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Found 20 results

  1. Kharsin

    The Liftoff

    I need to start a WIP for this project so I'll stay motivated to finish it. This may be an entry for the 40mm+ category on the year long contest. We'll see how it turns out. Right now I'm just working on getting it done. We're working on 03680: Thornwood Defender and it's actually further along than this, but I'm currently killing time in a Starbucks waiting to take the kids to see Marvel Universe Live! In the meantime, enjoy the prime pics :) The Bee is mounted on piano wire as there's no real base to mount it on. I'm planning on the bee being on liftoff so the wire is extra long. It's kind of challenging to paint having a piece that size with only a wire to manipulate it with. I'm using medical gloves to handle it when necessary, but the vise is useless for anything other than holding it while it dries. The little gnome rider is well, little. He's currently done up in green sparkly armor, but those pics will have to come later! Thanks for checking out this project! See yall soon at reapercon! -K
  2. Okay everyone! I'm speed building a Dr.Who diorama for my Nephew for Christmas. Yes, it's in a few days and I'm way behind, so I'm looking at a few "most of the day" workdays to have this ready for, well, Christmas Eve Night! However, I'm not very familiar with the series at all, so I've been asking questions here and there about the 10th Doctor. At any rate, I've been using Willen's awesome diorama for a jump off point as it was such an amazing piece! He's also been helping me with reference as well, so THANK YOU VERY MUCH WILLEN! Here's a link to the Dr. Who diorama WIP he did for "Spaceship Superstar." So here's some crazily spaced photographs as I was more busy building than pic taking: This is what happened after I took a Dremel to the base. Here's the reason: I'm building this TARDIS up out of Matt Board as I'm still not overly sure exactly what plasticard that everyone uses actually is. The Matt Board was kind of a pain to cut, so I'm not sure if I'll use it again or no. The trick was getting everything to an approximate scale. Here's the TARDIS where it currently stands. I'm about to do some more work on it after lunch and go until I can't go anymore! Keep in mind I still have to paint the 10th Doctor as well as Rose.... Inside view of TARDIS. I plan on adding an interior flashing light as well as a flashing beacon. Now the question I currently have (I'm sure there will be more and I'll totally appreciate the help!): I'm trying to find an appropriate scenario for this diorama. As I I've only seen a few episodes, let me ask if it would be appropriate to locate the scene in some crazy environment. I was originally going to do a modern street scene with brick pavers and everything, but I don't think I'm going to get this project finished if I go that route. Instead, I'm thinking of doing some sort of ancient ruin, maybe with an artifact or something in the scenery. Here's a mock-up I put together around 4am this morning after I finally quit. The TARDIS would be located in the center of the obvious square, and I'd probably mount a gold face on the triangular piece and put the Dr. and Rose somewhere in the scene. I'd put in additional detail via Milliput, sand, flowers, etc., and trim up the overlying bricks. Would this be acceptable? I try to get things right when I do things like this as I don't want to offend the fans by my ignorance. I suppose something like this would fall into the realm of "Fan Fiction Via Creative Something Or Other...." Here's a pic of the mock-up: Any advice or ideas would greatly be appreciated! Thanks for reading! -K
  3. Okay Ladies and Gents... It's time for Year of the Giants: Part Deaux, in which we finally give Kaya a place to hang her spear... or throw it, rather. At any rate, this is where I left off in October when I finished Kaya: And here's a post as to where I'm kind of at tonight. I've basically started hacking at the cork, staining my base (I can't help it, I love the look of stain. I do paint some bases black, but something about stain just finishes a lot of projects off for me, if it matches), and figuring out exactly where to put the beasty. I'm just going to put a teaser pic up now as it's late and I don't feel like editing a lot of pics. Here ya go: Anyhoo, I'll probably be posting to this thread occasionally as I work out the kinks and figure out exactly what I'm doing. Thanks for checking it out! -K
  4. Kharsin

    Target Acquired

    Okay all! I've posted the collage over on the WAMP site, so I can now upload the finished pics of "Target Acquired." This diorama was made for a contest over on the WAMP site, and I think I like the way it turned out. K963025 was never designed to function without a master. However, the Old Smudgester was separated from "the man" during the great battle of New D.C. Now, armed with his Lazegun 4000 and his improved power armor, this highly intelligent being roams about the country righting wrongs, blasting "bad men" and searching for his loving master. Will Smudgester ever find "the man?" Undoubtedly! Here's the Smudgester... Full Base Shot: Close-Ups: Artsy Pic: He is, of course, designed as a removable game piece for our occasional rounds of Munchkin... Those wear spots on his lower back are a cover up for a super glue mishap. Somehow Smudgester ended up super glued to my finger, and the paint was stripped down to bare metal. Rather than try to redo multiple layers of blue paint, I make it worth the damage it was and weathered it. The rest of the weathering was intentional. At any rate, he was a blast and I had lots of fun stacking that brick wall, brick by brick... by brick... by brick. I think it came out nice. I have no idea why I chose to go with a SciFi inspired base after that whole "Spaceship Superstar" contest, but I guess it was this charming little doggie who needed a home and a master. Anyhoo, commentary is always welcomed and appreciated! Thank you for taking the time to view this project. Now, on to Year of the Giants! Kaya's been sitting in the case long enough... -K
  5. Okay, so here's what's happened. I was originally putting together a diorama for a contest over on the WAMP forum entitled: "Hasslefighter 2014!" This was coming along well, then one day, I just stopped. Cold turkey! I then painted up a mini for my wife, Bailey Silverbell (*TBA) with full basing and everything and just couldn't get motivated to pick up the Hasslefighter project just yet. The contest concludes on Nov. 23rd, so... Here we go! Along with the fighters for Hasslefighter, I ordered an extra mini named "Smudgester." He's a bulldog dessed in power armor, with a huge gun and smoking a cigar. I knew I had to have the guy, and well, inspiration just struck so I think I'm going to put Hasslefighter on hold and submit the Smudgester for the contest! SO here he is! I obviously haven't connected his left lighter holding hand yet, but I'm planning on leaving it off until I paint everything behind it first. I may even paint the lighter separately. Here's Smudge primed as well as his hand. At any rate, he's primed and ready to go. I'll probably start on him tomorrow barring photo shoots and stuff as I've finished Bailey as well as Kurff the Swift ("Hero of Speilburg who went ugly") and need to post them as well. We'll see what happens! Thanks for reading! I'm happy to be posting a WIP on here again as I haven't done a real WIP in a while.... -K
  6. Now for something neat! During the course of painting up minis for Hasslefighter, I got distracted and started painting on Bailey Silverbell. She's been sitting in the drawer 'o shame for quite a while, pleading for some paint and a base. I've been wanting to paint a dwarf lady for my wife ever since my first mini exchange as she really liked that Stonehaven Rogue a lot. In addition to this, I've been wanting to get back to my Quest for Glory project after grieving for the Hero of Speilburg's misshapen face. I've moved on... Sort of... Anyhoo, if you're not familiar with the game, part of the hero's mission was to find the lost daughter of the Baron of Speilburg. Elsa von Speilburg had vanished when she was a little girl, never to be found again. *SPOILER ALERT!* However, years later, a Brigand Leader had moved into the valley and organized the rouge band, much to the chagrin of everyone living in or traveling to Speilburg. You eventually penetrate the brigand fortress to face this chick: It's not that difficult of a fight. You throw a potion of dispel on her and she turns back into Elsa! So, she became the inspiration for my version of Bailey Silverbell. I think she came out very nice. What's more, she's pretty much my 1yr Anniversary Mini! Yay! So I used the idea from the old exchange to mount her on a rock, albeit a bit shorter rock so the figure would be more stable. I used my experiments with the Fall exchange with ink on metallic paints to try to give her sword a bit of an enchanted/ice brand look. Also her shirt started off as white, but after I finished, it made the rest of her look pretty bland with the leather armor and such. I reworked it with green ink and paint. Her pants are blue ink and paint as well. She's a pretty simple, small, playable or displayable game piece. She took about a week of work and I'm pretty satisfied with her overall. She doesn't have the hours of work that I put into Kaya, but she's still quite lovely Here she is: Now I've got to go work on the Hasslefree entry, then finish the YOTG entry! Comments are wanted and appreciated! -K P.S.: I'm going to have a get some pics where you can see her eyes well. They didn't come out in these and they're quite a lovely shade of blue... and one was particularly difficult. LOL!
  7. Okay! Here's the sitch! I'm trying to finish out my Fall exchange, so without going into too much detail, I need to carve into a cheap wooden block. I have a carving set, as I've carved a bit before, but it's not made for whatever wood this block is. The solution I'm thinking of involves a Dremel and a few bits. I was curious, as I do not own a Dremel or bits (I've used one plenty of times for other projects) which bits you guys use to hack on your bases with. Are there any particular ones you'd say that you couldn't live without and aren't necessarily included in the big box carving bit set? Is there one that's better at removing large portions of material vs. delicate work? What are your favorites and why? Also, feel free to post or link any WIP pics you may have of said project. Just curious, as always! I'm probably going to pick up said Dremel (I've needed one for, well, forever!) and bits over the next few days so I can finish the project. Thank you very much for your opinions! -K
  8. Kharsin

    Snow What?

    Okay! The topic here is snow! I'm about to start working on a new diorama, and was curious as to various methods of creating snow effects. I know there are lots of products out there, and I'm curious as to everyone's experience with them. I've seen baking soda, flour, white sand, crushed glass, etc. So what's the sitch with snow? Keep in mind I live in the deep south so I don't know what real snow looks like. Any snow we get turns into an Icee type substance as soon as it hits the ground... Ideas? Thank you! -K
  9. Kharsin

    A Weighty Issue....

    Okay! Here's a random question for you all that I have a fairly good idea of how I'm going to handle it, but I'm curious as to what everyone else does. I'm planning on making my current project (Kaya the Reaper) a removable game piece from the diorama she's destined for. However, she'll need to be leaping off the edge of a cliff, which means that the base I'm putting her on will need to be weighted down if she's ever to have hope of staying upright! I'm using a 1.25" wooden checker piece to base her on, although a 2" wooden disk isn't out of the question (the 1.25" works better for our rounds of Munchkin) So.... The question is: What do you guys use for deadweight in bases that are potentially topple hazards? I'm using a rare earth magnet to secure her to the diorama, so that isn't a problem, but on the table top, I'm curious to see what arrangement I come up with to keep her upright and damage free. I've got left over metal from past minis that I'm planning to glue to the checker then base over, but is there a better (i.e.: heavier) method of securing minis? Thoughts? Thank you for reading! -K P.S.: I should mention that Kaya is a big girl in the best way possible. She is large and lovely! :)
  10. Kharsin

    "The Fly" or 50180: Mega-Mutant

    Okay! I received word today that RomulanCmdr received her Summer Exchange mini, so I now get the privilege of posting the pics I took before shipping. From what I understand, he arrived mostly intact... At any rate, this requires a bit of a set-up story to explain what I did: IN THE YEAR 2063…. Dr. Bruce Spanner is The Exterminator! A hero with a heart of gold, and a mug so ugly it can shatter mirrors. Formerly one of the world’s foremost chemists, Dr. Spanner sought to develop new pesticides that would only target the world’s worst insects. Then, WAR broke out! While conducting a field test with a promising new formula, Dr. Spanner’s destiny was changed in the BLINK of an EYE when a Top Secret Government drone malfunctioned and slammed into earth nearby. Carrying an untested biological weapon designed to be use against the enemy, the bomb exploded, showering Dr. Spanner with radioactive agents and with the fumes of his SECRET FORMULA! He emerged from the crater as The Exterminator! Armed with his trusty Sledge-O-Matic 8000, he now uses his super strength, enhanced senses, and his superior intellect to right wrongs, help terrified old ladies cross the street, and to eliminate every nasty fly who dares set wing into any kitchen! Flies and enemies beware! THE EXTERMINATOR IS NEAR!!! Okay, without further ado, I present: THE FLY! Close-Ups of Bruce: Close-Up of the Nasty Fly This was a multi-tiered approach, and I tried a few new things out. Of course, there's the figure, as well as a custom sculpted fly that I hope came out hideous and annoying enough. There are cast Hirst mold parts too. I did experiment with balsa wood strips for flooring, as well as burning the edge of the piece for added effect. This had the sad circumstance of burning a couple of creeping roots as I did this under our carport in the middle of the night.... which of course needs a replacement bulb so I couldn't see anything but the flame... We live and learn... I did a bit of freehand writing which came out pretty good for what I can do. I need more practice to improve in this area. At any rate, there's Bruce! I hope RomulanCmdr enjoys him! Please feel free to leave compliment/suggestions/etc. -K
  11. Okay peeps! Here she is: Isabella Esperanza-Pilar de la Iglesia (a.k.a.: The Fair Spanish Lady) This one proved to be a doozy, and quite possibly the longest time I've ever spent on a mini. I learned a LOT from this one, and while I think the painting is pretty close to being complete (you can always do more, y'know?) her base will have to wait for a while until I complete the Summer Mini Exchange as well as the entry for the Sci-Fi contest. At any rate, here she is! It should be noted that I had fits with these pics. I'm thinking I need one more background as the ones I have refuse to work well with the colors I used. If I tried to autocorrect the pics, they'd go wayyyy into the yellows, almost like a vintage pic. As per the norm, I'll probably post the other sets on the WIP page so y'all can see those as well and pick your poison. Here you'll see where I'm going with my new Hirst Mold obsession. It's pretty... different. I'm wanting to do a lot more with it, but will probably put that off until after the Summer Exchange and the SciFi contest. We'll see what happens. At any rate, here's the rest of her base: It's designed to allow Isabella to be removed to be used in Munchkin (which she won tonight BTW) and put back into the diorama for safe keeping. There's a bit of felt on the bottom of her base, which kind of gives it a neat risen appearance from the rest of the tiles, as well as the stark difference between her bright tile and the dull tiles around her. I was going for a tile look, but I think I ended up with Tex-Mex. I kind of like it! It's pretty fun to stick other minis on the other end as if they were about to duel. I'll probably throw a few candid shots together when I get around to finishing the diorama. As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome! Be sure to check out the WIP page for the other pics on different backdrops. Until next time... -K
  12. Get some Hirst Molds they said... Buy 55lbs. of Dental Stone they said... What they didn't say is that I'd end up with a TON of really neat parts that I now have to figure out what to do with.... Rumor has it that Jazzy would like a castle, so.... At any rate, why oh why do I do these things to myself... LOL! At least the Fair Spanish Lady will now have a pretty base, which is what started my journey this way to begin with. At any rate, she's pretty much painted up and ready for basing... which will happen soon. In the meantime, here's a pic of what I've been up to lately.... At any rate, I'll be able to finish off "Lonnia" in a day or two. I've got to get a base to put her on, and I'm planning on doing a removable figure from a diorama that I'm going to mock up for her... Until then, I've got a ton of parts to do some fun stuff with, but the question is: WHERE ON EARTH WILL I PUT AL OF THIS STUFF!? -K
  13. Okay! As I'm branching out into different basing options, I keep running across the word "plasticard." From what I've seen, many people use old credit cards, the sample credit or membership cards that come in the mail, or even For Sale signs. I'm just curious as to what everyone's using, or what peiple have found that works best for them. After discovering the wonders of gypsum (and missing several nights of painting because I can't seem to quit casting parts...) I'm determined to combine the two for some awesomeness... Suggestions? -K
  14. Kharsin

    Hirst Arts Molds

    Before I got sucked into the science of chalky faces (again, due to a post by Willen and my obsessive mind) I was curious if anyone had any experience with the Hirst Arts Molds. I ran into the name over on the Massive Voodoo blog, and think it may be something I could really use to Make More Awesome! bases and dioramas... especially with the "Be A Spaceship Superstar!" contest coming up. Does anyone have any recommendations for which molds, plaster, tools, etc. to get? I know the local Hobby Lobby has a couple of cartons of Woodland Scenics Mold-A-Scene Plaster on sale. Suggestions? Comments? Experiences? Inquiring minds want to know! (and get back to the creative process before the SCIENCE comes again.... *shudder*)
  15. So here's what I've been working on.... well, off and on, for the past week or so. This is the Gnome Hoplite from Stonehaven Miniatures. I made him up to use as a gaming piece as most of the things I've done lately are quite large for our Munchkin board. When we use more than 1, we don't fit in the rooms together, so I figured I'd use this tiny gnome as a game piece. I got really lazy and didn't do any WIP's on him. Also, he's got a very simple basing. I also didn't paint his eyes to keep in tune with the concept art that they have on the website, plus you wouldn't see much of his eyes in that big helmet at any rate. I should also note that this dude is tiny! I may post a pic of him next to a "regular" mini later, just for size comparison. What brought this out to me, as I tend to work on one mini at a time, was how the paint looked on him while editing the photos. It looked like the pic was way zoomed in... which it is! LOL! I'm posting his pics on the Green/Gold backdrop as my wife says she says this makes the colors look much richer than the others. I'm going with her advice as women see more colors than men so... Here you go! Comments and suggestions are always welcome!
  16. Okay! So I haven't fallen off the face of the earth... I've just been WIP lazy! I've actually been working on a project for my son, who turns 3 on Saturday. He requested a "Helmet" and a "Dragon" which to me, translates out to 03473: Khesh Blackscale, Dragonman. I haven't done a WIP for the dragoman, but I figured I'd try to redeem myself with a WIP of his base, so here it goes! ​I've been seeing a lot of great bases lately, and figured I'd try to do a fancy wooden one without fancy wood. This means a 2"x2" block of wood from Michaels mades of some indeterminate tree. I've done a bit of carving before, so I figured it wouldn't be a big deal to carve... and I was wrong! This is an extremely hard piece of wood, so I was only able to shave a bit off on the sides and figured that would do for this experiment. What you see below is the result that's already been stained and had a cork topper attached to it. This particular piece of cork came from a trivet pack purchased at IKEA for this sort of thing for... I think it was around $3 for 3 trivets. These are the main things I'm using for this part of the project. MinWax Pre-Stain and Wood Finish are my go to products for all the wood I've done in my basings. I believe the color of the stain is Mahogany, although I'll have to check... Okay, it's Reg Mahogany 225 to be precise. I just sand the wood with 600 then 400 grit to remove burrs, blemishes, and such. I then wipe the surface with t-shirt rags to get rid of the excess dust. Of course, this is all on the cans themselves. The Liqitex Acrylic Gesso is to seal the cork with. I really think I prefer cork to just about anything out there. It's so much easier to pin into than the other things I've tried. At any rate, I think it was Cash who suggested gesso to me and I love it! If you don't seal the cork, you'll watch it absorb layer after layer of whatever color you try to paint it on afterwards. With the Gesso, it's like painting minis. I tend to pain the rock effects with glazes and washes for the most part... either way, this stuff is awesome and I don't think I'll run out of it anytime soon. Mah Pliers! These are Kobalt from Lowe's. You can't beat a good pair of quality pliers for gripping strength! As you can see, all I'm doing is pinching and pulling off chunks of cork to arrive at the finished shape. I did the same thing with the Winter Exchange project, only that was just a cork mounted on a checker. I just visualize what I want to achieve and do my best to not pull off too much cork at a time! Dad always told me to measure twice, cut once. This translates to not being in too big of a hurry! I'm sure you can glue back on what you want to when you're done, but why fix what ain't broke... Dad was a regular poet! What I'm going for here is a rock looking mesa base... We'll have to see what I end up with. And done! I'm satisfied with it at this stage. Later I'm going to add sand to fill in gaps and use for more terrain. However, I'm stopping here and leaving well enough alone... although it looks like I cleaned it up a bit more between this point and the taping. Since I'll be painting this up, I don't want to mess up the stain! I probably should've done this before ripping off chunks of cork with unforgiving pliers, but I like to live dangerously. At any rate this is simply blue painter's tape. I'm not trying to be super precise as this is the first time I've experimented with a project like this, but I want to avoid "accidents." I keep trying to remind myself to pick up some Frog Tape as it works really good against paint, but the blue hasn't let me down yet. And the gesso sealer! I thin the gesso a bit as it comes out very, very thick. Probably closer to sour cream than ketchup. It doesn't have to be thin, but you don't want it to be sloppy either. You want it to flow into the cracks and holes to seal up the cork really well. Just play with it a bit and see what happens :) That's pretty much the end of the simple stuff! It's pretty straightforward. I'm sure I'll paint on this more tonight and put together a better WIP. I took these pics last night but fell asleep editing them, thus the afternoon post today. Stay tuned for more, and I'm sure I'll post pics of Khesh as well. -K
  17. Alright! For everyone that's been following this WIP and possibly this basing tutorial, here are the final results! The Nubian Princess This is what I worked on while seemingly everyone else and their momma was at Reapercon! At any rate, I did this mini for a family member who plays Munchkin with my wife and I on a regular basis. She's African American, and as I haven't seen many minis done up this way, I figured I'd give my had a try at it. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the results! There's a lot of new things I tried out with this mini that I hadn't tried out before. A lot of them can be looked at in detail by checking the WIP and the basing tutorial I wrote up while doing this... What can I say? I had to make up for not having a WIP for the Winter Exchange Here's the highlights of what I did/thought of during this creation: 1. I didn't really like the dark skin triad from Reaper. I painted it up and it came out pretty chalky. I'm not sure if they just weren't mixed enough or if I got a bad batch. I corrected it by adding... Ruddy Leather? I don't know for sure. At any rate, I'm apparently not that great at highlight African skin tones, which means I'll just have to keep working on it! 2. The water feature... In all honesty, I *still* need to add more. There's a very small hole in the center that *still* needs to be filled... I may just leave well enough alone! LOL! 3. The bamboo! I had a blast doing bamboo! I followed an instructional from the Necrotales website, and I think they came out pretty good! I actually had an extra as I ran out of room on the bowl base. 4. The flower! That flower is a paper flower from one of the nail kits you can order from Korea. Looking at this pics I wish I would have gone back and put a wash on it, but the thing was so delicate and made of paper, I'm not sure it would've worked! If anyone has worked with these and has any advice, I'm all ears! I did put several, several, SEVERAL layers of brush on superglue to toughen it up. 5. I tried more freehand! I'm kind of curious what brushes everyone uses to do the wonderful freehand painting I've seen over the forum. I just used a Raphael 0 for most of the flowers. I'd like to practice more and branch out to get better. I enjoyed it, even though it was frustrating! 6. The bowstring is a donation from my wife. It's actually painted gold, which is somewhat hard to see in these pics. It shines wonderfully if you can catch the light just right.... 7. Hangar 18 Night Sky... Do we really need any other backdrop? I had ordered 2 more backdrops especially for this project, but H18NS still proved to be the best! I'll post other pics of the other backdrops in the WIP in a bit if you're curious. Anyhoo, that's about all I need to say as everything else is contained in the WIP and in the Tut. Please leave comments and suggestions! This one was pretty challenging for me... Then again, they're all challenging for me! I'm trying to push myself on each miniature. This one was Lucky Mini #13! I'm not sure what waits for #14... I'll have to sleep on it.... -K
  18. Alright people! I'm humbly submitting my techniques for building the bases I like to put together. Please keep in mind I'm not as skilled as those who have paved the path before me, but I got enough questions regarding the Unofficial Winter Exchange that I figured I'd go ahead and post a WIP and discussion on this part of the forum. So here we go! This is the base I'm planning on using in my "Plains of Nubia" project. This is a 1.5" bowl I picked up from Hobby Lobby. The pack of 4 cost right at $2. I sanded, primed, and painted the bowl with a mix of Vallejo Gloss Black, Vallejo Thinning Medium, and Reaper Brush On Sealer. There are a few pics over there if you want to see how it looked before I got started. The first thing I do, after staining, painting, whatever the base, is protect it with painter's tape. This process can get messy with glue flying everywhere. Plus, the last thing I want is a glue enabled fingerprint on the side of a base I spent a while sanding, staining, and working on. So, painter's tape it is! I had an old roll of blue painter's tape lying around so that's what I'm using. I want to try frog tape though as I've used it in painting other things to great success. At any rate, it gives you a bit of security, but don't think you can go willy-nilly and slop glue and paint all over your base and you'll be fine. You won't. This is like seat belts in cars. They help you in case of a crash, but it's up to you to keep it between the lines! To start, I used Elmer's Glue-All and thinned it with distilled water, in roughly a 1:1 basis. You can see the glue mixed with the water below. I try to keep this mixture somewhat thin as I want the glue to seep throughout the sand mixture I'll be building up in layers. I use the end of that cheap brush you see in the pic to stir the mixture, and the cheap brush to apply the glue. Here's a layer of glue in the bottom of the bowl, slopped in there with the aforementioned cheap brush. I'll then use my fingers to just drop some sand in the bottom of the bowl, then wait for a few seconds for capillary action to pull the glue up around the sand. After this, I'll just dump the sand back into the container I keep it in. I purchased a big bag of sand at Lowe's for like, um.... $4 or so? Maybe it was cheaper. It was cheap sand and it's kind of annoying as it has lots of small rocks and stuff in it. Of course, the small rocks ARE useful, just not when I'm trying to build up layers. More on this later. After dumping the excess, I'll let this sit a while then add more glue, more sand, dump, more glue, more sand, dump.... You get the picture. As I build layers, I'll just take thinned glue and touch the tip of the cheap brush to the sand and watch the glue flow out. The higher I get, the more glue I'll allow to flow as I add additional sand on top. I'll occasionally tamp it down to make sure the sand and glue are getting packed together. I probably could have saved some work and time if I'd just used Greenstuff to fill up the bottom of the bowl up to the level where I wanted to work, but I'm glad I went this route as the sand increased the weight of the bowl significantly, meaning I probably won't have to attach the finished bowl to an additional disk if I don't want to. As I build layers, I'm trying to visualize what I want the finished base to look like. Right now I'm thinking, yeah, I kind of like that... KIND of.... Once I build up to my "working depth," I start building up more sand on one side than the other. I'm planning on doing a water effect (my first one!) on one side, so I need to leave a small pool to do so. I thicken my glue to keep it from flowing as much in order to keep the sand from settling out flat. I don't remember what ratio I used, but it was probably 2:1 glue to water. You can see how it sits in one place rather than flowing like before. Then, of course, I throw sand on top of the glue and tamp it down. As I built, I ran across this rock. I need to sift my sand as when I'm building layers, I don't want small rocks in the layers. My reasoning for this is that I'll want to add the mini, plants, and whatever else to this base later, and I don't want to strike a rock while drilling holes for the pins to fit. I removed this rock before proceeding. This also means that you'll need to tamp down the area of displaced sand. Eventually I got to the level where I wanted to start working on the pool for the water effect. I thinned the glue back out again, and used the "glue touch" technique to really solidify up the sand. I let this dry for a *bit* before proceeding. I don't want it to be a runny mess, but I don't want it to dry to where I move a huge chunk of sand while sculpting the pool. I used the end of the brush to rough out the pool edges. The additional glue in the previous step allows an edge to form. Again, more thinned glue is applied to hold this edge and the rest of the sand in place. Keep this in moderation as you don't want your sand flowing into the pool you just created! You can tell there's enough when the glue doesn't quite want to soak into the "ground." After this dried for a bit, I used my finger to smooth the contours of the pool. This is the final result. Once I'm satisfied, I'll go over it all once more with thinned glue to hold it all together, again using the "glue touch" LOL! And there's the bowl, all mounted up back on the painting stand/device/whatever. This will definitely have to dry overnight and maybe longer. I'll want it to be rock hard before I start painting it as this one has a pool in it. On some of my bases, I've started applying washes before it was completely dry, and it turned out okay. It can be problematic as you're adding water to an already wet slurry, so you have to keep that into consideration. However, I will not start dry or wet brushing the green paint on until it is completely dry, as you'll just end up with a muddy mess. This one's going to sit overnight until tomorrow evening when I'll start applying the base wash of Walnut Brown, Pure Black, and Distilled Water. I say it's a wash, it's probably closer to a glaze but... We'll talk about that in the next post. Hope this was helpful! -K
  19. Okay! So I'm tinkering around with the idea of doing my first water effect on my current WIP. My question is: what do you guys use for your water effects? Are there any specific brands that y´all use? What about tutorials? There had been some scenic waterfall set on clearance at Hobby Lobby, but apparently it sold before I could pick it up. Any advice would be useful! -K
  20. Okay! This is a partial WIP write-up for my 12th miniature of all-time! I don't know how I get myself into these things.... I don't have a ton of pics for the Stonehaven Dwarf Rogue as I didn't post a WIP due to the nature of the Exchange. I'm going to post a few pics and just comment on them as I post them. The final outcome of this project can be seen here. This apparently extremely large photograph (didn't know it was so big! LOL!) shows the painting at some point in the line of completion. It was a time when I was experimenting with various shades of metallic on the daggers. The problem I was having was with the design of the daggers. Instead of having a non-sharpened spine, the daggers were made with an edge, but curved in shape. This for some reason gave me fits. I went back and forth on the daggers until I finally ended up with a simpler version. I found the edges on the mini to be too rounded to highlight effectively, up until the end. At any rate, this is one of the few production pics I have as I wasn't doing a formal WIP. The paints are a combination of Reaper MSP, Vallejo, and Scale 75. This pic shows the base at an early stage. The base is, quite simply, a cork stopper. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do for a base as Aard had requested a 1" base that she uses in gaming. I knew I wanted something dynamic (I can't keep it simple), so I came up with the concept of doing a wall, column, or something. What I ended up was with a large rock column that may have once upon a time been something dramatic. Essentially, I took a pair of needle nose pliers to the cork and started ripping pieces out of it. I managed to stab myself in the palm during the process, but thankfully shed no blood! LOL! At this point the cork was covered in white gesso to seal it and prep for the rock effects to be applied. The disk in the foreground is a wooden checker that was purchased from Michael's in a bag with other for pretty cheap. It was sanded, prepped with stain prep, then stained. I'm really liking the look of stained bases for my minis. It is a tad over an inch (sorry Aard!) but the cork fit nicely into it. I tapped the center of the checker with a wire cut from a paper clip to skewer the cork on along with some super glue to hold it in place. I should've taken more pics of this for future reference, but I digress! I do have a few pics of the cork being painted, but you can see the results in the show off. One thing I did do extra on this mini was to add a felt bottom to the piece. I hadn't done one before, and I really hope to find a 1" hole punch for cloth as this was the size I needed. As it was, I ended up just tracing a circle on the felt and started hacking away with scissors until I approximated a round shape. I think it came out pretty good, and it make a satisfying sound when setting the mini down on a hard surface. More like a "clunk" than a "click!" This was probably overkill, but I wanted to see if I could pull it off. Let's see... What else? The tufts are Army Painter Swamp Tufts... I think. The flowers are Silflor MiniNatur. I managed to sign and date the bottom rim with a Faber Castell PITT Pen. It's not very legible, but it's there. LOL! At any rate, I had a ton of fun working up this mini, and I hope the effort paid off! Thanks for viewing, and if you have any questions/concerns/suggestions, please let me know! -K P.S.: If you missed the link to the show off because I write too much, it's here as well!
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