Monday, June 29, 2009

Back of Beyond

I love pulp stories and settings, ever since I first saw Indiana Jones as a child. When Copplestone Castings released their Back of Beyond range, I went on a binge, getting several packs and painting them up over the course of a month. I did the following back in 2004, and they placed in the MOAB painting competition that year for Historical Unit (I think).

Armed Archaeologists:
American Adventurers:
Paelontologist and fossils:
British Officers:
German Mercenaries:
These were painted with a simple wash/layer approach. It was a lot of fun picking out colours that would work well for the pulp period. One of the Armed Archaeologists has been done up to look like Rick O'Connell (from the Mummy), and one of the American Adventurers is suppose to be a Young Indiana Jones.

PS. I forgot to make a not-painted-by-me post last week, so maybe I'll do something extra to make up for it this week.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Rackham Ashan'Tyr

I painted this miniature back in 2003 (won best Large Monster at MOAB Painting Competion for that year too). Ashan'Tyr was one miniature I had to get after seeing Jeremie's version when I stayed at his place in Lyon. She is my favourite out of all the female wolfen sculpts, and a lot of fun to paint. It's also probably the only miniature where I've been happy with the NMM work I did - though now that I look at the it, there's a lot of room for improvement.

Perhaps I should go back and update bits of her paintjob as an Improvometer exercise - although I got a relatively smooth finish for her skin, it lacks contrast and zenithal lighting to match the NMM. The steel NMM also needs more specular reflections and contrast to match the gold. And perhaps make the base more interesting. Either that, or I should work through my other Wolfen first. :)

Here's a montage shot:

Friday, June 19, 2009

Crunchwaffle Angel's Advocate by Zordana

It's Friday again! So continuing with the tradition started last week... this is the Angel's Advocate painted by Zordana, who lives on the opposite side of the country from me. I think it was a Children-in-Need charity auction where I picked up this one.

Crunchwaffle do some interesting miniatures and Zordana has done a nice job bringing out the hunched monster personality lurking in the Angel's Advocate. Check out that hairy belly! I'm not quite sure what it is exactly that he's advocating...

You can catch up with Zordana and see more of her work on her website, Tiny Souls.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Games Day Orc Warboss

I finally got around to taking photos of the miniatures I painted last year (and it wasn't really that many, I'm ashamed to say). First up is the Orc Warboss that I did as a test of skin colour and shading for my Ork Kommando unit. He is the special Golden Demon miniature for 2007. I ended up taking this guy to Games Day L.A. and got an Honourable Mention in the Warhammer Single category.

It turned out that (at least amongst OzPainters), this has been quite a popular model to paint - I remember the initial criticism of the model and the official GW paintjob when it was first announced. The paint scheme I chose is very much inspired by the one Sebastian did - pale green skin, lots of bold red, and an arid base with a spotted mushroom.

Here are some pics from different angles.

A good back view. The idea of the checker pattern on the shield's teeth came from seeing a Black Orc boss painted by Sean Gray for a miniature exchange.

A thread on OzPainters if you prefer to comment there. And if you are curious about Orc Warbosses painted by other OzPainters:

Friday, June 12, 2009

Freebooter's Aspera by Jen Haley

I figured I should do something a bit different on Fridays, so I'm going to show-off a figure not painted by me each week. To start off with, I'm going to go through my own collection of miniatures by other painters (most scored off Ebay or from charity auctions).

So here's Aspera, a Freebooter miniature painted by Jen Haley. I've always admired Jen's miniatures, and for me to actually win this one on Ebay was quite a thrill. One thing I love is the way Jen paints her faces - she adds a lot of depth and character to the miniatures through careful painting of the eyes, skin tones and lips.
The other thing Jen is famous for is her NMM - here's a montage shot of the figure from differnet angles, you can see the NMM at work:
Check out her website, Paintrix Miniatures, to see more of her work. Jen also does commissions and regularly puts up painted works on Ebay, so go check out her site!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Playing with GW Washes

I have planning to show some photos of my experiments with the new Games Workshop washes for a while, and the other day, I'd been talking to Jenova about it on her blog. So I've picked a few things I've tried the washes on to see how they would turn out.

The Almost Dip Method (aka Devlan Mud Bath)

I collect Star Wars and Dungeons and Dragons pre-painted miniatures, and one method they use is base colours and an ink wash to define the details. This technique is also used by army painters in what is referred to as "dipping", where the whole figure is dipped into the (usually) ink/wash mixture - usually a varnish. In fact, a company called Army Painter has released tins of special wash for doing armies in this method. I thought I'd try a more conservative approach, and brush on GW Wash instead of physically dipping the whole miniature in, since GW Washes aren't that cheap.

Here's a photo of some Milton Bradley Hero Quest miniatures I painted recently (I blame Insaniak and his brilliant work on painting Hero Quest that got me inspired to pull out these old miniatures again). Here's a photo of them out of the box... well, however far I got into painting them when I was twelve.
The next photo shows some greenskins done up in GW Foundation paints, the colours painted on neatly in the right places. I painted with reasonably thin coats, which went straight over the top of the crappy paintjobs. I didn't even bother with any black (or brown) lining, I figured the wash would do that for me. Sure they're not going to win any awards, but they're fine for my gaming table (and experimentation).
And here is the result - a very matt finish with the shading in the right place. The magic colour is Devlan Mud, a blackish brown colour that is perfect as a lining colour. Just slather it on, no dilution or anything (water makes it go funny). Unlike Tamiya Smoke or their other clear paints, the GW Washes dry really thin, despite the thick feel when it is wet.

Pre-Shading using GW Washes

My next experiment was to see if the washes could be used to provide guidance for zenithal highlights, much like using a spray of white paint over a black or grey undercoat to give hints of lighting direction on display miniatures (or other things that won't end up as monsters and cannon fodder in my games).

Colour intensity can be built up over the initial pre-shade through thinned layers of paint, the wash providing a guide as to where to place the layers. Sebastian has written a great article on OzPainters about blending through translucency.

So below is a work in progress Saruman from the GW Lord of the Rings range. He'd been given a coat of Reaper Ghoul Skin, followed by a Badab Black wash. I spread it quite thin over the robes, so it might be a bit hard to see.
You can see I've started to work in the colours - the front parts of the robe near the ground have been blended back up with layers of RM Ghoul Skin and PP Menoth White Base. Here is Saruman again from another angle.
Next up is a figure a bit futher along on the highlighting process, a Jade Triad alchemist from Kraken Edition's Alkemy range. I've actually finished the robes on him - but I used the same technique of pre-shading as I have on Saruman. First I did a coat of Astronomican Grey, followed by a Badab Black wash (a much heavier wash than I did with Saruman), and blended back to the mid-tone of Astronomican Grey, and finally blended the highlights by added Skull White with the grey.
Here's a shot from the back - eventually I plan to paint a dragon going all around his robes as per the official Kraken studio paintjob.

What works for you?
So that's it for now - I'm sure there's lots of other ways the washes can be used. Feel free to leave a comment with your own experiments!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Street Violence from the Collection

Here are some Street Violence figures from my collection, done in 2002 (back in the days when Counterstrike was going strong with my friends), with the exception of the two guys who snuck into the back ranks of the Yakuza pic. All all these have fairly standard gaming paint jobs - solid colours with a bit of edge highlighting.

First up are two SWAT teams. The sniper is my favourite, I did up his gun to look like the arctic warfare magnum from Counterstrike.
This pack was basically all guys in helmets and MP5's.
And some folks in suits... this is Juno's Crew:
And Yakuza - well the front three are Yakuza, the back two are figures I finished back in January, one is Jules to go along with Vince from Juno's Crew, and the other is a US secret agent by the Assault Group.
One thing I always thought was odd with the Street Violence range was the unexplained extra large guy in the pack, who stood a good head taller than all his compatriots. Probably a result of working off the same dollies I guess. There wasn't one in the Yakuza pack, but you can see it in the two SWAT teams and Juno's Crew. The other thing that is a bit odd is that the underside of the hands on the Street Violence figures have no details. Cleaning is not too bad, but there is still a decent amount of cleaning to be done.

Overall, I think they're decent value for what you get, but be prepared to do some cleaning before painting.