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About Speak_Centurion

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    SW England
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    anime, 80's cartoons, bicycles, motorcycles, history, sculpting, religion and politics.

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  1. I've two nieces and a nephew aged about 7,8 and 9; normally they are very physically active but on a rainy day they do sometimes like to play indoors, so I'm looking for some kind of tabletop game to suit them. I was thinking of something along the lines of HeroQuest, but much simpler and more suited to young children (one boy, 7, and two girls). I haven't seen much to choose from so far; if I see the word "system" mentioned I instantly switch off, which is I suspect exactly the same reaction they would have; what I am looking for is a game that does not need to be learned, the game itself should guide the players; ie; you pick up a card and it tells you what you have to do. It doesn't matter if the rule-system is good or logical, I think that's irrelevant to younger children, but there should be something for them to look at and hold in their hands; a game board, some cards, a couple of dice, and maybe some playing pieces. It should be visual and tactile. I don't play at all, but I'm starting to get the feeling that I'd have to invent the game myself. Surely there must be something out there already? These are the kind of games I think would get their attention, but they seem to be only PDF's and rule systems: http://munchkinandbean.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/tabletop-role-playing-games-for-kids.html
  2. YouTuber Trovarian gives a very good explanation of the pros and cons of plastic versus metal: Bones miniatures for human-sized figures aren't very good; if you compare the same Bones miniature to the original metal you can see how much sharpness of detail is lost. But they're a lot cheaper than metal.
  3. I'd wash them gently and let them air-dry. You could also use a blusher brush to dust miniatures. Oddly enough I've got about eight of them I pulled out of a skip, brand new and top quality.
  4. Are you using Vaseline? Petroleum jelly is great stuff but I use it judiciously because it has the side-effect of making the Greenstuff somewhat brittle. If you don't use Vaseline at all, the Greenstuff will retain more pliability and toughness. I wouldn't it worry about it too much though, if you intend to make castings the original will be destroyed in the process anyway, or if you just want to make-it-and-paint-it, you can seal the whole thing with a layer of varnish. If you are applying a small piece such as a belt buckle, you might need to blend it into place with the aid of a little Vaseline; the Vaseline will help to "melt" it to the surface or at least lubricate your tool enough to stop it pulling the buckle off. But yes, roughing-up a surface is definitely a thing; you might scrape it with a craft knife to remove any unwanted oils or sheen. I don't quite follow your second question; do you mean you cut the wires off of the base of the feet? I top my corks with plastic (glued on with general-purpose "white glue"), if you glue a bit of plastic to a cork, you can superglue a miniature's feet to the plastic. It can be removed later with careful use of a craft-knife and/or removing/bending the plastic. (btw, this armature looks great in the photo, but only in the photo! I had to file it down drastically)
  5. Typical kids. It's not you, most kids don't like things that are unfamiliar until they become familiar. My nieces like drawing with felt-tip pens and they like painting with paints, but they are quite indignant about the idea that felt-tip pens aren't very good for painting or that it helps to draw a picture with a pencil before you paint it. I think we've all seen kids doggedly try to color-in a whole sheet of paper with a felt-tip pen.
  6. It's easy to forget that you've got to take the sculpt out of the cork at some point! If it's not too delicate, I would take a craft blade and gently tease underneath the feet to break the bond. It'll probably pull out okay. If it won't pop out, then break up the cork to free it. It'll stick to a base no problem. I'd glue the feet wih superglue.
  7. Got any needle files? I've developed a fetish for using them lately, my preference being for diamond-coat files rather than the regular type. Gently run a file over your work to "sharpen" it up; it's a very easy way to reduce unwanted bulk and define basic shapes. Wear a dust mask; the dust is very powdery and it's probably best not to breathe it in.
  8. You can buy a genuine copy of Windows 7 or 8 on Amazon for about $10.
  9. I must get back to practicing with Fimo; I also struggle with it and have that same issue of Fimo tearing, but I've seen how easily some expert sculptors handle the stuff! Try brushing on J&J Baby Oil to smooth Fimo (and other brands of polymer clay). Greenstuff: If you want it to stay soft for longer, mix in a bit of polymer clay; I've tried Fimo and Sculpey Extra Firm. They both work. Personally, I currently favour a 60/40 or 70/30 mix of GreenStuff + BrownStuff (BrownStuff is a nuisance to mix if it's not warm). It has a short working time, but I mix very small amounts at a time and add only tiny amounts - it seems to me that what you don't add is what creates the shapes. Don't forget, you can reductively sculpt as well as additively sculpt. I find the GS/BS mix fairly forgiving when it comes to carving and scraping and sanding; if I've made a mistake or I want to reduce bulk, I let the putty set hard and whittle it down later.
  10. She is brilliant. :-D
  11. There are tons of videos about sculpting on YouTube, the problem is most of them are aimed at adults, in fact I don't think I've ever seen a "proper" sculpting video for children her age. Most tutorial videos are going to be rather long and boring for her - she's only 7 after all. The best I can suggest is finding a few videos on YouTube about specific sculpting themes such as fairies and dolls. Air-dry clay is excellent for working on larger pieces; it's sort of like a super-fine papier maché but it's easy to smooth with water and it can be carved and sanded when dry. If your daughter is sculpting something the size of a grapefruit, I would definitely stick with the air-dry clay, but I agree with Kitchen Wolf about the merits of polymer clay - that stuff is fantastic, not only can you sculpt with it, you can colorize with it too. Here's a speed-sculpt by a lady making a kitty-cat face; she paints with the Fimo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XBpFxoAPgo And this is how you can make your own polymer clay paints: You'll also need to know how to knead polymer clay. It's no problem if you're only using tiny amounts, but a popular method of kneading polymer clay is to first grate it up (as shown in the video) and/or put it through a cheap pasta machine to roll it; much easier than just kneading by hand if you've got a lot of it to do. Polymer clay comes in hard little bricks and needs a lot of kneading before it becomes soft. Here is a flower fairy being sculpted, also in polymer clay (I like this one): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3WHH0ME4TE Unless she is amazingly gifted, she won't get these kind of results overnight, most people have to spend years and years getting good at sculpting in exactly the same way as musicians have to spend years and years practicing. That's something you will have to explain to her if she gets frustrated. Incidentally, polymer clay will hold extreme fine detail which is why it is popular as a medium for sculpting miniatures.
  12. I haven't painted anything for several years and I probably won't find time to get back into it for several years more, but looking at a couple of anime/manga PVC figurines in various scales, it occurs to me that they always seem to look nicest when they are not shaded or highlighted - except perhaps for the eyes. And the same seems to be true for Western style figurines (movie figurines and so on). This got me thinking; is there an alternative to shading and highlighting? I don't think I've ever seen an expertly painted miniature that was not highlighted and shaded, but has anyone ever done it?
  13. First ever? That's an awful lot better than my first attempts. Don't be afraid to make changes; if anything, being afraid to make changes will be the cause of half your problems because if you don't do things differently you'll repeat the same mistakes over and over again. Be ruthless; if that were my mini I would chop off 75% of it with a craft knife or pull chunks off with a small pair of pliers to get back to the point before it went wrong - not that your sculpt is particularly wrong, it's just unrefined. These are armatures by Kev White; if you look at the top two, they are more wire than putty but they already look human with the addition of just a little bit of Greenstuff; the secret (as far as I can tell) is that even at this stage, each block (the feet, the chest, the hips, the head) has been neatly and correctly sculpted, not just "blobbed on"; I'm sure there are professional sculptors who do just that, but I find that any errors at the earliest stage tend to get magnified with the next layer rather than disappearing. I think you should continue with your sculpt without cutting anything off; just be very neat and precise with the next layer; you might find that rolling straight, flat polygonal surfaces (like for example you might make the arms kind of "hexagonal") helps to keep things neat and simple - you can easily round-off the edges so it doesn't matter if they start out flat and angular. Heads have a lot of angles.. expect that to be a challenge.
  14. Polish the tools with fine sandpaper?I forgot what you said in class... I work through fine sand paper and eventually to rubber polishing points on my Dremel. Gene goes a step further and uses polishing compound on a buffing wheel for his final stage. His tools are shiny. I'm not convinced it makes much of a difference, but there is something nice about having properly polished super-shiny tools.
  15. Right. Sorted. My guide for making a 32mm armature: http://s1213.photobucket.com/user/Ninja_Butler/media/How%20to%20make%20a%2032mm%20wire%20skeleton%20armature/IMG_0001.jpg.html?sort=2&o=0