Blinded by the white

Got the pants, boots and warm greys done. Left to go: armor plates, black metal and straps, glowy bits. The pants and boots don’t have a huge amount of contrast but I like the way they came out enough that I’m moving on.

When I got to the armor plates, the original grey (VGC 48 Sombre Grey) was way to purple/lilac, so I decided to paint over it with VGC 47 Wolf Grey…which is almost white and really blows the contrast. It also went on really poorly, might be a bad bottle as I couldn’t really get it very workable and even very thin it’s pretty blotchy/globby. So I’ll be going back to bring it down a bit, then get on with weathering it ala Ali’s WIP.

Still tweaking the lightbox setup, balanced out the bulbs with a couple Reveals. Still hotspots like mad, so I’ll add some more diffuser sheets and see how it goes.

Use your imagination!

I know, I know, I need more pics. My tv and pc are down (tv being the pc monitor), so I’ll be painting a lot this weekend. The fiancee has a flash card slot in her laptop, I’ll use that to upload something. For nows, another quick update:

I’m calling the warm greys on the Drone done and moving on to the cool greys (the armor plates mostly). I’m ok with the way the warm greys came out, it’s faaaar from perfect, but I can see a lot of progress and where I’ll be going with the techniques, so mission accomplished there. Still experimenting a bit with paint consistency but what I’m using now is sooo much thinner and flows much nicer. So it’s mostly working on brush control to actually get the paint where I want it; that and seeing where the paint actually needs to go! Good stuff, though, considering it’s technically my first painted mini with no drybrush/wash (I did cheat with washes twice for little spots).

The bolts on his arms were a stone cold bitch and the main thing I dislike on the mini, but I’m not going to spend hours getting them right 🙂

The fabric of our lives

Worked more shade and the highlights into the orange. Starting to get a feel for paint consistency, had a real nice pool of paint going for each and played around with it just having fun trying to paint. Never realized how little I actually painted before, with washes and drybrushing hiding the almost complete lack of technique.

Then I moved to the warm greys, and as I have a small wet palette, I tried to save some space by removing the previous warm grey base tone and putting in a new pool to work from. Went great at first, and to my amazement, I was starting to pull off Ali’s 2-brush method with this much more diluted paint (they had told me to thicken the paint if it dried to quickly). There was one blend I was actually happy with! Of course, I then slopped on it when shading something else. Dammit. 😀 Then it got ugly, because I hadn’t been thinking about the fact that the old paint had dried enough to lay a layer of acrylic down that stopped the wet palette action and the paint got thick, my painting got messier, and I’ll have to rework most of the greys because of it.

I’m not going to spend forever reworking problem areas, as it’s really my first shot at fully painting a mini. But these greys, yeah I can do better! The oranges aren’t great but I’m pretty happy with where they are for where I am as a painter. I can see some progress and that’s really the whole idea with this project.

Looks abysmal in photo, so I’m using them as a guide for the next session and don’t really feel like posting them 🙂

Base Coating 2

With the company of my 7000 song-laden iPod on shuffle, I knocked out the rest of the base coating! Yay. The armor plating turned out a bit more intense then I intended, so I’ll be going back to fix that up when I get to painting it up properly. Otherwise, I think it’s a decent start.

I tried using the Winsor & Newton Series 7 #1 for some detail and I think I’m a #2 guy. The only thing I prefer the #1 for was reducing the body width to get into a couple tight spaces where the #2 might touch the sides, Operation-like (bzzt!).
I also signed on to do a group WIP over on the Reaper forums, so I want to get this out soonish. Also, the informal competition at SMV forum ends at some point! The Reaper project will be on the new Bones material, so it should be a good introduction to the material the mini landslide will be made of!

Base Coating

Welp, WP decided to eat my previous post so this will be a bit more terse.

I’m going to deviate from Ali McVey’s WIP because I am too sloppy a painter to finish outer coats without base coating under them. Took me about two hours just to get the orange and black down and the touch-ups still aren’t complete.

Going to finish base coats today and hopefully get to some shading tonight or tomorrow.

No photo box, bleh quality!

Sunday Paint Splatters

Still struggling with the 2-brush method, hoping it was just an off-day Sunday, because I was pretty sloppy. I fixed a couple blends, but when I went in to bring up the highlights, I slapped several areas of shadow with it.  But the real problem is the paint is drying on the mini before I can get the blending brush to it. I’m sticking with the method for this mini, but I’m considering going to layering thinner paints instead.

On the upside, I’m digging the skin tones. Once I get the undersides of the arms shaded I’ll update the WIP properly. Basically all I did yesterday was fix existing blends and add some bone white to the mix for the final (?) highlights. Looks good when the blends worked, though.

OH! And I put together a crappy wet palette. Version 0.1 gave me a couple hours of open time which was pretty awesome compared to the porcelain plate I had been using, but it dried up when I closed it for dinner. I put some more water in it with a new parchment and it seemed ok a couple hours later. I’ll tweak it so hopefully I can get a few hours between sessions, but having the open time on my mixed paints up into the hours range is really nice.

Blast from the past

Now that I have a cheesy light box set up, I decided to run through my old painted minis. While the chunkier Drone model holds up to the white background, this thinner minotaur gets blown out by it. Having a warm bulb and adjusting the white balance doesn’t help, either. I’ll live with it until the budget allows a real setup!

This guy is the very first mini I remember painting. I probably did some in the 80s, but I don’t own or remember them. I was just trying to copy what my buddy was doing, so it’s a base coat + wash + drybrushing, done in Floquil Polly S fantasy colors.

Interlude

Slight delay as I had to tear apart my den to fit in my new desk, which will be the permanent painting station. I also want to get a light box for photos set up and I’m broke from all these kickstarters, so here’s my first attempt (corrected in Gimp) at that.

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Should be ok when I add another layer of tissue paper to reduce those hotspots on the arm; and when I get three lights that are in the same color temp range…

Back to painting this weekend!

To skin a drone

I’m struggling with this new two-brush blending technique. The paint edge was dry before I could get the blending brush down, and sometimes the middle wouldn’t be, and I’d have to go retouch that section (though that was easy enough given is was surrounded by the proper color). I was thinking I’d need to put in some slow-dry retarder into the mix, but I could try with thicker paint. I’m only adding a drop of my water/flow improver mix (10:1) to between 5 drops of paint. My concern with using thicker paint is obscuring detail and the flow of the paint as it goes on.

I also need to get a proper camera setup. I do have a tripod I’m using (the first images came out good, I got lulled into a false sense of accomplishment! All the base coat pics came out blurry (too close with camera zoom, I think) or with way too much light on them. So we’ll just have to skip to the shaded and highlighted skin shots, such as they are. All paints are Vallejo Game Color. As more paint was added, I’d add my water mix to keep it around 5:1.

For the base coat, I used 3 drops of [40 Leather Brown] +1 drop of [43 Beasty Brown] + 1 drop of [45 Charred Brown], with a drop of my water mix. I am pretty happy with the way that came out, wish the pics had survived! A nice warm brown with the charred knocking back the yellow just a bit. My first mixed color! Previously I had only used black or white to mix (mostly just white mix for drybrushing).

For the shading, I went with base + 1 drop [43 Leather Brown] +2 drops of [45 Charred Brown]. Gave it a nice tone that didn’t seem to jarring off the base coat. Going off the suggestion for putting a cool tone into the deepest recess, I added just a hint of Ultramarine Blue to the shading mix. That is my favorite part of the mini thus far, it really adds a depth and complexity to the color. I /never/ would have thought of such a thing, and it works so well!

For 1st highlight, I used the base + 2 drops of [36 Bronzed Flesh]. A bit of a yellow cast to it. Not horrible, not great. Wasn’t sure how to tweak it, and since I didn’t hate it I went with it. For the 2nd highlight I added 1 drop of [41 Dwarf Skin] and the 3rd highlight (just a dot, really) I added another large drop of [41 Dwarf Skin].

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The right bicep is a ‘known issue’. The poor blending really got out of hand over there, but it shouldn’t be too tough to fix.

Drone WIP 1

These blog posts will more or less follow the WIP thread I’m posting at the Studio McVey forums, I’ll try to keep them edited to some form of sensibility. One thing I forgot to note – the wash pictures are shiny, as the wash hadn’t fully dried yet.

Unboxing:

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Assembly. A bit of mold line to deal with, but not bad at all. Very rusty with the xacto, so I did nick a few spots, I think this drone might get practice for a wound on his arm…

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After that I glued him into the slottabase and instantly didn’t like it, my aversion to slottabase took hold. I went into the garage, grabbed a hacksaw and off goes the tab! A bit of filing of the soles (A bit of filing is good for the soul, my mother always said, but she’s a secretary). Then I got to try out my brand new pin vise! Found a bit that fit a paper clip I had lying around, a bit of drill, glue and snip later and the Drone was mounted on stilts. Popped him on a cork and primed him with Army Painter white primer. Of course, not feeling the greatest yesterday I forgot to photodocument all this.

I mixed up some wash per Ali’s post. Throwing in a hint of Les’ wash recipe, I used (10:1 distilled water:flow-aid)+matte medium mixed 1:1 with two drops black and one drop brown. I then went over the hard spots/boots/etc but it seemed a bit subtle. So in a bit of haste I added another drop of black, it may have been a bit too much.

So here’s the Drone pinned, mounted, primed and washed:

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I also missed an assembly detail, forgot to connect the hose from the gun to the backpack! So /after/ priming, I maneuvered it more or less into position and glued it in there, which accounts for the poor adhesion of the wash around that join. Hopefully it will be easy to fix later.

A final note – This was the inaugural duty of my new W&N 7 #2 brush. I was skeptical as I’ve always used 5/0 as my main brush. As soon as I opened the package and saw the pinpoint at the end of the bristles, I had a serious grin. Love the way the reservoir holds the paint. I’m a big brush convert and I haven’t even begun actually painting!