Making headway on this last few bits on the valhallan order. This week i've finished the two last tanks (completeing the order...for now) and i've only got the snow to get around to. Talking of snow i laid out the entire order on a white table and it suddenly became apparent that some of the bases where less white than others. I decided to have a go at fixing that this week. I think i know what happened, i think i used more white paint in the later bases i did (i have been painting brams valhallans for a long time now! Some of the techniques have developed over the order.
The entire order put together is vast and impressive. I'm super impressed by Bram's collecting skills but also i'm very pleased with my work, i feel like i have managed to make an army that could very well be a bit boring (mostly white and grey) and made it something unique and something that pops on the table, also something that is undoubtedly uniform.
Something i have been sitting on for a little while is a new project inspired by zombie movies, zombie tv shows and zombie video games. I plan to mash a few of my favorite together and make a zombie game for my friends to play. I figure zombie are more relatable than fantasy so that's a good start. Also Zombies are super fun to paint. I've taken to finishing the bosses first, they're quicker and simple dry brush jobs. The models i am using are all from ebay and are super cheap. The company i buy them from buys them in bulk from fac tory leftovers (after board game production runs for kickstarter etc). So i may pay a few more pence per mini but i am not paying anything near the prices of zombicide models on the shelf (which are disgustingly marked up, it actually makes me a bit sick). Anyway keep your eyes peeled on this one, it's going to get bloody!
Finishing these romans was a blast. I had such fun whipping through the highlights and painting up those dawby cloth tons and mixed metals. What a group of awesome little dudes (and dudettes). I painted the bases to match the mixed color cobble look of the civilian bases and then i also painted the test models base to match. I went more sparringly on the leaves on these and by jove has it made them look even better. The bigger bushels of leaves look awesome on the group bases but the smll spattering here and there really sells the individual fighters well.
I haven't many major comments on these at their finish point, i think i've said all that needs to be said about them in the previous posts (see ancients categories in the sidebar) but i shall say a few of them where a nightmare to get their weapons to stay on. i don't fully trust (even given all i have tried) that they will stay. I shall inform my client of this. The net man specifically was a nightmare. I hope he makes the journey ok! I shall wrap him in bubble wrap as usual but also use some card around him gfor extra stability during postage.
I have jus tpurchased some of Brother Vinis beautiful resin turtles for my city fight game to act as a ninja gang! I hope indeed he does a splinter model soon!
LINK TO THE SHOP THEY'RE FROM
The sculpts are exquisite. Perhaps the best resins i've ever seen and that's saying something since last week i thought the Knight models resins where (harry potter models) but knight models is not one guy printing presumably at home. How awesome that he manages to get such a highly proffesional finish. There was barely a piece of flash, barely anything broke (and what did was due to my negligence) and they has zero print lines at all. Honestly phenominal.
I got a new sander and a new dremel the other day and i wanted heavy bases for these super lightweight models so i clamped and glued two 2 pence piece for each model and then i took my new sander and set to work like a medieval blacksmith. About 40 minutes later with some res ttime because the pennies got very hot i had some custom and heavy bases for these awesome guys. I can't wait to get them painted and get play testing with them, ninjas jumping all over the bloody shop. It's going to rock.
I have been waiting to get to these trolls for a while and i am so excited to try a new method i pioneered on the dragons. Using images from google i went to my spray booth, picked out three skin tones, a black, two greys, a white and a beige and i slowly and gently built of layers of paint, as though using an airbrush (yet 100 times cheaper, easier, quicker and safer) and i am so pleased with the result. Not only is the blending natural and to be honest kind of perfect for what i had in mind but the paint work was minimal (at this point). Following these images i inked them black with a watered down ink so as to not lose those lovely blends and after these photos where taken i finished them up with some dry brushing, highlighting and picking out of details. I will post the finished results soon as i want to let them sit for a night and come back to them in the morning. this way of painting "big" models isn't just logical but it looks amazing. I cna't get over how well the colors blend and how much like natural skin the finish is.
This last two days has been busy! I finished off those base coats on those roman fighters and they're ready for inking and finishing now. I really enjoyed them in the end even though they took a while to get the motivation up for them. Usually when there's a bit of free hand involoved (bottom of capes, some shirts etc) then can be put off for a while, but once you get started it always becomes more fun and flows.
I bought myself some of the astounding harry potter sculpts (they're massive to) and assembled them ready for painting and hopefully my first proper planned re sales on etsy or ebay. I figured it's a nice way to implement my income while not straining myself creatively if i've got a few single figures up here and there. Sadly the base tabs on these have to be some of the worse "slot in" situations (for how well they blend, or in this case don't) and i had to some filling on the bases. For miniatures that cost about £10.00 each i'm honestly shocked at this. Truly.
Thre return of angmar! The remaining Angmar pieces turned up and i got to work drilling, pinning and filling these trolls and warg. They're funny these old trolls, they are SO HEAVY which is so odd since they're rather small for "big" models. I had to fill over the paint work of the painted troll and i'm under the impression my client wants it touched up but not painted, i may ask if he's comfortable with me doing a re paint, as i don't imagine he will blend that well with the style i'm currently working this angmar stuff in.
Basing these romans has been a fun challenge so far. I sat down the other night with a few old kung fu movies and removed the base tabs with clippers. I considered going completely tab less as with the test model but i realised that some of the models wouldn't work that way (thin legs) so i have had to compromise the style a bit to get a uniform (ish) look to the cobble across the board.
I kneeded some putty and squeezed it onto the base wity my fingers. i found that the less i thought about it the better a job i did, which then i could clean up with a tool afterwards.
After doing the first base i decided to go out and get a better sculpting tool from the craft shop.
The main issue i met with these "multi bases" is the thickness of the putty. If i was to compeltely match it to the fighter i think it'd have looked odd. However in trying to do something a bit different for the multi bases i worry i've strayed to far. This took a fairly long time to get done and i'm happy with the result. Luckilly my clients seem to trust me and usually follow my judgement on orders. I realise looking at this that i could totally add other bits now that it's dry. I also do believe on these bigger bases there will be more brown leaves and tufts.
Just four more mob characters left to do then i'm gonna get on matching those fighter bases to the test model as i feel it's more pertinent to do so with them. That will take a lot longer than expected.
I am super chuffed today with how well that base came out. I decided to carve the edges a bit flatter which definitely makes it sharper and more professional. I undercoated the model grey and then painted the base dark grey and put some basic colors down on the model itself. Luckilly these roman models are beautifully smooth and sleek so they take paint very well. To the contrary the ink seems to have swamped the miniature a bit. Being that i work in full body washes like this all the time i am sure it'll come out lovely in the end.
I also got 99% of the painting done on those cavemen (although it might look like there's lots to do) i have to just do the final overbrush to bring out all of those furs. I have had a lot of fun painting these and the quirky nature of them. You have to forgive the sculpting mistakes with "first ventures" like this when it comes to sculpting but i must say the feet are terribly dissapointing, they're so cloggy and blurred (detail wise) that they're basically not there. It's such a shame.
A long time ago i used to sculpt a bit here and there. One of my favorite mediums to work in was Miliput. It's a fascinating alternative to green stuff and comes in four different versions (as far as i know they're different hardness). I bought some miliput standard for these bases. Miliput is a fraction of the price of green stuff (at about £3.00 for about £15.00 worth of green stuff equivalent) and it really is the actual basis of green stuff. Games workshop created there own "miliput" for citadel and it stuck as an industry mainstay, mainly due to it's destinctive green color, a clever marketing ploy by the evil empire indeed. Many professional sculptors use both green stuff and miliput in their work for three ups, depending on the part of the model they're sculpting.
Miliput mixes faster than green stuff, although if mixed to wet it does cover your hands in a dusty paste, but it washes off really easily. I tend to work it dry then use wet tools after. For this base i squeezed a sausage onto the base and then worked the cobble effect in with a cuticle tool (used during manicures and picked up from pound land for next to nothing in a nail kit). The miliput set to hard in about three hours, but will need to cure overnight for painting. I couldn't wait any longer as i really wanted to see this fighter on his base for reference. It worked out really well and the effect really sells the "feel" of the model. I can't wait to paint this one!
I also got a wash on those cavemen and my black/brown mix worked perfectly bringing to life all those larger flatter skin areas. as with most of my work the proof is really in the pudding, so i can't wait to get this lot done and in the photo booth to show off these whacky sculpts.
BLIND BEGGAR GAMES CAVEMEN
The beauty of aiming at smaller comissions these days is that i get these tiny gems that come across the desk once in a while. Sometimes its a vintage model, sometimes its a unique brand. Today i put the finishing touches on the base coats for these fantastic cartoon cavemen from Blind Beggar games.
They're very fun to paint and i honestly had no idea what i was getting myself in for.
As a big fan of Wallace and Gromit (and all ardman animations) i personally derive a sense of familiarity from them in realtion to that style.
My client (John, a lovely man i met a few years ago in person at a convention who has a jovial disposition and a kindly demeanour and with whom i've had a long running and trusting relationship) wanted them as they are on the kickstarter page, but i cleaned up the style a little making the eyes a bit mroe cartoony and a bit less...creepy?
Once the paint has cured on these models i will get them inked and then get all those lovely cartoony details back up to level with some highlights. i'm thinking a home made black wash for these so that the minor detailing in the low quality sculpting can pop a bit more and all the furry textures come out also providing a little automatic black lining which would suit this gawdy type of miniature.
GANGS OF ROME
My second lot from this same client this week is a Gangs of rome order. This lot will receive a much more naturalistic and realistic paint job with softer and smoother highlights that the cartoony Cavemen.
I personally have some negative thoughts on the gangs of rome pricing model (how it's ridiculous) that i won't share in detail as this blog is about art and the process and not my thoughts on capitolism, however i am glad none the less to get a chance to paint some romans and more specifically civillians as i am not a fan of rank and file roman soliders (work wise) as they can be a pain! (anything uniform can be a pain for quick work, but bright red armor is a buggar to get right en masse). Painting all of these nice warm cloth colors should be a pleasure. I recently read an article about how ancient rome was not white at all but rather an extremely mixed race place. I may ask my client if he fancies a mix of skin tones.
As with all of my orders the romans have a dedicated tray in the workshop that helps me to keep organised. I have stuck them on pennies but my client and i are still communicating about the best approach for basing. I have now received the mdf bases that are required for the game in the post but there is one or two missing and i think maybe the suppliers didn't send them to my client. I am sure we will hash this out soon. In the meantime i attempted to remove a fighter from his tab base with a small saw that my flat mate has. It was a success and he came off smoothly at the bottom of his feet. So i mixed up some miliput and i made a test base in "cobble" finish.
I haven't sculpted in a long time, so that was a very satisfying process.
I can't wait for it to cure so i can drill his feet and get him onto it, and get a test model painted for this lot. I could of course paint a test model as they are but i don't want to get around to removing their tab bases and then ruin any paint jobs (you have to hold them pretty toughly to saw off the bases). So for now i shall progress on this order again soon once we have ironed out the kinks.
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A blog for the w.i.p element of the EZPainter process.