapon washes - Storm Cloud and Algae.
Some of this may be a little tough to see in the color swatches above, but it works pretty much in that progression. Of course, feel free to add a few more "in between" steps if you feel the need.
I hope you have fun with it!
And I wasn't sure if I'd shown you the updated insectoid-walker for my army. It has previously sported green armor plates and has been used as a Defiler : )
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Well, I finally had the chance to get out to the West Coast (the Bay Area to be more precise) to check out the KublaCon show (tagline: The Khan of Cons!)
I was there to cover the first Flames Of War US West Coast Nationals tournament, run by Gamescape North in conjunction with Battlefront. The tournament was great; well-run, friendly gamers, some very lovely looking armies, and a very relaxed atmosphere. There'll be photos going up soon on the Flames Of War website, and appearing later in the year in the pages of Wargames Illustrated.
While I was there, I had the opportunity to enter into the KublaCon Miniature Painting Competition, run by Wayne Rogers. It was a very interesting departure from the "normal" format of mini painting comps that I'm used to. Instead of it being the "podium" format with a wide variety of categories (eg. 10 categories with a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd awarded in each, just like the Golden Demons or Crystal Brush) it was what is known in the wider painting world as an "open" format of judging.
Essentially there were three categories:
You could bring along up to two "single minis", one "squad", one "large", and one "diorama"
Each of your pieces was then judges to a set standard by a panel of judges (I think as many as five, with results being averaged) and determined to be either gold standard, silver standard, bronze standard, or honorable mention.
If you entered your work in either the KublaKids or the Open categories, you were awarded a Kubla Medal for each piece, determined by the quality as judged by the panel.
If you entered in the Masterclass category, all of your pieces were judged, given their "level" and the highest ranking piece was what was awarded the appropriate trophy.
As I was traveling all that way, I figured I'd take all the entries I could, and put them up for consideration in the Masterclass category. I brought the following entries:
• Iconoclave diorama - considered Bronze
• Lamenters Tactical Squad - considered Bronze
• AdMech Combat Servitor - considered Bronze
• Lamenters Dreadnought - considered Silver
• Malifaux Wastrel - considered Silver
This last one was considered by best entry by the judges, and so it was that model that I was unsure about that won me the Silver Kubla bust in the first photo. Pretty pleased with that, and having seen the other Masterclass entries, I can now see what I need to do/work on to lift my game for next year. As there were already entries better than mine in the case when I entered, I knew the pressure for Best of Show was off completely, so I could think about some of the other awards, like...
Apparently the judges had to be told a number of times that my Combat Servitor entry was a conversion. Most of them had assumed it was a stock model, so I'm pretty pleased with that too ; )
There were plenty of other great things at the show (one of the being the very cool family atmosphere, as geeks of all ages (from 1 to 91) were at the event to indulge in a weekend of gaming (be it miniatures, board, card, or both kinds of roleplaying)!
One of the cool things that caught my eye (and will be featured in the pages of Wargames Illustrated sometime this year, I hope) was "Wooden Wars" by Thomas Foss. You can see the "press pack" that Thomas handed me at the show, with a set of rules, along with three packs of wooden "flats", toy soldiers cut from birch plywood with a laser, ready to be assembled, painted, and have little rubber balls bounced at them by kids of all ages as they advance across the floor... err, battlefield!
More on these at a later date as I get some of them painted up, but you can find out more about Wooden Wars at his blog:
The first Public Service Announcement is about a new game store in Rancho Cucamonga, CA -
Dice Of War Games! Owned (in part) by my friend Alec Peters (of the Apocalypse 40K forums and blog fame), the store will open this weekend (June 1-2) and promises to rock your gaming world! Head on over to their Facebook page HERE to check them out : )
PSA #2 today is about a little Kickstarter being run by another mate, this time Rhys Knight from the UK. He and a couple of friends have formed PDC gaming and are running a Kickstarter (HERE) to raise funds for their "Toys for your Toys" range of wargaming accessories (including sprues of plastic weapons, tracked gun platforms, and other fun items). They are currently at 65% funding with 5 days to go. Head on over to their KS page (HERE) and check out their work!