Sunday, January 24, 2010

An inking feeling.....................

Since finishing team Tunic I have been looking at them with questioning eyes. Not only does my painting get worse the more attention you lavish upon it, my palette was rather limited. I mean their beards, belts, boots and hair are all the same brown. So looking back on my previous experience painting 40k models, I started looking into GW inks, some of which I have but was unsure what shape they would be in as they are old. Further research lead me to learn that in fact the recipe has changed and I would be unable to replenish my supply even if they did work. But I was really unsure of how well they would work on this small of a scale, so I went my usual reference points;

The FoG forums, great source of opinions and advice from fellow gamers who are always willing to help.

Dave Taylor Miniatures and MacPhee's Miniature Men, two amazing sites by leaders in the hobby, although their skills and talent are likely beyond my reach their sites both contain excellent tips and hours of inspiration.

My giant collection of White Dwarf back issues, they make the paint and employ some of the best painters in the world, always a good source.

My friendly neighbourhood gameshop, Strategies on Main st. I popped in to pick up the inks and picked owner/operator Darren's brain pretty good. He is one heck of a painter and actually turned out to be the best source. He explained the aspects of the new inks (now called washes) and how they work compared to the old ones I was used to. This was the best part of it, as in finding out that the washes don't run as far, contract as they dry and don't finish with a shiny tone, completely allayed my concerns. So I picked up some Devlan mud and some Ogryn flesh, and hurried home excitedly. Its alot easier to get good answers through direct conversation then by reading whether online or not.

The fact that the best advice I got on my quest came from direct interaction may actually be an example of the appeal of paper and dice games have always had over video games to me.

So after returning home, cooking and eating dinner I put my TV onto my new favourite discovery, channel 417 an all Reggae/dub/ska radio station that leans more to the old school.

The washes were a breeze and after a bit of testing I decided to use the Ogryn Flesh on the faces and limbs, as it sits now they are drying behind me but they look great !!!!
They look so great its like someone else painted them !!!
Someone with decent motor skills and a steady hand, haha !

The wash fell easily and evenly into the creases of the models (and Darren was right, takes more than you would think), and the final result could pass as a decent blending job, from a bit of distance, like say 15 or so metres. Now I am pondering dry brushing their beards with a lighter brown, or applying some of the Devlan Mud to one or more of the browns, but that might be over kill. The more you look at something the more you think it can be improved.

We all know what happened when I tried to take pics at night so I won't attempt that until tomorrow, and besides in the hour or so they have been drying there has been some noticeable contraction, so they might look even better in the morning.

Pics soon, Go Canucks Go.

Friday, January 15, 2010

She who must be obeyed

With the lighting being so good right now I couldn't resist the opportunity to take a couple of portraits of my cat Emma Goldman. She is a 5 and half year old rescue cat from the SPCA in Port Alberni, they said she was rescued from a "situation of abuse and neglect" from a Native Reserve on Vancouver Island, she was the saddest cat in the pound that day and since then has been with me. We meet when she was about 6 or so months old, and although she still isn't too cool with me picking her up and hugging her on whims, when she is affectionate it is very sincere. She is too damn smart though, possibly smarter than me, she opens drawers and cupboards, notices and remembers my behaviour patterns to time her escape attempts and seems hopelessly addicted to Greenies brand Cat treats. She also plays fetch, either with me or alone and has been trained to walk with a harness so that we can hang out together in the park. I asked her if she wanted her photo taken and these two shots represent a typical response from my cat to most of my requests whatever the subject.

With the Cat, my snowboard and some spare sheets of plasticard and wood for hobbying this picture really sums up my life, throw in my guitar, skateboard, a Clash album, a Canucks poster and some curry and you got all I need in life. Her being asleep and taking up more of my bed than I can squeeze my 6'4" 190 pound frame beside is pretty typical of her goals too.

Up next on the project chopping block is painting up the command section (ie: Officer, Standard Bearer and Musician) for team Tunic and then I will tuck into the chaps in those dapper Linen Cuirass'.

unrelated snapshots

Figured I would take a shot off of my balcony at what likely constitutes good weather in January on the Coast of Southwest Canada. I love Vancouver, and think it is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but one must be honest about our weather, it rains here alot and is often quite cold.

As you can see I live right on the harbour, with an excellent view of the Northshore, Lionsgate Bridge and Stanley Park with a fair bit of the Port and a touch of our growing skyline. These shots were taken about half an hour apart and as the weather improved it would seem that several workers at the fish Cannery behind me got off work and started to enjoy there weekend with pleasant conditions for a drive home. The top picture being the second one taken for whatever reason.

I love City Living

Semi-decent team Tunic pics

Weather turned out to be pretty nice today in the late morning/early afternoon, lighting was great and I took a couple of pics some of which were even of my ongoing Carthaginian project.
The lighting problem was solved even without the use of any lamps, however without a higher quality camera with the ability to zoom in and focus on smaller objects. I think that this is as good as things will get with my current set up, but I will still attempt to tweak it and see if I can make any improvements.

Here is the best I could do with my Camera phone, those two top shots are the best of many attempts to get a decent amount of focus on the mini. Alas, no dice. Thinking some daylight might add some ambient light and couldn't hurt, weatherman said Saturday may be sunny so I will definitely try again. I figured out my dance step for painting tonight but photography looks like it will have to wait.

Team Tunic painting complete

So I knuckled down and finished painting team Tunic. Every last one of them got all the necessary touch ups, and an extra coat of white and red. The final idea of an extra coat for the last two colours was an excellent move, even drying they seem considerably richer and deeper. I am rather tempted to give them a bit of ink but have to look into it more.

I have found a method of holding these models and moving them as they dry, I stick a glob of mactac on top of a paint pot and away I go. Went model by model changing colours each "lap" and feel like I made good time, although this is the largest unit I have ever painted before and the first one in this scale so what do I know.

Will try and take some pics, and am again wondering whether or not to model/base them as heavy or medium foot. The Eternal debate, but enough of my ranting I will take a couple quick pics.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Team Tunic almost done !!!!!

Well here is some quick shots I took with my Camera phone, which aside from my malfunctioning web cam, is the only Camera I own. I got team Tunic further tonight than I had originally expected, likely due to a complete lack of televised Hockey. Gave them all the same treatment as my test model, and think I did a better job then my motor skills lead me to believe I was capable of. However I will be going over every last one of them and giving them a thorough touch up. After that there may be some inking, depending on how easily they can be contained in such a small scale. I am really starting to like working in 15mm, but one must be extra careful as the slightest lunge results in a noticeable flaw.

I will take better pics tomorrow and try and get some better lighting and focusing with my jury rigged photo setup, but to be honest that will likely also be another poorly documented learning curve to help fill up this blog. I just couldn't sleep and since I was all proud and team Tunic seemed dry enough to move about, I thought I would snap a couple quick shots.

I love the relaxed, non-stationary meditative aspects of painting.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Yes that old paint pot I am painting on is that old.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

First Test mini, team Tunic pt 1

Sorry for the gap between posts but with the Holiday travel, New Years and the world junior hockey tournement taking....uhmm........some....... of my time, I have been a little bit busy. But today I got a bit of time and tonight had access to a camera, and so without further ado I present my first test piece for my Carthaginian army.

I painted up one of the "Citizen Hoplites" I got from Old Glory 15s, the bag came with four poses of figures two of each with tunics and two with Linen Cuirass'. Henceforth these two units will be refered to as team Tunic and team Cuirass, this chap represents team Tunic. I had already given them two thin coats of citadel Skull White as an underwash. After which I painted their tunics Scab Red. Once everything had dried I slapped some Scorched Earth Brown on the belts, boots and beards, Dwarf Bronze on the helmet and boss and edging of the shield, Elf flesh for his legs, face and hands and Boltgun medal on the tip of the spear.I am likely going to pick out some spots that I missed after he dries and am likely going to drop some brown ink on his boots and some black on his beard, add some variety to his pallette of brown.

I am currently having a major internal debate whether to make team Tunic as regular strength African Spearmen, or the medium foot fighting Peoni Foot. Add the fact that this option is present on both the Early and Late Carthaginian lists, and since I intend to give myself the option to field either/or with one pool of models, (Punic and Sicilian wars both seem interesting) and the conundrum gets harder. As it stands now I am 76% or so percent likely to make them medium foot. Although that makes it harder for me to make a legal either Early or Late Carthage list, it does seem like a very useful unit long term. And rounding out my non-Roman equiped vetern Spearmen with units of Liby-Phoencian Spearmen would fit the theme and composition of both lists rather nicely.

Took a whole bunch of pics, with different lighting settings and levels of Lampdom, I figure the following are the best of them, not sure how well they turned out but lets take a peak shall we.

Fingers crossed that this works.................