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ThePolo

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About ThePolo

  • Rank
    Master
  • Birthday 05/25/1974

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    epolovich
  • Website URL
    http://www.thepolo.org

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Buffalo, NY
  • Interests
    Um, painting... Also, Shadowrun, and Bloodbowl. I'm also a tech-geek, a bass player, an internet junkie, and a dad.

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  1. ThePolo

    More Assembly line painting...

    I recently started a new D&D campaign (running Waterdeep Dragon Heist), and decided to paint up some groups of adversaries. Some of them to represent the opposing factions found in the city. These are all assembly lined, and while I wouldn't call them 'speed painted', I would say that they're not super detail oriented... Sorry for the photo quality. I couldn't find my camera, and had to use the phone! Some Gnolls, from various manufacturers, painted up for a sidequest (Did 20 of these): A large group of rogues and thugs, to represent the Xanathar's guild (18 of them): Lots of Drow. No spoilers, but if you've played or run the module, you know where the fit in (did 30, since I was on a roll): A certain character from the cover of the module: A half a dozen kenku and tabaxi: And, lastly, the party.
  2. Semi-permanent? The standing stone in front is pinned on there, so it's permanent. The "main" part of the figure is just resting on there It's pretty stable, since its so heavy. I don't foresee myself removing it a lot, but magnets are a good idea!
  3. Okay, so to continue where we left off... I was done with the model, and working on a scenic base. This thing is crazy huge, so why not make it bigger? I roughed out a little plateau and some standing stones out of foam using a wire cutter and a few xacto knives. Now, I don't work with foam regularly. Only a few times, actually, so I was super unsure about all of this. Seemed fairly straight forward, though. I finished roughing this sucker out, then based it and textured it like I would another mini... a little ballast, and some sand. Then I primed it up, and test fit Mal'adrakar. I just used Army Painter grey primer on the whole thing. After that it was a lot of drybrushing... a LOT of drybrushing. That's about 4 layers, then I very lightly dusted it with brown spray paint. It's a tip that I saw on a model railroad site, and I'm not sure if it's visible in the pic below, but it does bring out a little more detail. Then I started adding grass and foliage. I still need to do some more work on the 'ground', but I think the plateau itself is close to done? Mal'adrakar is still removable (the 'brush' is mounted to the foam, not the model). I'm just waiting for everything to dry completely, and then I'll get in there with some final detail... maybe add some rocks to the base? I'm not sure. Here's a nearly complete shot.... Any advice / criticism is appreciated. I'm not 100% comfortable with the base, mainly because I feel like I don't know what I'm doing, haha.
  4. Well, a big mini means more procrastination than usual. I got sidetracked for... what, a year or so? So, even with all of the delays, here we go: Finally, I returned to Mal'drakkar a few months back and have been making steady... if slow... progress ever since. Man, this thing is a wrist breaker. I knew that what stymied me last year was just the size of the thing... if I spent 3 hours painting I felt like there was no progress at all. I realized that I had to break it down into manageable, visible chunks if I was ever going to finish it. After some inspiration from the internet, I decided to tackle a big part of her, and work on the reds (that's the scales, the head, etc). I like painting red, because I feel like I get good results. I knew that if I could show some progress, them my efforts would steamroll to a finished model. So, first thing was first... I busted out the airbrush and started softening those transitions from black to red. Now, I probably could have done this to begin with, but I'm glad that I primed with the black. Not only was it a good base, it really helped me get a feel for the overall model. I roughly blocked out some shading in browns, and softened the transitions down to the feet and claws. While I was at it, I did the same thing to the head. Next, I gave the whole thing a dark wash...I really slathered it on there. Since it's such a big piece, I didn't really worry about overdoing it... I wanted those stark transitions so that I could fill in the mids and highs later. While I was at it, I hit the base with some slate-gray, and colored in the spines with a light brown, and then hit with a dark wash. The spines would eventually be what really unified the model for me. I think I hit a wall early on because each head was so different. I had an 'aha' moment, and decided that each head, wing, claw, and spike would layer the same in an attempt to make it one cohesive piece. I'm a big believer that the eye is just as important as the brush. If you can pick out details, and make good choices with color, then the finished model is that much better. Even if you're a mediocre painter, like I claim to be, if you make good choices with color, you can cover up a lot of technical failures. After the wash I slowly started the big task of layering all of those reds. Overall, I used a LOT of red paint. I went from brown all the way up to red-orange (I think that I did 6 different shades on top of that wash?) It was a super long process, and was the bulk of the work on the model. I took a similar tactic with the wings. Started with a base layer, hit it with a heavy wash and then layered up from there. I did a lot of drybrushing, since it was a big flat surface. It was about this moment that I really saw some progress... I think that I have that moment with every mini? Where, instead of just these blobs of color you can instantly see that you're getting there. What was dull and ugly hits some weird invisible tipping point, and all of a sudden it's starting to look good. I was inspired, and the rest of the model was a sprint. I layered up the spines, a bit, bringing them through the range of khaki to bone, and eventually to ivory. I shaded the reds a bit more, and took my color choices for the wings (leathers and buttery browns), and replicated that on the belly scales. I hit everything with one last layer of highlighting, and then finished and attached the heads. I was REALLY worried about the transitions at where they connected... I had no idea how to tackle it. My airbrush skills are okay for broad strokes, but I have no hand for detail work with it. I decided to go back to what I felt comfortable with... Reds and Layering. I layered and highlighted the transition areas just like I would anything else, I just swapped out my red palate for the other colors... moving 'up' a shade every scale of two. And, before I knew it, I was basically done. This beast took... I don't know how many hours. A LOT. I used rattelcans, an airbrush, a ton of black and brown wash, lots of red, brushes of a half a dozen sizes... but, man was it a fun one. I'm not ready for 'glamour shots' yet... I've still got to base this sucker. Hopefully that doesn't take another year. I broke out my wire foam cutter, and I've started on the base. It's a little ambitious? I'll share more pics as I progress.
  5. ThePolo

    Several misc minis from December 'break'...

    Thanks for the feedback, and the input everyone! I'm really sketchy on contrast for metals, other than washes and highlighting. I made it a point for like, a year, to push my highlights outside of my comfort zone... go one or two layers past what I thought was 'good'. I guess I need to start doing that with the metals? NMM is still a rare thing for me, but I've never really given as much attention to my metallics as I have my other colors. Thanks for the tip! Exactly the sort of advice I've been looking for! Once upon a time my pics were 'okay', but I've never been consistent with them! I'll try the index card, and post the results next time! Thanks!
  6. ThePolo

    Several misc minis from December 'break'...

    Look like it still is on their site? It's under 'heroes'.
  7. Had some time off, and managed to get a lot of room cleared off of my 'waiting to paint' shelf for the February Bones shipment! Now, if only my photography skills could improve as much as the size of my unpainted mini collection... I swear they look better in person. I'm thinking it's my light setup, but it also could be my terrible vision. I painted about a dozen dwarves, just to get them out of the way. I assembly lined them all, and tried a lot of new 'speedy' techniques... heavy on washes. And, because I always like seeing the 'metal vs bones' pics... Metal on the left (from a few years ago), Bones on the right. Not a reaper... Not sure where this is from, actually. It's old, though. At least 10 years... maybe 15? A Bones dragon that I slapped together in a few evenings just to get it on the table... Really fast paint job, I'd barely call it 'done'. And, an old Reaper demon... I think it's 'Abyst'? Again, we're dipping pretty far back into my 'unpainted' stuff here... And, lastly, some non-reaper stuff. Butt-Kicking for Goodness... Obligatory Eye Tyrant... Rincewind the Wizzard Lastly, not really a mini, but I ended up getting myself a present for Christmas this year... I've never felt to organized!! It's a huge improvement over my old 'buckets o' paint' setup... As always, C and C welcome.I really feel like I've plateaued over the past year or so. I'm spending some time this Spring reacquainting myself with an airbrush (and getting some bigger stuff off of the shelf and onto the tabletop), but I'm really not sure what techniques I should focus on (brush-wise) to take that 'next step'.
  8. The figures are the "Urban Achievers", by Impact Ministries. Got these suckers at GenCon for my fiance, since she's a big fan of the movie. Been saving them for a Christmas present, but she's got a bit of a cold, and I'm terrible with saving surprises. A quick paint job, all in one sitting, and they're done. The base is just printed on an interesting jet printer and mounted on some bass wood. Comments and critiques welcome.
  9. I've been staring at shelves and shelves of unpainted miniatures for too long! Too many big pieces and figures that I'm spending too much darned time on have reduced my productivity to a trickle. With the start of our new D&D campaign a short while back, I decided that i'd focus on monsters for the tabletop. Because of the Bones Kickstarters (and just buying too many minis, in general) I've got lots of 'hordes' of baddies that have sat unpainted for a long time. About 4 weeks ago I decided to try assembly line painting some of these suckers, and work on getting them on the table, and off of my workbench. I've managed to crank these out in a few sittings for each group, instead of a few sittings for each miniature. I've been watching more paint vids and tips on YouTube recently, and I figured I'd give some new techniques a try. I've never used 'Dip' or 'Quickshade', but some of the techniques for getting fast results looked interesting, so all of these minis are VERY heavy handed on the washes. I've also been aiming for high contrasts, for that 'pop' on the tabletop. Here's a big old picture dump of my last few weeks: It started with all the bones Lizardmen... I think that's 20 figures total that I did? Started with these, for a specific encounter in our Thursday gaming group. Heavy on the wash, and light on the details. I just wanted to get them out of my work area and into the 'game' room. Two short sessions and lots of drybrushing... I tried the old 'Backing Soda snow' technique for the first time and I'm in love with it. Continuing with the drybrush theme... I've had these guys for YEARS. The Ogres! I painted up 8 of these guys in about a week's time: I've had these two ettins on my shelves for at least 10 years... Finished these up yesterday.... All in all, 10 'Astral Reavers', in total... just in time for today's game: I managed to sneak in the occasional character mini, as well.. .as long as I was on the same color scheme, I'd sneak in a coat or three... Again, I went light on the detail, but high on the contrast. A bit of a conversion. Sea Elf Bard/Warlock just isn't that popular of a character choice, apparently. I learned a bunch this month, and I went through a TON of brown ink! I think that I might push forward with a few more groups of minis like this for a bit... Up next, some Mind Flayers, and a TON of gnolls. Questions & Comments always welcome.
  10. ThePolo

    Razig's crew...

    Well, I painted up Razig years ago. Quite honestly, I've taken a 5 year (or so) hiatus from painting regularly, with a few minor exceptions. Life sometimes gets in the way, and all that. I finally been painting on the regular, again, and I'm getting around to working my way through the 'shelf of shame'. This week I assembly lined some undead pirates that have been primed forever...Once upon a time I was planning on putting together a nice little Razig's Crew warband...First off, I painted Razig himself, painted way back in 2006. In fact, I posted about it here. Now, 12 years later, I've finally gotten around to the rest of the crew: And the inspiration for these? I dug up all these old bases...
  11. ThePolo

    A few random new ones...

    And, I got a new lighting setup. Amazon gift cards are great, aren't they? I don't know that it's making much of a difference... but it might just be that I have no idea what I'm doing with a camera? It looks like the lighting's a little more even, but I'm still having issues with 'harsh' color transitions. Maybe it's my painting style? Anyway, here's a Reaper Bones mini. I've been on the fence with Bones for a while, but this mini really turned me around... I'm officially a fan. I painted this sucker up in metal a few years ago, and re-painting it as a bones mini was pretty cool. The Detail was all there, which has always been my concern... And some random Hasslefree stuff... I got a big shipment from them a few weeks back... I've got about a dozen Reaper figures that I'm assembly line painting 'on deck', due to a new DnD campaign starting in a few weeks. I'll get those suckers up soon, too!
  12. I picked up a super cheap remote control strip light package from Amazon... I thought about going to Ikea, becuase their lights are a bit more polished, but these did the job. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075F6NTKP/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Ah! Also, whoever moved this... thanks! I wasn't really thinking when I posed it where I was posting it :)
  13. It's a 43" LED TV ... For reference, the white mat around the screen is 12" out from the TV in each direction, and the stained area with the cup holders is 5.5". It's not huge, but it does the job. If more space is needed, I typically throw a mat on the table. Most 'rooms' are much smaller than the TV can handle.
  14. ThePolo

    Two from Hasslefree

    Exactly why I painted these up... My GF just found out about the show in December. They're really well done, too. For some reason, if there's a TV / Movie character model out there, I end up buying the durn thing... If you search their site for 'Cartwright' you'll find them.
  15. Thanks, and I certainly am an 'old' face these days ;) I'll try not to be such a stranger, but being an adult takes up so much damned time...
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