TaleSpinner

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Everything posted by TaleSpinner

  1. Well, here I go again. With my tight schedule, there was no way I was going to get the Hakuna Matata diorama sculpted and painted. So I am going to paint my Coraline Thaddington sculpt. I have been wanting to paint her ever since I sculpted her. This will still be a challenge, since though the volume of modeling and painting is lower, the paint job I have in mind for her is considerably more complex than anything I have attempted before. I originally sculpted her because I was very inspired by the works of artist Sarah Ellerton, specifically, the character Anya from The Phoenix Requiem. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it as it is very good. I was also heavily inspired by Jane Austin, my wife, and a burgeoning love of steampunk. The sculpt was actually derived from over 40 different sources, so I have a lot of inspiration to choose from for a paint job. That said, I want to pay homage to Anya from TPR first as that is where I first fell in love with the period. I plan on painting her with a derivation of this artwork by Sarah Ellerton from TPR: I de-flashed and polished her last night. I just primed her and took my initial shots. When I am painting for a show like this, I always take photos of the mini with forward zenithal lighting after priming. These I make black and white and use then throughout the painting process to check my highlight and shadow placement. I will also print a couple out and use them to test color combinations. They also let me check to see if any areas need additional polishing, smoothing, and filling. By the pictures, I need to work on her right cheek and right side a bit more. Hopefully, paint will happen tomorrow night. Andy
  2. I base coated her last night: In so doing, I found that two of her fingers and thumb are malformed due to the mold line. I shaved them down with my knife and will fix them with putty tonight.
  3. Paint a platypus...they're small, and Lord knows you have enough of them.
  4. Get the whoa factor, but one thing is a bit off. On the dagger in her right hand (and maybe the sword to a lesser degree), the NMM looks...off. Can't quite put my finger on it, but it seems too abrupt, or something. Other than that, fantastic!
  5. Thanks! My wife has an ultrasonic cleaner, so I can try this. I found that my power-washer works great for getting the big stuff off, but a final hit with citric acid in the cleaner is exactly what I am looking for. Thanks and welcome to the forums.
  6. So, after a lot of thought, research, and discussion, my wife and I have decided to purchase a lost-wax casting system. Essentially this is a system for casting any metal with a melting point below 2000 deg F into jewelry, minis, etc. Unlike the spin casting used by companies like Reaper, this will be low volume with only 10 to 50 pieces a day possible. I should note right away, that I do not intend at this time to go into minis production/sales on my own. So what do I intend to do with it: Make jewelry for my wife and our business. Eventually (10+ years), we would like to get into producing our own line of gold and silver jewelry and become seasonal vendors at various Ren Fairs as a retirement career once the kids are out of college. Of course this is a long term goal and won't happen for a long time yet. I'll practice on copper and pewter first. Make rings for our sister parish in Haiti. Due to various cultural reasons, most Haitians won't get married until they have a pair of rings. This can be very hard for some of the poorer people, so they just stay apart and don't get married. My wife can by old jewelry under value and I'll be able to melt them down and make them new rings and send them down to them as they need it. (We've been giving them the rings she finds, but this way we will be able to cast them in the shapes and sizes they actually need/want.) Make armatures for my sculpts. I spend a lot of time resculpting skulls and basic forms because I have to start from scratch. This will allow me to make a library of animal armatures and other stuff to speed up my sculpting. Also, I will be able to produce better sculpts by being able to control how much and what type of metal is in the armature. I don't ever want to send Reaper another piece of furniture that warps on the mold again (bookcase, I'm looking at you). For sculpts I can't/don't want to sell, I'll be able to make copies for my friends and I (maybe even some goodies for things like the BOGW ). I'm sure I'll think up other uses as I get more skilled at it. I started reading, studying, and taking some classes on the subject in the past few years. I'm at a point where the only way forward is to take the plunge and buy the equipment so I can begin practicing and learning for real. My finances are at a good spot for it now, so I took the plunge and ordered a kit from Gesswein. The following equipment is on its way: Rubber mold vulcanizer (small single figure version of what Reaper uses) Wax injector (for making wax copies in the rubber molds) Burnout oven (for baking the wax copies out of the molds before casting) Vacuum casting machine (for removing air from the molds and later pulling the metal into the molds during casting) Flasks, investment, wax bits, rubber, and lots of other materials needed. Here is a picture of the kit I bought: I won't be able to just jump in and start casting right away. I still will need to get a method of melting the metal (either a torch or an electric furnace). I'll also need to rework my basement studio with new benches, electrical outlets, and venting to make it safe, which is where this thread comes in, as I thought you all might be interested in this, so I plan on documenting everything here, from the unboxing, to the building, to the first cast piece. I'm very very excited! Andy
  7. Welcome! I think you and I are going to be friends! Very nice work. I love the ladle. I too am a sculptor. I work for several mini companies like Reaper, Dark Sword, Dark Fable, Dragon Bait, et. al. I also am getting into casting. I've spent the last year building a lost wax foundry in my basement and learning how to mold and cast my minis and soon, jewelry and other items. So welcome, and I look forward to future discussions.
  8. I took the photos from the last post and glued a few into my journal and started working out the colors I want to use. Here is a picture of the results: I like the brightness of the first one, but the Carnival Purple and the Pale Lichen are too close in Saturation? (I think that's the right term, @Corporea can set me straight if not, as I learned this from her). Essentially, if you look at this as black and white, the purple and green look nearly the same. So I decided to go darker on the purple. That way the purple will be my darkest tone, the green and pink/mauve as mid tones, and the cream on the lace and gloves as a light tone. I also want fairly cool colors in her dress to offset/accentuate the warm tones in her skin and hair. For the purple, I tried making it by adding black to one of my existing purple colors and it turned out muddy, with no vibrancy. Yuck. It looked like a dark bruise. So I changed directions and made an even mix of Blue Liner, Red Liner, and Clear Purple. Bingo, that is what I am looking for. I highlighted this with a bit of straight clear purple to get what you see in the second two pictures. I nearly have her dialed in, but didn't like the green in the front panel of her dress. So I painted the third picture with it in purple and like that best. I'll have to do something interesting with the highlighting to pick out the lace on the panel if it is the same color. I have ideas though... I also deflashed and polished the arm with the fan. I won't be using the pistol arm or the top hat. Tonight, the painting begins.
  9. Mmmmm...I like the way you think. I often paint while enjoying a glass of wine. Lately, I've been working through some Riesling, but Merlot is my favorite red. Thank you! I'd really like to see that. Do you have it posted somewhere?
  10. It shows up on Zazzle when you search on ReaperCon. It has a price. It looks legit.
  11. It is still on Zazzle, but you have to search for ReaperCon. It doesn't appear with the rest of the Reaper shirts from the Apparel link. It must not be tagged the same. I've worn mine so much it is pretty faded. I'm considering getting a new one.
  12. Funded

    The latter. The slots typically stretch across the base and you plug any area not covered by mini with putty.
  13. Call first. The Blick stores up here no longer stock these brushes. They all have to be ordered online now. But at least I can take them to the store to return them and Blick is good about understanding when a brush looks ok, but doesn't function. A little more on starting size: I think the reason that a lot of good painters recommend larger brushes, is that as you improve, you can do more with the bigger brush. There are advanced techniques that are hard or impossible with the smaller sizes. I think a lot of us get frustrated by seeing people who have progressed skill-wise still being hampered by their 00 and 000 brushes (or God forbid, 5/0), so the instruction is to get the big brush and learn to use it from the get go. I think that that is not necessarily the best advice, because I think that it tends to frustrate the beginner even more and they will either not thin their paints enough, or they'll just give up. DKS once said something that I thought was perfect (paraphrase here), "Use the largest brush you can control." For him that may be a size 2. For me, it is a 1 or 0. For my son who is just starting, it is a 0 or 00. I like having a 2, 1, 0, and 00 in my tool box. I use them for different things. As my control gets better and better, I have found the smaller ones are collecting more dust and the bigger ones get the use.
  14. Also, bear in mind that the sizes are not uniform. A W&N Series 7, size 0 is not the same as the 0 in a R&C or Davinci. It isn't even the same as another series in W&N. The reason is that the size is only one measurement. The style of brush, the length of the bristles, the size of the belly, etc. all change how a brush reacts. That said, each individual brush also has its own flaws and strengths that you need to adapt to (or decide that it is not good). I always prefer to buy my brushes in person, but that has become very difficult in recent years.
  15. Actually, I wanted to comment a little deeper on this. Yes, people are technically correct that a large brush with a good point is ideal because it can do both the fine details and the large work. But the caveat to that is that it will only do that fine work well IF you have developed the brush control to fully control exactly how much paint is coming off of the tip or side with any given stroke. If you have not developed that degree of control yet, it will be frustrating when using properly thinned paint because you will invariably flood an area with paint stored up in the belly of the brush. So it is all good and fine for those of us who have been doing this for years to recommend Size 2 brushes, but I bet you'll find that the vast majority of us didn't start out there. Not wanting set off a Pingo storm, but human saliva in the point left to dry after a session sets the point very well. Be warned though that even non-toxic paints still have stuff that are not great for you. never lick a brush that hasn't been cleaned.
  16. I like R&C brushes in that size range better than the WNs. Davinci brushes are also good. I always get my brushes through DickBlick.com because they are an authorized dealer for all three companies. It is likely what I am used to. When I started painting, I did everything with a 5/0 to 10/0. My largest brush was a 00 (this was in the 90's). As I got better and developed control, I went to larger brushes with bigger bellies so I could paint for longer. I still prefer the 0 over the 1, but that could be that my current 1 (also a WN) is, like yours, a bit flakey.
  17. It is hard to say. I have gotten bad W&N brushes in the past. It could also be your technique. You need a lot less pressure with a sable brush than others. I also don't like the WN larger sizes (over 0) because they have a large belly and seem hard to keep a nice point for fine work. I use my #1 for base coating and my 0 as my workhorse precision brush. Occasionally, I'll still reach for the 00 for doing things like the White Dot from Hell.
  18. Honestly, given my current adult pallette, I'd probably love head cheese now, but having it forced on me as a kid...well, it is hard to get past the memories associated with the thing and try the thing itself.
  19. (even looks a bit like me.)
  20. Take the head of a hog, burn the hair off (I cant remember if they removed the eyes, I was too young), and boil it with various spices until everything falls off the bone and comes apart. Remove the bone and boil it until the water reduces by half (bear in mind, I was 5 the last I time I saw this done, so I am a bit hazy on the details). Chop up anything larger than your thumb and mix it back into the pot. Pour into molds (small bread pans) and cool until it coagulates. Take out of the mold, slice and serve cold on bread. It is basically cooked pork parts and head organs held together by the clear gelatin from the broken down connective tissues. It is a bit slimy. The making of: The funny thing is that when I was little my German grandparents were no longer raising hogs, but my grandmother liked head cheese enough that she would order a head from the butcher and make it for us as a "treat" for Christmas. She'd always make me take some too, as if I wouldn't turn out "German" enough if I didn't get my yearly dose of it. She stopped making it sometime in the late 70's and just started buying it pre-made; and then complained every year that it wasn't as good as home-made. I think she would have kept making it, but started having trouble getting the heads.
  21. - I don't like clowns. - I am extremely phobic of humans when gathered around me in large numbers. - I also have an aversion/distrust of other men, especially jock types; I took too many beatings as a child at the hands of my peers to ever really feel comfortable around "guys" I don't know. Once I get to know them, I'm fine though. On the other-hand, I have no issues socializing with women. The funny thing is that my wife is the exact opposite of me, she doesn't get other women. Everything else I love, maybe a little too much (my father is still amazed that I made it to adulthood without being seriously bitten, mauled, or envenomed). - German Potato Salad - Head Cheese - Honey/pinapple/sugar-coated Ham - Pinapple Pizza - Candied Yams
  22. Yes, yes you did. It is still on my personal list. That list is getting very long.
  23. Well, I finally have my entry primed...
  24. Ooh, one tip for you @Morihalda: I see you have your scalpel mounted in a scalpel blade holder. That is not ideal for sculpting as you cannot spin it easily in your fingers for quick angle changes. This causes you to reposition your hand causing stress on you. A better solution is to mount your scalpel blade in an X-Acto knife cylindrical handle. With this you can roll the handle in your fingers as you work making fine adjustments to the angle of the cutting blade. You can even rock the blade forward so it is parallel with the handle, giving you great point control.
  25. Yeah, I couldn't afford the time to make the custom wood versions I use for the class ones (that reminds me, I need to start cranking some out; I'm teaching that class twice this year). Just cut the pen/straw handle off, break the putty the tip is encased in and remount the steel tips in a better handle. I like the ones I made using 1/4 inch dowels. To taper the ends, I just stuck the dowel in my drill and spun it on sandpaper.