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Everything posted by E-Arkham

  1. Though it may seem counterintuitive, one really great way to shade red is to use a thinned down mix of black and green. Since green and red are opposites on the colour wheel, mixing in green of a similar tone will also make a red duller without darkening or lightening the colour. Useful for old, weathered clothes, banners, etc. It occurs to me that I hadn't tried mixing in a bright green to a red yet... that might be a useful solution to avoid the "it's either too yellow or too pink" issue. Kep
  2. ERH contest? Main reason is because I hadn't heard of it. <g> Also, I wanted it on eBay so that it would have a chance of arriving before Halloween if someone bought it. The fishnets weren't that hard, by the way -- at least painting the lines isn't. Just start with a single line, paint it all the way out, then add a second line in parallel. Finish all the ones that head in one direction, then start the same method for the lines that crossover. Give it a try on a leg that's straight or only partially revealed. The only difficult part is how the lines should look when crossing bent body parts, in this case her knee. Notice the torn portions of the stockings? I only did it that way because the fishnets looked odd where they "bent" and I had to cover up my flubb! <g> Though it was actually lucky, as I think the ripped portions look much better than if it had been plain fishnets all the way down. In fact, that may be my next experiment -- ripped clothing, all painted on. Kep
  3. Well, cutting it AWFULLY close to Halloween, but here's my rendition of Elise, Witch. I opted for reds since I'd seen some anime art with a witch dressed in reds and she looked great. Rather non-traditional. The voters amoung you may do so here. :) Kep
  4. You know, I think your biggest hurdle is going to be the sheer number of kanji available. Even if you stick to the 1945 daily use, and then discard the esoteric ones like "an iron" or "swirl," that's a LOT of stamps to make. And if you make stamps of just the most common ones, you'll have a bunch of dull ones like 日(day) and 人(person). Even stamps for just the radicals wouldn't work, since they're written differently between kanji. http://www.jref.com/language/joyo_kanji.shtml Don't get me wrong; I think it's an excellent idea. But you shouldn't look at it as a means to practice your kanji. I think practice might be at odds with making a desirable product. To successfully garner interest, you'd need to do themed packs either based on meaning or merely "looking cool" for non-kanji readers (directions, for example: 東(east)、西(west)、北(north)、南(south) have both meaning and they all look pretty cool). Personally, I'd suggest just typing them up and printing them on transfer paper if you're going to do more than twenty or so. Extremely easy to add more in that medium (or heck, do all 1945 across several pages). Least, that's the way I see it... bear in mind I could be biased since I, too, am trying to build up my kanji vocabulary, so I tend to see kanji as being language rather than decorative patterns. Like I said, though... an excellent idea... just needs some details refined. :) Kep
  5. Try mixing a little piece of Sculpey into the green stuff. It'll help reduce the stickiness and also give a little more working time. Not a whole lot of Sculpey, mind, as Sculpey by itself requires an oven to cure... no more than 1 part Sculpey to 2 parts green stuff. I happen to like a 1:3 ratio. Kep
  6. Thanks everyone for the kind words. :) In fact, I've been meaning to write a "bases tutorial," but haven't had the time. The short version is "with a forstner bit." <g> A little more involved answer is this: First, plan out how many figures will be on the base and roughly what position. Pencil in a general layout and place figures and/or terrain to make sure you have room for everything you want to do. And of course sand the base smooth. The hole for the miniatures is drilled with a 1" forstner bit. I'm lucky enough to have access to full sized workshop, so I use a drill press for this, but you could also do it with a hand drill -- forstner bits are flat, unlike regular drill bits, but have a point in the middle to keep the drill steady. I just eyeball the depth, keeping a spare plastic base nearby to check the depth now and again. If you're going to add felt to the bottom of the miniature's base or inside the hole (as I did in this case), you have to drill slightly deeper to accomodate the thickness of the felt. After all holes are drilled for figures, I cover the whole base with ...uh... some sort of clear stuff that makes stain go on smoothly. <g> Sorry, I forget the name. It takes only 15 minutes to dry, then I stain the base and let it sit overnight. The next day, I apply a layer of Enviro-Tex Lite, which is a clear resin coating available at Micheals. The nameless stain smoothing stuff will help prevent this from being absorbed too readily by the wood, but it still takes at least two coats. It only takes ten minutes to apply a layer, but I usually let it sit overnight after each layer. I'll also put a box over the top while it drys to keep dust off of it. Once the final resin layer is hard and not tacky, I apply the basing material just as I would to a small 25mm base: super glue/pin corkboard "rocks" or other terrain pieces, then brush on white glue and cover with basing material (in this case, a mix of sand and Woodland Scenics fine ballast). That only takes an hour or so to dry, at which point I tape off the sides of the base and prime, then paint it. Finally, static grass is added, a clear coat is applied, and the tape is removed. It takes several days to make a base, but that's misleading because the vast majority of that time is waiting for things to dry. I try to make things more efficient by preparing multiple bases at the same time. And there you have it. Once you try it, you'll find it's actually pretty easy to do. :) Kep
  7. Those dead guys are GW Mordheim skirmish figures. They make several human types, a couple of goblins and orcs, and even a dead horse and dead boar. I think Crocodile Games makes a dead Asar Egyptian type, too. Kep
  8. One I just finished recently, though the base had been sitting around completed for quite some time. Check out what a lousy antipaladin he is... He killed two commoners (one which must have been unarmed) and a goblin. Ooo, I'm shaking! <g> If you're the voting sort, you can do so here: http://www.coolminiornot.com/101355 Kep
  9. Huh! I didn't even notice that I'd done that until you pointed it out. <grins> Thanks for the comments. :) Kep
  10. In the catalog, it notes this fellow as being merely a "skeleton warrior," but methinks he's a lich, plain and simple. Oh, you wacky Reaper folks and your naming conventions! HAHA! If you're crazy for the voting, you can do so here: http://www.coolminiornot.com/100916 The characters on the back of his cloak is Japanese for "to die" which seemed vaguely appropriate. Not 100% happy with that... ぬ(nu) looks fine, but the kanji (死, shi) looks a little weak. I originally wanted "Dead and loving it" but that would have been a ton of characters. ;) Kep
  11. I tend to do weird things for Drow skin, but this was my most recent -- pardon the use of Vallejo over Reaper, but I just don't find that the Reaper covers as well. Roughly equal parts Vallejo violet(#960), Dark Grey(#994), and Brown Rose(#803), then highlighted with thinned layers of the same, mixing in progressively more Brown Rose. Example here if that pic doesn't link correctly: http://www.coolminiornot.com/95306 Kep
  12. Can vote on it here, if you like: http://www.coolminiornot.com/99862 Kep
  13. The cat tails were just small wads of green stuff rolled around pins. When they were still wet, I held the bottom of the pin and pressed them into foam rubber to give them a little texture. The leafy reeds are just thick paper, like the sort you have on those small square notepads (sticky sized, but not sticky notepads). I painted one side green and the other side a lighter shade of green, but the two different colours was rather unnecessary. After it dried, I cut out elongated leaf shapes and then curled them around a pencil to give them that "droopy" look. The base of the leaves were glued to pins again, then the pins painted a dark shade of green and inset into holes in the base. I don't think you can see it in the photo, but the top side of the blades are dotted with brown spots near the base and the tips are lightly stippled with bone colour. The water, as you noted, has ripple lines in it, but that's just painted on the base itself. There's a layer of EnviroTex Lite, which is a clear resin, over it. Heh. There's a dragonfly made out of a tiny blob of green stuff with blister pack plastic wings on one of the blades of grass, a green stuff crane nest, and bubbles in the water (made by pressing the handle of a brush into some heated plastic, snipping out the bubble shape, and gluing it to the base before pouring the resin). I kinda went overboard with some of the details. Kep
  14. For non-foam, put a large drop of Zap-a-gap on a junk piece of plastic, roll up a bunch of the field grass and twist it in the middle, then put the middle in the zap-a-gap. When enough of the glue is on it to prevent it from untwisting, lay it at an angle on a box or piece of foam so that the middle glue-soaked section isn't touching anything and let it dry. When dry, cut it in half with a hobby knife. Two clumps ready to be glued to a base or inserted into a pre-drilled hole. If you're feeling adventuresome, you can drill a tiny hole into the bottom of the clumps, insert a tiny wire or 0.020 brass rod, and then pin it to the base where you want it. Good for stand-alone clumps, but only obviously only works with thicker batches. This is what I used for this display base: Kep
  15. Sellers can not stipulate that a buyer isn't allowed to resell an item. Once a purchase is made, that item is the new owners to do with as they please. They can change the base, repaint some or all of it, convert it, or even burn it if they so choose. You can not enter a purchased painted miniature in a contest if you didn't paint it because that paint job is not your intellectual property or derivative work. Some folks have done this anyway, which is why there's some concern in the mini community about what happens after sale to a painted figure. It's the same thing with, say, unpainted Reaper or GW figures. You can buy them and then resell them whatever way you like as long as you don't claim them as your own. You can not recast the figures and sell the copies because that violates intellectual property. You can't repackage the figures and claim you made them because again that's an IP issue. I won't bother getting into the issue of derivative work as it's complex and not really necessary. Also bear in mind I'm not a lawyer, but that's the way things work as I understand it. As stated, just make sure you credit the painter and mini maker and you should be fine. Kep
  16. A few weeks ago I was complaining (read: whining) in the auction folders that it bugged to see poorly done figures sell for a lot (and it does). This is on the other end of the spectrum, though -- it totally thrills me to see the likes of Natalya Melnick, or Jen Haley, or whatever other top quality name manage a nice sum for painting work. Kudos to her, I say. And it's damned beautiful work, too. I'm somewhat mixed on the idea of time and effort directly corresponding to profit however. It's far more subjective; figures I've done of which I've spent the most time have sometimes received a mild "that's nice looking" while others I felt were rushed or lacking have gotten "wows" and looks of amazement -- to the point I wonder if we're talking about the same miniature! So yes, I'd agree 100% with Anne on the subjective nature of painted mini value: they're worth what someone is willing to pay. As a painter, I do like the idea of receiving a fair hourly wage but I just don't see it being a prime factor. There are just so many variables involved, many of which are subjective and/or difficult to predict. Is there only one guy out there who buys up all the female Paladins, and he's not buying this week? Does someone need a figure to complete a collection? Is it an out-of-production figure that someone's willing to pay more for just on that basis? Is it someone's friends who don't care that the figure is poorly painted? Did that army just come out and so is currently "hot" amoung the masses? Maybe you picked a shade that most people just don't like, or maybe the colour doesn't match their existing collection and they want a matching warband. Did the figure win awards or was pictured in Harbinger, White Dwarf, etc? Is it converted? Do a lot of folks use this type of figure for their armies or roleplaying? Is this a leader or a rank-and-file? And those are just off the top of my head, too. I'm sure we could each come up with a dozen more reasons why a figure does or doesn't sell for what it does. Since the time/effort portion of it is very difficult for the casual viewer to determine -- it's the final product that counts -- then that factor likely won't affect the price much if at all. Kep
  17. Nope, the skellington wasn't inked, but it was washed with a mix of GW Chaos Black and Bestial Brown thinned down with Future (the standard Jen Haley bone wash). Maybe the Future will cause the paint to behave as an ink, or acts as a retarder somehow(?). Of course, over that I always blend up through bleached bone to white/bleached bone since I don't particularly like the "dirty skellington" look. In essence, the wash serves as a fast base coat. It's possible I didn't use my usual Model Master gloss or Testor's Dullcote for the clear coat but instead used Model Master Acryl brush-on for this particular one. I should also note that I never noticed a problem when I've painted, for example, a river bed and then poured the resin over that -- but in such a case, any bleeding would be hard to spot and would actually add to the effect anyway. Kep
  18. On my long list of projects ...from which I seem to pick ideas at random, ponder how to achieve them, make notes in my project notebook, then rediscover them months -- possibly years -- later and start... wait, I'm rambling. Let me begin anew. One of the projects I'd like to do involves submerging a painted figure in resin for that "underwater" effect (other figures on the shore will be gazing in, etc). I use Envirotex Lite when I need just a small amount of resin water in a scene (or if I'm covering the wood of the display base itself) and Castin Craft for deep water (or gelatinous cubes). For one of my gelatinous cubes, the painted GW skeleton's colours within actually "leaked" into the resin slightly. I'm fairly confident this was due to not letting the clear coat and/or bone wash dry overnight first. That was with the Castin Craft resin, which also generates some amount of heat as it sets. I've never had a problem with "leaking" when using Envirotex Lite, but this project's concept will require the deeper water and therefore the Castin Craft. Anyone else ever had a problem with leaking colours when using resin? If so, what type of resin did you use? Any special steps to take besides a solid clear coat and letting things dry fully before immersion? Alternately, I suppose I could use a dozen layers of Envirotex Lite, but that would take a day for each layer. Kep
  19. Here's me. My hair is about four or five inches shorter now but still firmly in the rock-n-roll category. :) Kep
  20. I haven't had any problems with PayPal, but I am growing tired of eBay for other reasons. Namely, the ever popular "I don't make as much on eBay as I make on commissions." And watching other people sell poorly painted "pro" work for more than mine doesn't help, either. Kep
  21. I don't see how you're going to find a clear coat that doesn't change the shine of the figure somehow. The clear layer by its nature is going to change how light passes through it. The gloss-dry-dullcoat tactic is the best for protection and finish IMO. Testor's Dullcoat and Model Master Gloss are top brands in my book. Same company, actually; only difference I've noticed is how smoothly the spray comes out. Kep
  22. Are tickets still available? Can they be bought at the door? I'm already going to Gamesday Baltimore which is May 14th, so I didn't plan for ReaperCon. However, it looks like I might be able to afford it after all (possibly). I won't actually know until the week prior to ReaperCon. Will a spontaneous decision to go be for naught? Kep
  23. Huh. That's a damned nice idea. Do you have photos of the finished work that you can show? :) Kep
  24. Lead rot is definitely white and can look a lot like a miniature with dandruff. Blackening or browning of an old figure is a sort of surface corrosion but doesn't damage the miniature's structure. It's not the same thing as lead rot, but a lot of people think it is. Once lead rot starts, it never stops, but it can be slowed down. Lead rot isn't THAT easy to start, however, as it requires many years in a high humidity, sealed environment (IE, a display case that isn't properly ventilated). "Keeping old miniatures in a low-humidity environment with regular air circulation" is the general consensus on how to prevent it from occurring. Most miniatures made today are done so with lead-free pewter, which is no danger whatsoever of being subjected to lead rot. Chainmail figures are lead-free pewter. The yellowish discoloration (or yellow with subtle purple and red overtones) you see on modern miniatures is often due to the pewter being overheated when the miniature was cast. It can also happen when the heat reacts with the release agent (such as talc). It's not really a problem at all. We had a long discussion on lead rot on the Citadel collecting list a few months ago. There were several really good links from it discussing lead rot, but alas, the thread is buried and Yahoo search is ... well, crap. Anyway, hope that info helps. Kep
  25. Reaper Master series Violet Red is an equivalent to the out of production Citadel Fire Dragon Crimson. Having painted many figures with Fire Dragon Crimson before it ran out, this discovery thrilled me to no end as it means I can match my older figures again. Otherwise, can't add anything as far as equivalents go since I only have a couple of bottles of the new Reaper stuff. But hey, every little bit helps, no? Kep
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