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  1. There has been some talk on the boards of people's costumes, the wearing of them and how they change things and what people are working on. So I'd like to throw open the question, What is your costume? It can be any approach. Are you working on one now? Are you a fan who appreciates them but doesn't make them? Do you have a favorite costume? Do you have favorite memories of one? Do you like realism, or abstraction, history, sci fi, or fantasy? Does costuming connect to your gaming or other hobbies? When and where do you wear costumes? Are you making something for another person? Or for a doll maybe? What's your favorite one you've seen? What would you make if you had the materials and time? *** I'll start. I have a reproduction late-eighteenth century dress in a big floral print in shades of red and blue on white, complete with undergarments, big pockets, mitts, a ruffled cap, and cocked hat that I had been wearing to our neighborhood's annual Fourth of July parade. But I've been feeling weirder about it in the last few years since late eighteenth century dress has become political in a direction I am not. So I've found myself turning towards the struggles of the Suffragists a century ago. I've been reading old mail order catalogues from the First World War and checking out the eminently practical suits women wore at the time -- big pockets everywhere! At this point I have plans for nearly everything except a suit. I have undergear and petticoats, a blouse, nearly acceptable shoes, hats to be modified, a good pattern for spats, and a pageant-style banner edged with green and purple ribbon* ready to be painted front and back with "Votes for Women". At this point it would be nice to make a historically accurate suit, but looking at what I have, I think it would be a fairly convincing impression with any reasonably matched jacket and calf-length skirt. *Those are the colors of the English suffragists, not the US ones, but I'm okay with that.
  2. My GM needed a party of NPCs fast for a game of Exalted set in the World of Darkness (think fantasy characters popping up in a modern day world, more or less). There was no time to order anything, but we had the handy new Bones III core and Mythos sets. These are the Bones minis 77322, Kassandra of the Blade (sculpted by Werner Klocke); 77405, Aeris, Female Elf Ranger (sculpted by Julie Guthrie); as-yet unnumbered Mythos figures based on 50032: Jake Ryan, Hero Explorer (sculpted by Bobby Jackson) and the Victorian Lord from the set 50326: Victorian Lord & Dame (sculpted by Bob Ridolfi); and as a free bonus 77409, Flara, Elf Heroine (sculpted by Werner Klocke), who was simply a "Vale Swordsman Elf Grunt" in metal (she was the first character picked for the one represented by Kassandra of the Blade, and I painted her up anyway as an extra and useful figure). I painted these really fast -- for me -- in two afternoons, one to prime and paint faces and one to paint the rest of them. It's not quite my one-hour robot speed paint, but for me it was super fast and the results are more tabletop-quality than my usual run. First I washed and primed all the Bones with Reaper's Brown Liner. I did not clean flash up as much as normal owing to the tight deadline. Skin work, using simple mixes of earth pigments plus white: Burnt Umber (for the darker skin tones), Burnt Sienna (for the pinker, lighter skin tones), Red Iron Oxide (for really pink skin) ,and Yellow Ochre plus Titanium White. Hair was laid in with the same palette plus Carbon Black. Rough shading with ruddy Burnt Sienna-Titanium White shadows and greyer Burnt Umber-Titanium White shadows. This character, a former Fae, has dramatic blue-streaked hair. This is a classic mix of Phthalocyanine Blue and enough Titanium White to make it opaque.
  3. Yes, this is the repository for all things culinary. We've fired off recipes, we've traded family secrets (well, not all of them) and mentioned our favorite cooking shows. So here it is, fire them keyboards up and give us all things food-related! --lstormhammer, summoning up the Iron Chefs!
  4. I'm planning to test some different ways of varnishing Bones, since there is some confusion and some materials seem to dry sticky, or turn sticky after some time. This is going to be a long-term experiment because of the aforementioned change over time. I have a dozen rats and five mummies from the first two Bones Kickstarters which I have painted up in colors known for their shininess (the blacks and reds on the rats) and their matte qualities (the grey bases and the linen color on the mummies). These are super quick paints, just there to test the results. Once they are fully cured I plan to number them under their bases and experiment with different combinations of matte and gloss finish, including at least one unvarnished of each type. I plan to report back after some time has passed.
  5. This started out as a series of posts in the Randomness thread as I was noodling about with ideas. But things in Randomness get lost fast, and people seemed interested. So here is how I developed a pen and ink drawing from a preliminary sketch to (hopefully - not quite there yet) a finished drawing. I'm currently involved in a game set in the World of Darkness combined with Exalted. My PC is a (former) vampire with a certain amount of mental baggage. This drawing started as a tiny doodle in my sketchbook about The Beast Within, a major leitmotif in White Wolf's vampire games, as seen in the character's House of Memory (a sort of mental structuring invented in the real world in classical times to help people remember awesome amounts of stuff). The original sketch was about 4 by 8 cm. The text (if anyone is interested) is "... I could see what of my character was now imposed. Alien ways --" "You weren't frightened?" "They are only memories -- Diagnoses, if you will, of the actual thoughts. They cannot harm me."
  6. So I was at the World Model Expo in Chicago last weekend, meeting Corporea and a whole bunch of Reaperites and ogling some of the finest miniatures painting and dioramas the world has to offer (the PA system requested fluent translators at a number of points). I took some pictures. Normally I've been putting up galleries on Photobucket, but they turned evil quite recently, so I'm attempting to put some up here to share. Anyhow, much of the show was historical miniatures, a category pretty new to me, and almost everything was much larger scale than the 28mm I'm used to. As for the vendors, I regret to say that while for the larger figures the men were young, old, noble, peasant, ugly, handsome, heroic, villainous, commonplace, extraordinary, leaders, followers, white, black, Asian, Elvish, Orcish, cowboys, Vikings, soldiers, and fops; there were far fewer women figures and they were overwhelmingly pin-ups. Not that I have anything against pin-ups, per se. I just prefer painting other things. I did pick up one very nice 54mm armored woman to give a try, only to discover Kuro Cleanbrush had done the same with the same model months ago. Good taste, Kuro! ( @Liverpuncher also put up a thread for his World Expo photos here.) Here's a couple of @Wren's pieces, including my own rough approximation of 3D photography: cross your eyes and it's 3-D!
  7. This is a figure from the Goth set from the game "Wild in the Streets" by Slow Death Games. Thanks to FishNJeeps for directing me to them when I needed miniatures of modern people in goth-punk wear for a World of Darkness game. I painted up the figure as a vampire. It didn't originally have any facial hair; that's all painted on. There isn't a WIP thread. So as a quick note, although I have seen people able to do wonderfully subtle and menacing vampires who still look like vampires, I find that unless I paint mine in stark black and white they look like regular people.
  8. Last year PingosHusband, after noodling around Exalted (2nd edition) and World of Darkness rulebooks (Vampire the Masquerade 2nd edition, Werewolf the Apocalypse, Mage the Ascension, etc.), announced that he'd like to run an Exalted game set in the World of Darkness. We, his friends and loved ones, said “What, are you crazy? Have we not long joked about how unplayable and internally inconsistent the World of Darkness is; how its timeline makes no sense and its rules and worldbuilding are buried and often mutually contradictory; how foolish and suicidally incurious the various groups are regarding each other; and how so many of its many tragic angsty world-destroying problems could be solved if only each isolated group got its head out of its backside and actually talked to one of the others?” He said, “Hear me out,” and since we have long experience of his keen ability to run entertaining campaigns, we heard him out. See, PingosHusband has a knack rather like Alan Moore's ability to take unpromising old third rate comic book series and turn them into fascinating multifaceted mythic dynamos, or Neil Gaiman's ability to mine world mythology to create astounding and consistent and multilayered worlds, or James Burke or Kenneth Hite’s ability to take fascinating historical and technological developments and spin them into stories of human interconnectivity or disturbingly deep illuminati conspiracies for game use, respectively. More than once PingosHusband has taken historical oddments, played “What happens if this is taken seriously and assumed to make sense somehow?” and produced some wonderful story or game setting or world. (One of them won awards.) So apparently he did this with Exalted and World of Darkness, getting under the hood, finding the core of what worked and what didn’t, seeing what could be connected to what else and what made sense, what was clearly absurd, what needed tweaking, what could be fun, what couldn’t be possible, why things happened, and who could have done them. He looked keenly at characters, places and situations, saw potential for fun in a campaign, wrote up background, and presented us with an introductory players’ handout. I’ll get to particulars later. The simple version is that the world looks basically like the World of Darkness, except that all of a sudden a tiny number of people have Exalted with memories of the world of Exalted (“Creation”) and powers derived from it. There are five to begin with (the PCs), although more will come soon enough. I have to say, this game has so far been tremendous fun. Our group has been playing together for over thirty years and I have rarely seen all of us this excited about a game. Our teenage / adult children are also involved and we have been having vivid family conversations over meals about history, strategy, and characters. I’ve (of course) been painting up miniatures for the game. I’m having a lot of fun with these too. I’ll put links to Show Off threads when I have them up.
  9. I could have sworn I had started a thread already. Ah, well. Here's a drawing I did related to a vampire game, with an enlarged detail to show pencil work. It's 5 inches by 8 (12.7 x 20.3 cm). The detail is about 1.75 x 2 inches (4.4 x 5 cm).
  10. So this is 03681: Nazera Bloodraven, Vampire, sculpted by Bobby Jackson. She was something of a windfall surprise gift from an unexpected quarter and came without blister packaging. For some reason, until I looked her up, I thought she was an earlier version of Monique de Noir. I think she might be an older sculpt. She is standing on a thick slab like the lid of a tomb and the bottom is stamped "RMI", which I've mostly seen on older Reaper figures. She has a nice, dynamic flow of lines and forms. Anyhow, she is pretty neat and decidedly sinister, with her bat-motif armor and shield. I prepped her in my usual way for metal figures, a good scrubbing with warm water and dish soap, a gentle filing of mold lines, priming with a thin layer of Titanium White and washed with thinned Burnt Umber. Her face is the only exposed skin showing. I painted it, but thinly, with pure Titanium White, at least for starting out. I made the error the last time I painted a vampire of giving her a light wash of brown for shadows right at the end which made her look too alive. I don't plan to make that mistake this time. I've decided to try to paint her armor iridescent, like a raven's wing. The best way I've found to get that effect is to start with a dark undertone and glaze it with iridescent and interference pigments. To that end I've underpainted her armor and shield dead black using Mars Black, the most opaque of all blacks. (I also painted her sword, since black is also a good undercolor for metallics -- although I may just leave her sword black). The little bits of shine are because the paint is not quite dry in the nooks and crannies.
  11. I speed-painted these over two afternoons to be a party of NPC adventurers for an eclectic mash-up of Exalted and the World of Darkness. They are 77322, Kassandra of the Blade (sculpted by Werner Klocke); 77405, Aeris, Female Elf Ranger (sculpted by Julie Guthrie); as-yet unnumbered Mythos figures based on 50032: Jake Ryan, Hero Explorer (sculpted by Bobby Jackson) and the Victorian Lord from the set 50326: Victorian Lord & Dame (sculpted by Bob Ridolfi); and 77409, Flara, Elf Heroine (sculpted by Werner Klocke). WIP thread here.
  12. This figure is from a set of fun modern street fighters from the game "Wild in the Streets" by Slow Death Games. (Many thanks to FishNJeeps for pointing them out to me at Adepticon.) This figure is from the "Murder Cult Girls Gang" (I had to remove a large knife from her right hand). I'm currently involved with a campaign of "Exalted" (2nd edition) set in the World of Darkness ("Vampire the Masquerade" (2nd edition), "Werewolf the Apocalypse" etc. etc.). One of the PCs is (and I'm sure this will sound like glossolalia) a member of a South Korean girl pop group who Exalted as a Sidereal of the Maiden of Serenity (Venus). She dresses fashionably, mostly in the color blue (the five Maidens have planets and colors associated with them and I swear they are totally cribbed from "Sailor Moon"). Her hair is dyed bright pink; her eyes are preternaturally blue with white pupils; and she has a "caste mark" of the sign of Venus (a.k.a. the symbol for "female") in glowing blue on her forehead (I wasn't able to paint that clearly; there's just a little interference blue under her bangs). The character has a hand-sized green spider familiar named Jadie. Since she had a slightly blobby hand (from removing an unwanted knife from the figure), I painted it up to look like a spider. There is a WIP thread here.
  13. This is another of the PCs for an enjoyable mashup of White Wolf's World of Darkness (Vampire the Masquerade, second edition, Werewolf the APocalypse etc.) and Exalted (second edition). This one is an androgynous, or perhaps genderfluid would be a better description, Alchemical, a sort of human-cyborg prototype Exalted made by Autochthon, architect of the world. The Adamant caste are sort of the policemen-secret agent-ninjas of the Alchemicals, making sure society runs smoothly in their mechanized cities. This one is sort of lost, as the Creation of Exalted has morphed into the World of Darkness and Autochthon is nowhere to be found, although things with his name which are not him, echoes perhaps, linger. Anyhow, that's all backstory. The figure is Patrick Keith's enigmatic Numemera Jack, Reaper 62102. There is a WIP thread here.
  14. This is another of the PCs for the "Exalted" campaign set in White Wolf's World of Darkness which I'm currently involved in. This character was a medieval Persian vampire who reverted to human when she Exalted as a Zenith caste Solar. Among other things, she has a sword which shines with the light of the Sun. The figure is from Hasslefree, HFA004 "Kat", sculpted by Kev White. There's a WIP thread here. The lighting effect changes a lot at different angles so I included lots of pictures.
  15. This is another PC for the campaign of "Exalted" set in White Wolf's World of Darkness that I am involved in. The character is a Scottish mage from the Sons of Ether who is essentially a therapist for would-be reformed vampires and werewolves. At the beginning of the game he Exalted as a Twilight-caste Solar. (If this means nothing to you don't worry about it.) The figure is Julie Guthrie's delightful "Benedict Baker", a highly versatile gentleman. There's a WIP thread here.
  16. Felicitations on your personal solstice!
  17. There's a French wargame called "Alkemy" which has a faction of pseudo-Egyptian cat-people called the Khaliman Republic (or République Khalimane in the original). A few years back I snagged a starter set of 5 resin figures I found on clearance because, well, cat people. Currently I am involved in an elaborate and fascinating campaign combining White Wolf's World of Darkness (the one in Vampire the Masquerade second edition and Werewolf the Apocalypse) with its "Exalted" game, second edition (which was originally sold as the prehistory of the World of Darkness, although they backed away from that pretty fast). This character is a PC for that game. The person is a lycanthrope, or rather a feline therianthrope. He has a human form, but I painted up the cat man because it's more fun. This is the first small-scale non-terrain resin I've ever assembled or painted. It was a little fiddly and I was worried about its fragility. There are a few places with what is probably flash that I didn't have the courage to try to slice off. Comments welcome. WIP thread here.
  18. This is Jason Wiebe's sabertooth tiger, Reaper 02480. I painted it up with a lynx's coloration. WIP thread here. As a note, this is another form of the feline therianthrope also depicted here. So this is another PC for that idiosyncratic game of World of Darkness-Exalted I'm involved in. And that skull under the critter is small. (with 59037 Deadlands Noir Femme Fatale by Bob Ridolfi for scale)
  19. This is Patrick Keith's 50246: Marie, She-Bot, famous from the old Fritz Lang movie "Metropolis," and two other robots Johnny Lauck sold adjacent to his sci fi Salvage Crew. I painted them up in less than an hour. WIP thread here.
  20. One of our players is playing an Adamant Caste Alchemical in a game of Exalted (2nd ed., heavily modded). Info about them is semi-classified by the GM, but they seem to be sort of crystalline with interchangeable parts, a little like cyborgs. The Numenera Jack with the crossbow (or pickaxe?) arm seemed a decent fit, as the character is supposed to be somewhat androgynous. Here is the figure mounted on a fender washer for stability, primed white and washed with Burnt Umber.
  21. Some years back I acquired a starter box of the Khaliman Republic (basically Egyptian cat people) for the French wargame Alkemy. They are the first small-scale resin I've ever assembled or painted. Anyhow, one of our gamers wished to play a Ceilican (magical were-cat) in a heavily modded World of Darkness campaign. Of the five figures in the set this one appealed the most. It appears to be a sort of lynx-man but with a long tail. There may be some flash or something. I've been reluctant to get too slicey with the resin. Here the figure is primed white and washed with thinned Burnt Umber.
  22. So my husband is running a game this Saturday and he asked "Do you have any robot figures?" and I said "Ummm, let me get back to you." Happily, I had on hand a copy of Patrick Keith's 50246, "Marie She-Bot" familiar to film aficionados from Fritz Lang's seminal "Metropolis". I also had a handful of little robots from Johnny Lauck's Salvage Crew. So I glued them together and primed them and painted them very simply with metallic paints. The whole thing took less than an hour. For metallics I use the principles I learned for gilding: Everything has a color underneath it, usually a rust-red for gold and a black or grey for silver (or aluminum or palladium -- I never could bring myself to gild with something that could decay as fast as silver leaf). I originally planned to paint the Metropolis robot gold, so I primed her with Red Iron Oxide. Then I did the same with a little monkey-robot from Johnny Lauck (ignore the two little guys to the right; I didn't get further than this with them and I plan to paint them like plastic anyway, if I get to them before Saturday). Then my husband pointed out that if I painted the Metropolis robot silver she could stand in for a Moonsilver Alchemical later on. D'oh! ... Okay, so now I was going to see what silver paint looks like over brick red. For science! I washed over the two red robots with dark paint to bring out the details: Burnt Umber on the little monkeybot, as is normal for under a warm color like gold. But then I used straight Carbon Black on Maria She-Bot since she was going to be cold silver, and black generally looks cold under other colors. I notice that she looks just like the Chinese lacquer sculptures I've seen around, a point worth remembering to try some other time, perhaps. I also painted black primer on the servo on the left, another Johnny Lauck 'bot. I had to glue that one to a fender washer as it had a tendency to topple over to its left; otherwise its base had been the same size as the other Lauck robots. That's also why it appears now; its glue was setting while I was priming the others. (Once again, ignore the two on the right.) I then took my good #2 Winsor and Newton series 7 brush and drybrushed silver metallic paint onto the armed servo Lauck 'bot and Marie, She-Bot. ... I find using good brushes helps give a lot of control and evenness, even for this. This wasn't the really scrabbly kind of drybrushing anyway, more like stroking tiny amounts of unthinned paint over the high points of a countoured surface. Anyhow, you can see the different color effects based on what went under the silver paint, black on the left and brick red on the right. You can also see the detail level difference between Johnny Lauck's sculpt and Patrick Keith's. Then I did the same thing, only using gold metallic paint, to the Johnny Lauck monkey robot. I painted their bases solid black. Normally I like a base with at least a neutral grey with shadows, but I was in a hurry and the black contrasted better with their metallic shininess. I also added a few details, red eyes on the Lauck robots and a glowing yellow inside the armed Lauck bot's gun barrel (Which I see I didn't take pictures of. Need to fix that for the Show Off thread). And there you have it. Really really fast quick and dirty robot painting. Total painting time: About forty minutes. (With prep time, work time is probably an hour, or a smidgen more)
  23. This is Reaper's 02480, Sabertooth Tiger, sculpted by Jason Wiebe. It's a nice muscular rendition of the Ice Age critter. This is my standard priming, with a thin coat of Titanium White paint (Golden matte fluid acrylic) and a wash of Burnt Umber afterwards. It reminds me of a lynx in general aspect, so I plan to paint it with more or less a lynx's coloration. The first thing I did was paint a sickly green, mixed from Yellow Ochre and Carbon Blck, over the base. I like to paint thinly enough so underlayers show through, to make things look more realistic. This works well for fur too. ... I couldn't help but notice that that skull underneath the creature is mighty small. Like, child sized. Next: Fur!
  24. My husband is running a game of more-or-less-Exalted (2nd ed.) set in the more-or-less World of Darkness (2nd ed.) ("But rather less than more," as W.S. Gilbert wrote -- it has been given the complete Neil Gaiman-Alan Moore historico-mythological treatment, about which I can expound elsewhere and another time, 'cos it's a really fun game). One of the PCs is playing a mage of the Sons of Ether who has taken to proffering therapy to would-be reformed werewolves and vampires, who Exalted as a solar of the Twilight caste. If this means nothing to you, don't worry about it. He's a modern-day Scottish mage who has suddenly gotten an infusion of even more magey power. This is my standard starting point, the mini glued to a base, primed white, and washed with Burnt Umber.
  25. So there is this skirmish game, "Wild in the Streets" by Slow Death Games. Member FishNJeeps alerted me to it at Adepticon last month after I told him I was looking for minis of unarmed women in good street clothes for some friends. (Thanks, FishNJeeps!) I'm really grateful he did, because they had two sets of skirmishers that had a lot of promise. This figure is from the "Murder Cult Girls" set, which otherwise is a little goofy but has this one figure that really appealed to my friend. (I also got the "Goth" set which looks like it will prove mighty useful.) I just had to get rid of the big knife in her hand (the Goths are mostly unarmed, interestingly). I'm no expert with a knife, but I clipped and filed until ... well, until she had a sort of a clumsy mitt of a hand a little awkwardly held out. Hum. Not to worry because I had a brainstorm a little later. Here she is (left) primed with a thin layer of Titanium White and a wash of Burnt Umber. I've already started painting her skin in with mixes of Titanium White and Burnt Sienna with a little Yellow Oxide admixed because she is supposed to be Korean. With skin, at least for me, I add layers and add layers and it looks weird ... ... until it doesn't. I've painted a little transparent Quinacridone Crimson on her lips and her eyes are preternaturally blue and pupil-less on purpose. Her hair is only sketched in for the moment, but yes, it is supposed to be bubblegum pink. She is a wee bit of a Gothic Lolita. And then I worked out something about making her hand look okay. The character she represents has a green spider familiar. A big one, hand size. ... Hand size ... So I figured okay fine, I'm going to try to paint that lemon-shaped lump in her right hand as a big green spider. I'll work out how as I go along. To start with I painted it bright green. Phthalocyanine Green, my favorite green pigment, is completely transparent. It's great for color glazes but needs something opaque added to give it body. I decided to do a two step process to give it a really intense, glowing color. This is something I do a lot when I want a really eye-popping bright color: Paint a paler, solid version of the color underneath and then glaze over it with a more intense, transparent color. Here's my palette (Normally I use a wet palette but this was for a single quick effect): From left to right the colors are: Phthalo Green (looking super dark because of its transparency -- it's actually a brilliant peacock blue-green), Hansa Yellow Opaque (a brilliant warm yellow with only a little opacity, despite the name), and Titanium White. Above the Hansa Yellow is my mixed color with a ton of yellow, only a little green (it's a really strong green) and enough white to make it fairly opaque but not too washed out. Here's the first layer on her hand: Notice even "opaque" the color underneath shows through. I like this because it harmonizes the colors. There's something in fine art I've heard called "airlessness". It's when adjacent colors have nothing to do with each other, no reflections, no harmonics, just separate blocks of color. Maybe it's just a nice excuse for sloppiness, but I like colors bouncing off each other. Once the undergreen was dry I mixed a medium green with the yellow and no white in it, and glazed it lightly over the paler color. The under-color comes through and it's as close to a stained glass effect as regular paint can get. This is the state the figure was in for our first gaming session (Yeah, I'm slow.), and it was recognizable enough for the player to delightedly figure out that that was her spider. And yet there shall be more ...