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Doug's Workshop

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About Doug's Workshop

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    Indianapolis, Indiana

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  1. Getting to Know You, Jan 2018

    It is an eminently foolish man who thinks he can learn from nothing but success. - Me.
  2. Mouse is a (relatively) new GM!

    Have you ever watched Pawn Stars? It's a reality show about a pawn shop. There are clips on YouTube. Insulting the guy's product isn't the best way to get on his good side. Maybe in a different culture, but generally . . . no, not so much. You can point flaws ("This is indeed a fine necklace, but there are scratches here and here. Perhaps the woman who wore it was wearing a sandpaper shift? No matter. Johann the Trader has something similar for far less money.") but directly insulting is rather insulting.
  3. Mouse is a (relatively) new GM!

    I don't play 5e, preferring old school systems like Swords & Wizardry, but . . . Roll the dice in the open and let them fall where they may. The players know you're not trying to cheat them, and you're less tempted to ignore the dice roll in favor of "telling the story." RPGs are not about telling a story, they're about creating a shared event. The stories come afterwards. Letting the dice fall in front of the screen removes any temptation to fudge the roll, let someone's character live, let the damage be a little less, change the outcome for a better-perceived one. Don't Do It. In any given situation where you are unsure what to do, think about what the most likely thing to happen is . . . and then choose that option. Don't focus on "story," don't focus on "it would be really cool if . . . ". What is the most likely thing to happen? PCs getting lippy with the Sgt of the Guard? The most likely thing to happen is that the Sgt calls for their arrest, and yes, the players will fight, which will result in them either being killed/captured, or the city will be set against the PCs. It's okay to remind the players of this, as too many have grown to think the fantasy world revolves around them. What would happen in the real world if you get lippy with a police officer? The same thing will happen in a fantasy world. This makes the world relatable and believable.
  4. In the back of my head, a little voice said "drying isn't really the right word" but I've learned to ignore that little voice because it also says "you should go to the gym" and "spend time with your children." I think the issue was that I have painted in thin layers for so long, this is a nonissue for me. Unless it was the textured paint or pva glue I use for basing (in these cases, I usually wait a day because I'd rather wait than lift off half my basing sand). I also put the minis in a display cabinet for many weeks before I move them to their more permanent home in the appropriate carry-box, so if there was an issue, it kinda solves itself during that time. But yes, curing is the correct term. For normal painting I will usually wait at least an hour before applying the matte coat.
  5. Mid life crisis

    A little research has allowed me to discover that the term "mid-life crisis" was invented by a Canadian psychoanalyst in the mid-60s. Anything with that pedigree no doubt falls into the realm of other howlers such as jackalopes, fake moon landings, and "Ken Whitman runs a thoroughly respectable Kickstarter."
  6. scorched shield

    I prefer a little bit of brownish color to the metal. Reaper has a MSP "Scorched metal," but you can make your own via some warm brown paint (like Intense Brown/Ruddy Leather or Golden Brown from the HD line) mixed with a tiny bit of gold. As in, just enough to get some metallic flakes but not enough to register "gold." Thin this down to a glaze consistency (you'll probably need medium rather than water to do that). The hottest points (the center) should be almost black, to emphasize the scorching, carbonizing heat. So, lots of glazing to achieve the look. If the blast of heat hit straight on, the pattern will be an irregular starburst shape, as the shield deflects the heat up/down/left/right. You want irregular because the source of the heat was irregular. The flame will act just like a spray of water would, following the path of least resistance. From your picture, it appears that the center of the flame hit center-right (or, from the model's perspective, center left). So I'd center the blast there, and have it "drain" to the left (model's right).
  7. I have a large-ish bottle of Liquitex Matte Varnish. Diluted with a little bit of water, it seems to work very well. As for it stripping paint off, I've never encountered that. I can think of four things that might have happened. 1) The paint wasn't fully dry. 2) The miniature had a spot that hadn't been primered, or the primer had worn off. 3) You applied pressure to the mini while applying the sealer. 4) The paint had been applied on top of something it couldn't adhere to. (related to #2, but possible if you handled the mini and left residual oil on the paint) I use a large brush, something like a #3, mix up the varnish, and apply liberally but without any pressure. I will dab off excess and deposit it onto a nearby wipe cloth (paper towel, napkin, etc). But I don't apply it like I do paint. More like a very sloppy wash.
  8. Getting to Know You, Jan 2018

    Public speaking- In college, every student had to give a presentation on a project based on their major. So, if you were a music major it would be some sort of performance, and English majors presented something on whatever English majors do. For chemistry, we did a 3 month internship and then presented our research. Now, most people want something super-technical, because that's what's expected, that's what's going to look good on a resume/grad student application letter, or maybe they really love the project. Me, I'm contrarian. I looked at the available projects and said "Yeah, I don't really understand the pitch about alpha-2-macroglobulin in rabbit serum, and 'Spectoscopic and Thermodynamic Investigation of a Mixed Surfacant/Polymer System at the Oil-Water Interface' sounds like something I'd rather avoid. So I fried corn chips for three months studying how to make the oil that resides in said corn chips not turn rancid. At this point in my life, I was terrified of pubic speaking. I brought along a non-chemistry friend for moral support. And I presented in front of the chemistry faculty, the senior class, and the junior class. Of all the presentations that year (there were about 14 of us total over three weeks), mine was the only one to get questions from the students. I got questions from the faculty as well, which I was able to answer without resorting to my sponsor for help. At the end, the friend I brought along said "I understand what you did, and I've no idea what the guy working with rabbit serum did." So I learned a couple very important lessons at 20 years old: 1) The more complicated the language, the more likely the person doesn't actually know what he's talking about. 2) Not only could I speak in public, I could do it well. 3) Relate information in a way that makes them care, because everyone knows about Fritos, but no one knows about rabbit serum. So now, as a highly introverted and quiet person, I can get up in front of a room full of people and speak. This shocks most people, because public speaking seems intimidating (and it is!). But I've done presentations, taught dance classes, and sang Karaoke because I overcame that fear of people looking at me. Karaoke - A bunch of us had gone to a comedy club, and after the show the club had karaoke night. I got up, and the headline comic joined me about two seconds into the song. And then started changing the words. Let's just say that "Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys" got a different rendition that night, one that would likely get me fired from my job in today's climate. Winter Olympics- We don't have a television signal at our house, so . . . no. Not even via internet.
  9. Taking care of brushes

    I've been drying my brushes bristles-up for years. Water will wick up into the ferrule through capillary action, not gravity, so I'm not worried about damaging the brush if I store it upwards. I also store some downwards - I've got some foam pipe insulation that I've clipped on to a shelf, and sliced to allow me to stick a brush into it. Convenient for the cheap brushes I use for basecoat and basing.
  10. "Welcome to the Shop" Bombshell Miniatures Diorama

    That piece looks like a lot of fun. Great job!
  11. recovery advice

    My first thought when I saw the subject line was something much more . . . dramatic. This is a normal Tuesday in my house . . . . Seriously, you've got a handle on it. FYI, I've got a bones young dragon that looks like it went on a rampage through Lowe's paint department. It's all part of the experience of parenting while hobbying. But make sure you put the hobby knives and glues up high so the aspiring hobbyist can't reach them.
  12. When to use which mediums?

    As I was painting this morning, I realized there are two other mediums I use. Metal medium. Mine's from Vallejo, and I use it either as an ultra-bright highlight, or to mix with existing metals to lighten their color. Since the medium isn't transparent, it works to add to metallic colors as white, only retaining the metallic look. I don't know if Reaper's Pearl White works in the same fashion, but I don't see why it wouldn't. Metal medium could also be used to get whatever color of metal you wanted, simply by adding color to it. Airbrush medium. I use it for my airbrush, as well as for thinning metallic paints. Metallics don't thin great if you use straight water, but the do respond well to mediums.
  13. When to use which mediums?

    50% of the time, I use straight water for thinning paints. Dip the brush in the rinse water, presto, water can be added to the paint that's already on my palette. Or, a dip off the side of the wet palette, and the same thing happens. The other 50% of the time, I thin with a 1:10 dilution of water:flow aid. If I am working details, where I need the paint to flow off the brush a little better, this is the stuff I use. The only time I use straight flow aid is when I am painting very fine details, and needing the paint to come off the brush with the lightest application of pressure. But straight flow aid is not a good idea, as it disrupts the adherence of paint to the surface of the mini. If I need to thin the color while maintaining a paint-like consistency, I will add a little bit of matte medium. This is especially useful when applying glazes. I have a large selection of ink washes I have made using matte medium as a large component, since it allows the ink to behave more like a paint. Glaze medium has behaved pretty much exactly as Serenity described. I have a slow-dry liquid, but I don't recall the last time I used it. Given the current ultra-dry air delivered to my area courtesy of a cold winter, I may dig this out, but as a rule I don't use it. Blending medium is probably not what you need, as it's a thicker body material, more suited to larger traditional painting than what we're usually doing with miniatures.
  14. Taking care of brushes

    So, yeah, soap. The best advice - don't overload your brush with paint. That is, don't submerge all the bristle in paint, because it will get stuck in the ferrule and you'll have a devil of a time trying to get it out. Eventually it dries there and starts to splay out the bristles, destroying the point of the brush. Try not to drybrush with your good brushes. Drybrushing is rough treatment. Imagine running your hand over sandpaper - that's what drybrushing does to your brush (although on a micro level). Here's another trick - you don't have to use your best brushes for everything. I have cheap brushes from a big-box store that I paid something like $8 for, got a pack of twelve, and can use them for 80% of my painting. Basecoating, drybrushing, base and grunt work . . . I usually use those brushes. I save the good brushes for the details, the targeted glazes, the eyes and tattoos. And never, ever, leave your paint brush standing in your rinse water.
  15. Help me fix these skeletons

    I would definitely do one more highlight with a lighter-color bone. Looking at the figures, I see a base color, and one highlight. I'd want to go darker, as well as lighter to really push the contrast. I'd also apply some light glazes to various parts of the figure. For example, you could do a very thin green glaze, or a red-brown glaze. Note that these are glazes, very thin, just a touch of color. The idea being you want to add variety without overpowering the base color. Do a search for "James Wappel" and then search his blog for "skeleton." You'll get lots of ideas. You could also use a ivory-color to do some of the highlighting, which would leave the base grey-bone but provide some difference between the figures.