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Xumenicus

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Xumenicus last won the day on October 28 2016

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About Xumenicus

  • Rank
    Rabble Rouser
  • Birthday 04/04/77

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Colorado
  • Interests
    The usual. Sculpting, painting, mountain biking, fly fishing, video games, and sometimes I actually try to play table top, too.

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  1. Colorado Cons

  2. Massive Voodoo Water Base (No Minis)

    Not completely submerged unless you count the coelacanth I sculpted for this, but I've done half-submerged here: http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/71496-dagons-emissary-reapercon-2016-parts-03707-and-03497/ Mathieu Fontaine did a really great one maybe 5 or 10 years ago, but if I remember correctly, he used multiple pours in an attempt to keep bubbles at a minimum -- that's why you can see thin layers of bubbles in the final product (instead of potentially lots of bubbles). The article of how he did it isn't up anymore, though. @Sanael -- The base is about 2" in diameter. And yes, this was done with 1 pour. I don't have a vacuum chamber for degassing, but I did sort of a poor man's de-gassing by slowly pouring the resin back and forth 3 or 4 times (really can't remember) between 2 cups. This helps to both to mix it a little more, but also gives any problematic bubbles a chance to pop because the stream going into the next cup is somewhat thin. Doing that also consumes resin because it adheres to the cup walls. That's why I really should have mixed more, and just barely had enough mixed for the project.
  3. Colorado Cons

    I'll continue to update that list, and clean it up a bit to make it easier to read.
  4. Colorado Cons

    A couple people are trying to get miniature painting events back into Genghis. It's slow-going, though. :/ A list of conventions with gaming (and a couple without), and CoMMiESFest has painting events (I haven't been to one yet, though, so I don't know how big they are)... NOTE: This is an incomplete list, but it's getting there... Key: [C] Comics [Cos] Costuming [VG] Video Games [TG] Tabletop Games [M] Modeling [L] Literary [F] Fantasy [SF] Sci-Fi [Merch] Merchandise [A] Anime [TV] TV, Movies List: JAN, Denver, HexaCon, [TG], https://www.hexacondenver.org/ FEB, Colorado Springs, GalaxyFest, [SF][L][TG][Cos][Merch], http://www.galaxyfest.org/ FEB, Denver, Genghis Con, [TG][Merch], https://coloradogaming.net/ MAR, Denver, Colorado Anime Fest, [A], http://coanimefest.com/ MAR, Denver, WhimsyCon, [Cos], https://www.whimsycon.org/ MAR, Golden, CoMMiESFest, [M], http://www.commiesfest.com/ APR, Denver, Starfest, [SF][L][TV][Cos][Merch], http://starland.com/ JUN, Denver, Denver Comic Con, [C][A][SF][TV][L][Cos][Merch], http://denvercomiccon.com/ JUL, Denver, MALCon, [L], https://www.malcondenver.org/ AUG, Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs Comic Con, [C][TV][L][Merch], http://www.cscomiccon.com/ AUG, Denver, Nan Desu Kan, [A][M][Merch], https://ndkdenver.org/events/2018-nan-desu-kan/ SEP, Denver, Tacticon, [TG][Merch], https://coloradogaming.net/ OCT, Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs Comic and Toy Con, [TV][Merch], http://www.cospringscomicandtoycon.com/ OCT, Denver, Rocky Mountain Hobby Expo, [M][Merch], http://rockymountainhobby-expo.com/ OCT, Denver, MileHiCon, [L][F][TV][SF][C][TG][Merch], http://www.milehicon.org/ NOV, Denver, Daku Con, [A][C][TG][Merch], http://dakucon.org/
  5. Massive Voodoo Water Base (No Minis)

    I've been afraid to look up other entries. I'm sure there are at least a dozen that are off-the-wall amazing. I thought about doing the Mad Max one last year, and the robot one just before, but after seeing the final entries -- yeah, none of my ideas would have been even halfway as cool. We still got stuff done, though! /highfive
  6. I'm starting to get lost here, so I figured I'd make an index of stuff I've posted. Many of these are loaded with enough pics and text that they're almost mini-tutorials. Questions and comments are always welcome. If you don't get a reply within a couple days, find me on Facebook, or add me on Battle.net (Xumenicus#1118). ReaperCon Final Photos 2016: https://reapercon.com/mspopen/2016/artist/Joshua Anaya 2015: https://reapercon.com/mspopen/2015/artist/Joshua Anaya Projects Massive Voodoo Water Base (No Minis) http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/77445-massive-voodoo-water-base-no-minis/ Pathfinder Seoni Bust (ReaperCon 2016 Open Gold) http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/71475-pathfinder-seoni-bust-reapercon-2016/ Dagon's Emissary (ReaperCon 2016 Diorama Silver) http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/71496-dagons-emissary-reapercon-2016-parts-03707-and-03497/ Grudge Power Armor Bust (ReaperCon 2015 Open Gold, Bronze Sophie) http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/71528-grudge-power-armor-reapercon-2015-bronze-sophie/ Dark Sword Mole Alchemist Diorama (ReaperCon 2015 Diorama Gold) http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/71534-dark-sword-mole-alchemistdiorama/ Ork Timberwolf Vehicle (WiP) http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/71497-ork-timberwolf-half-scratch-half-gw-stompa/ 14479: Dryad (Heavily adminned because she's female. Haven't gotten around to fixing.) (WiP) http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/71536-14479-dryadbut-more/ Power Armored Dwarves (WiP, and possibly forgotten and/or lost) http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/71652-power-armored-dwarves/ Caddisfly Larva (Fishing) http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/72652-caddisfly-larva-something-completely-different/ Completely Failed Tower Implosion Diorama (Dead) http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/71535-completely-failed-tower-implosion-diorama/ Informational Me hijacking somebody else's thread, and using it to track conventions in Colorado http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/77238-colorado-cons/#comment-1636600
  7. Massive Voodoo Water Base (No Minis)

    PROBLEM, from my daughter: Where are the waves? Yeah, waves. SirLarpsAlot suggested using Woodland Scenics Water Effects to build up some waves. [pic_22] I had never used it before, and him, SEEMING LIKE HE HAD EXPERIENCE WITH IT, sounded like he knew what he was talking about. It took 3 applications with an old paintbrush, as well as using a blow dryer to speed up the drying process, but I love how they came out. Also, he had zero experience with it, and I was unknowingly being used as a guinea pig. After I had some waves, though, it threw off my whole final vision. I had actually been out a lake a couple weekends before this for a treehugger lake cleanup day, and the scene reminded me of these giant piles of driftwood on the windy edge of the lake. I ended up repainting the tree like driftwood, and was pretty much done. Look at the coelacanth poking his head out from the shadows. Awesome, huh? Planned and unplanned. That's one of those "It'd be cool if..." and "Wow, it actually kinda worked" kind of things. [pic_23] Done, except my daughter came by again and was like, "That looks like when we were at the lake, and we spent all afternoon cutting fishing line off all that driftwood." It was an amazing idea. I had some 8/0 dun colored thread -- I couldn't find anything smaller. If I do this again, I'll try to find smaller, but this worked well. I put a lure at the end, too. You can see where the Water Effects by the tree are still cloudy and drying. [pic_24] Finished. [pic_25] More finished. I have some fancy backdrops from Hangar 18, but they seemed distracting, so I went with black paper instead. Photos are all taken with a Samsung Galaxy 7 phone. [pic_26] All in all, I'm glad it's done, and I love how the surface looks. I'm totally not at all happy with the end result an inch below the surface, though. The refraction from the curved surface takes so much away from the sculpting work I did that if I were to do this again, I'd only do half the level of detail, and maybe put in more lichen. Or maybe use flat sides instead of a curved one. This has made me seriously rethink a few underwater dioramas/bases I've been wanting to do. I need slightly better pics. The lightness of the driftwood against the darkness of the rest of the base seems to get washed out. I'll have to play with my settings a little more.
  8. Massive Voodoo Water Base (No Minis)

    Tried to dam up the piece as well as I could. This is fairly thin styrene -- maybe 1mm. Duct tape. The plastic and tape together are watertight. It took a few minutes to really cinch down the plastic around the base, though. USE A RELEASE AGENT. Before doing your final dam construction on your piece, spray your dam with a release agent like Ease Release 200 Mold Release Agent or Smooth-On Universal Mold Release. Follow the instructions on the can. Do NOT get any on your piece, except where the dam contacts your base. The release agent will keep you from gluing everything together. [pic_15] This is where that disclaimer way up in my first post comes in. I didn't know how this would turn out, if I'd get air bubbles, if I'd have trapped air (tried to engineer everything so that wouldn't happen), if the resin would set clear -- really, a whole lot of things. Before you do something like this, you should spend a few minutes emotionally distancing yourself from what you're about to potentially destroy. Resin Used: Castin' Craft® Clear Polyester Casting Resin. You can get it at Michael's, Hobby Lobby, online. It comes in a metal tin with a tiny dropper bottle of curing agent. It's smelly, but it sets in a couple hours, and you can de-mold in 24 hours. It takes a day or two for most of the smell to dissipate, and maybe a week for it to be maybe 99% gone, unless you really put your face on it. Tint: I actually DID tint it, but only a little. I used a couple drops of paint (not the best thing), and mixed it in. The water based acrylic doesn't play well with the polyester, but if you stir well, you can get the particles mixed in enough for a decent tint. They sell tints, but...who plans for that? Plus, cost, especially if you're only doing a small piece. Process: Follow the instructions. Try to pre-measure your estimated volume in another cup. I pre-measured 5 ounces, and baaaaaaarely made it. I should have done 6. When you pour, do little bits at a time, slowly, and slowly slosh it around to get good coverage on everything. LEVELING: Don't forget to level your resting surface! It takes a minute, but you'll be way more pleased with the result. [pic_16] Wait. It's gonna be a long 24 hours. This piece got to about 120 degrees when the curing agent kicked in. It was hot. I kept it in a bathroom that nobody used, and kept the fan on. Don't leave it outside in the cold -- the resin needs the heat to cure. And, like I said, it'll melt your mixing cups. I didn't use polyethelene cups -- they're more expensive, and this was a small project. I mean, you probably should if you were doing huge pours, but this is a small project. [pic_17] 24 hours later -- de-mold. Hopefully, everything cured, and it's not all goopy and sticky. This came out way better than I expected. It'll be murky from the release agent, but hey! This is pretty good! And yes, I made a tiny school of fish, too. :) NOTE THE COLOR OF THE GROUND HERE. IT IS BLUE. THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT. LOOK AT THE NOTE FOR PIC 20 IF YOU'RE USING THIS AS A TUTORIAL AND SEAL YOUR WORK BEFORE SANDING. [pic_18] Sanding: In order to get that ultra smooth, glossy finish, you'll need to sand your work. I used the same process that I used on my Dagon diorama -- 100 grit for any large nubs that need to come off, but by and large, start out with 200 grit. Get an even finish, and then scale up to 400 grit, 600, and then 1,000 grit. This will leave you with a somewhat opaque mess. USE WATER! Water will help keep dust from collecting, and from going everywhere. Do this in the sink, or in a little basin, or something. Either way, use water to wet sand it. [pic_19] Once sanded and smooth, leave it out in the sun to bake for a couple hours to make sure everything's dry. After that, give it a few good coats of high gloss clear acrylic sealant. Don't be stingy -- you want the surface to look wet. Also, don't soak it, or you'll get drips. I used Tree House Studio Clear Acrylic High Gloss Coating on this, but after doing some research, I found some UV-resistant sealants, and I think for longevity, and to keep your pieces from yellowing, you'd want to use something with UV resistance. NOTE THE COLOR OF THE GROUND HERE. IT IS TAN. THIS IS ALSO REALLY IMPORTANT. What happened? I'm not sure. I noticed it after sanding. You can see it in the previous pic, too. The resin shrank ever so slightly that it pulled away from the bottom of the base. I'm not sure if the inside surface of the resin was uncured, and zip-cured when the water hit it, and it turned cloudy, or if the cloudiness is a collection of sawdust and sanded polyester particles that were forced into the separation during the sanding process. In any case: BEFORE SANDING, APPLY A UV-CURING NAIL POLISH TO EXPOSED AREAS WHERE ACRYLIC MEETS YOUR WORK, AND CURE IT TO PREVENT WATER SEEPAGE. Don't use air-dry -- it won't dry if it seeps in. [pic_20] Check that out. It's like a sandy beach with seaweed on a calm day. [pic_21]
  9. Massive Voodoo Water Base (No Minis)

    Tiny tree branches. 24 gauge untwisted copper wire. Living dangerously. [pic_08] Not going for anything perfect. Was planning on putting some leaves on the tree, and doing an autumn scene. Because it's autumn. [pic_09] And I like all the weird interesting things that fungus does on trees. [pic_10] I wanted to sculpt some fish. Really proud of my 15 minute coelacanth, here. Don't overthink it, don't overanalyze it, and do a couple quick 2-5 minute sketches from reference photos, and then just sit down and do it. [pic_11] I made some crabs, too. I somehow missed taking pics between priming and basecoating. [pic_12] Little further along... [pic_13] So, I spent like an hour trying to figure out how to tint my resin in a gradient, so it'd be darker near the bottom, and clearer up top. For the life of me, I couldn't remember how I did it on my Dagon diorama, and it was sitting in a case at my LGS, so I didn't have access to it (and it was midnight, so I couldn't make it down). I found some progress pics from my old phone, and saw that I did progress washes on the ground to darken up the deeper areas. Doh. Not an option here -- too much going on. I ended up airbrushing it, and it only took a couple minutes. [pic_14] NOTE: Take a minute and actually look at that right there. I'm really happy with that. Sure, I wish I had painted it better, but I wasn't sure how it'd come out after I poured the resin. Either way, I'm happy with my work right here. I'm going to come back to something like this later on -- maybe a dwarf in a cavern, or Frodo chatting it up with Gollum -- I don't know. But I like this. Letting go of this, and not knowing how it would come out on the other side, was really tough.
  10. Standby for massive dump in 3... 2... 1... Chopping this up into a few pieces for easy posting/consumption. Where I've been: Video games (Xumenicus#1118, if you're on Battle.net), bought a new house, running a fly fishing tournament for a treehugger non-profit, part-running my treehugger fly fishing non-profit local chapter, some other random stuff, and yeah -- here we are. I promise to paint more. Seriously. I just need to paint and sculpt more. I also need to fish more. And game more. I guess this is a thing: Apparently, I need deadlines in order to get anything done. This time around, since I couldn't make it to RC2017 (travel budget blown on BlizzCon), I aimed for a couple different challenges over at Massive Voodoo: http://massivevoodoo.blogspot.com/2017/07/mv-challenge-2017.html Objective: Make a water-themed base. No central miniature, no real focus -- just a base. And it has to be mostly water. Disclaimer: I'm not at all confident, or consider myself proficient with clear resin. I wasn't sure how good/bad/terrible this piece would turn out, so I didn't spend days painting this. It's got a few rough layers of highlights, a few rough layers of shadows, and basically I just wanted to turn something in, have fun doing it, and not stress about being good enough to win. The MV crowd is amazing -- I was just trying to get closer to touching the sun. :) Supply List: Wood, coping saw, cyano super glue, wire, green stuff, sculpting tools, paint, brushes, old brushes, Ease Release 200 Mold Release Agent, plastic Solo cups, nitrile gloves, popsicles sticks (fox mixing resin), Castin' Craft® Clear Polyester Casting Resin, small sheet of plasticard, duct tape, Tree House Studio Clear Acrylic High Gloss Coating spray, sandpaper (100, 200, 400, 600, 1000 grit), Woodland Scenics Lichen, Woodland Scenics Water Effects, fly tying thread, level for leveling the curing area I did a few sketches one night so I could figure out what to do, and this is where I ended up. I thought about doing a waterfall, or something cooler, but I was kind of in a time crunch, and only had 3 weeks, especially since things are still calming down from moving. [pic_00] Picked out a piece of wood from my scrap pile... [pic_01] Went to work with a coping saw until I had a pleasing, interesting shape... [pic_02] Learning from past mistakes with trying to get green stuff to adhere to wood, I opted to seal the wood this time. I used cyano, and 2 old brushes. It actually works really well as a wood sealer ( http://www.woodworkersjournal.com/cyanoacrylate-everything-you-need-to-know/ ), but you need to be extra careful due to the amount being used -- more of a chance to glue yourself to something, glue to project to something, and the fumes will sneak up on you real quick, and burn your eyes or nose. Fair warning. Be careful. [pic_03] I opted to use green stuff for the project. That's where my comfort zone still is, even though I'm trying to work more with Beesputty and ZBrush. The bit of twisted copper wire there is to support an additional column. Do an image search for "limestone underwater caves", and you'll see where I'm going with this. [pic_04] More... [pic_05] A little more... [pic_06] Starting the tree. Do a search on "limestone cliffs trees roots", and you'll see where I'm headed even more. [pic_07]
  11. A Goblin in Cougar Town

    Do you have time to whip up a light pole real quick? It needs a light pole.
  12. Reapercon classes

    Having been to both BlizzCon, and ReaperCon numerous times -- both conventions are wildly different. BlizzCon is a fully open-area convention, with zero private knowledge transfer (classes) that can be re-sold or pirated (unless you count the game previews, but Blizzard tries to publicly post those before anybody else can post to Youtube). The classes at ReaperCon, though, are small (8 to 12 people), private events, that we pay for, in addition to the convention. I think that's the main defining factor for the classes -- they're private (tons of public events at RC, too, though). Many of the professional painters that teach classes at ReaperCon have paid online services, channels, and DVDs that are already available for purchase, and many of these are more in-depth and focused than what you'd get in a mildly chaotic, friendly, laid-back class. I'd link, but I'm not sure what the forum rules would say about quasi-Reaper-related-but-not-Reaper merchandise. Easy enough to Google, though.
  13. Reaper logo sticker

    Any chance at getting a smaller one? The big ones are great, and all, but maybe something in the 4" to 6" range would be great, even if the skull/horns lost some resolution.
  14. "Open Training" at ReaperCon

    And see, I'm trying to get to the root of a few issues I'm already seeing, because whether or not this might be logistically possible to do at a crowded venue... Why wait until one weekend a year to paint? Why wait until one weekend a year to ask questions? And...while you're there already, why not ask questions? What will be different between asking for feedback in Artists' Row, and asking for feedback while you're at a table at the convention (which, I might add -- most classes have Q and A sessions where you can get 1:1 feedback). And why wait...because... All of us are already here. We can give feedback and help right now. This forum has been great all around. Time is an issue for all of us, but time is also a vital piece of the art. I'd almost suggest a class on "Time Management for Miniature Projects", or "Painting While Binge Watching, and What to Watch While Painting", as classes that might be more useful. Only painting one weekend a year in a class won't do much to improve your skill level unless you have time to practice even if it's just one weekend a month, or a couple nights here and there while watching TV. I actually have a friend whose wife used to hate miniatures, and nerds in general, and he used to have to feign food poisoning every few weeks just so he could paint in the bathroom without her giving him grief. He got pretty good, too. I'm still trying to get him to go to ReaperCon, or even to our local conventions to compete. Time is critical. For instance, the only real feedback I got last year at RC was: "You should have spent another 20 hours on this. I saw your pics of the tile you laid in the bathroom last week when you should have been painting, though, and that tile job looks great."
  15. "Open Training" at ReaperCon

    This is probably the biggest detriment to having issues with workspace and workflow. If you only paint at ReaperCon, you don't have a workflow or workspace to critique. Do you have a dedicated space to work on at home? Or something semi-dedicated? Doing anything more than a few hours, one weekend a year, is critical to becoming better at it, whether it's painting, sculpting, bowling, or knife throwing. Up until 2 years ago, my youngest kid was still pretty grabby, the only desk I could use was usually filled with homework from my older kids, and I could only paint after 10pm after everyone had crashed for the night. I had to keep everything in a portable paint station that I could pick up, and move to a shelf at the end of the night. Staying self contained and portable is definitely possible if you don't have a dedicated space at home.
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