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Everything posted by Darkstar

  1. Showing how I approached the wood for this piece. All the weathering is to be done at the end of the project once it's assembled and together. I like to do that weathering as a final touch because it helps to see the model as a finished object in space instead of it's multiple pieces when weathering. The reason being is that I like to think of the structure as being attacked by the elements over time as a whole, instead of say, "oh here's this wall over here with weathering and rust drips and such,which all look fine, but strangely didn't manage to drip down onto the piece below it or cause any weathering to other nearby pieces to happen differently over time." So to help with selling the whole structure as having existed in some place or time out in the elements, I like to weather it at the end after painting each piece separately.
  2. Hey that's great, thank you! Thank you kindly, that's a good idea. If only it wasn't a GW piece. (They get a little protective about people distributing their IP, even imagery, but it is a nice thought about the ebook) The depth really is the whole end point here, it's the process that takes awhile to get there, and you know what? I'm still not done with the depth, quite a bit more to come! I didn't have much time to figure out how to do this in Xara, as in, zero time, so I did a quick and dirty in photoshop layerstyles but it's bleh of course. I'll do better next time thanks for the reminder about legibility, some of those colors get muddled for sure. Ok those following this, gone for the weekend for some Summertime camping fun but I'll continue this on Monday. I'd say probably about half done honestly. Metals, then assembly I think, then weathering, or maybe basing then weathering we'll see. See ya!
  3. That's for the walls for now, oil has to dry overnight then I'll handle some other pieces tomorrow morning and make some more progress and post it here. Yep, purple is working out for sure, thanks kindly Thanks, glad you're enjoying it Thank you, yeah it took me awhile to figure out how I wanted to present this WIP in image format. Easy to follow is a good place to be for a tutorial/wip Thanks, it does add a ton of subtlety and depth doesn't it. I've a ways to go on it yet, but that's cool with something like this if anyone were to replicate my method here, they could call it done at whatever stage was pleasing to the eye for them or fit in with their other terrain for sure.
  4. I haven't posted something here in this WIP forum in...so long I can't even begin to remember. I just sit and think and smoke comes out of my head and gears rattle around and nothing. But anyway. I started a WIP Tutorial type deal on my tumblr and blog *once it's done* and figured why not here too. This project is the Chapel from the Warhammer scenery/terrain line. I'm doing a full buildup from start to finish and showing every step and paint along the way. So here goes. (Tune in daily except weekends as there will be new updates until completion, this is my morning before work project.)
  5. I also use Krylon Gloss clear to get that super durable finish after painting. I wait a couple days to allow for 'outgassing' so that there's no surprises in the future, then hit that with Citadel Matte, and if it leaves spots, (depends on the humidity really), I then follow up with a Testor's Dulcote. After all that I go and selectively varnish by hand and brush anything that is needing a special lustre or finish of it's own. Wood is a good example, satin finish from VGC for that. Stone, same thing, satin if they're worn, to give that nice well-worn look. Female lips get gloss from Liquitex, and if the model is large, eyes as well. Leather get's a nice leathery finish from VGC Matte brush on. Nice little 'finishing' touches I like to add. As far as the question of durability, I ran some experiments about 10 years coating some test minis with this combo, to see how long they'd stand up, and before I lost them in a move, two years ago, they were perfect like the day I coated them. So my money is that they stay looking sharp for a long, long time if care is taken to protect them this way.
  6. I recently cleaned a high end airbrush for a painting buddy that had enamel paint gunked up in it. Got it spotless after about 10 minutes. I've been airbrushing for... 3 decades and for tough jobs of caked on paint from misuse I use Lacquer thinner. Replace the seals if you use this stuff, it will dissolve plastic and if left on a rubber part will eat it too. Wear a heavy duty gas mask style painting mask. Ventilation, preferably outside, not a garage but somewhere where you won't breathe the fumes at all. Now. That's my way, because I'm done in 10 minutes this way, but a way less toxic alternative is to soak the thing in it's component parts after removing the gaskets/seals in a sealed tupperware of LA's Totally Awesome (yellow, found at the Dollar Store) overnight. Then the next day take some q-tips, toothpicks, stiff brushes and rough pipe cleaners and go to town chipping away at the dried paint. Your airbrush isn't intended to be soaked in solvent overnight and I don't recommend you do this unless you really want to get that thing up and running again minus the dried paint. Try 90% and above isopropyl (rubbing alcohol) if you want a more mild solvent for day to day use. As others have mentioned, windex and simple green are cool too. I use the isopropyl personally out of preference. Common sense but I'll mention it here anyway as a disclaimer, don't breathe any of the things I mentioned here in this post in any form, wear a respirator while spraying, this stuff is universally bad for you. Only go for it if you have proper breathing ventilation and respiration, setup outdoors on a patio or something if at all a reasonable thing to do.
  7. People of course can use the paint however they want, which is what I typically do when painting but when teaching painting I like the idea of the triad system and when I start to talk about how HD paints may fit in that system I say something like this. The triad system is typically based on the idea of Midtone, Shade and Highlight. The HD paints are useful for finding a nice starting point to apply your base layer with then using the triads to shade, tone and highlight that base. Since I paint from dark to light personally, but I teach all methods (that I personally know of), when I teach with Reaper paint I tend to use a midtone first, from the HD line as the paint has pretty reliable coverage and nice range of colors. I then choose a triad and starting with the shade, I start shading down from the midtone. Then I mix in the HD to that and work my way back to the mid color of the triad, and finally start highlighting, using that middle tone to reclaim any over highlighted areas by glazing. I know that may be out of the scope of your intentions, but I think it's necessary to say since that is what I've personally found them useful for. Others may have another take. It all depends on the particular triad as some have better coverage than others in terms of setting down that first base coat. HD doesn't suffer from that and is consistently reasonable coverage. Not as much as either Foundation or Vallejo Model Color, but it's good paint. It definitely has a role in my day to day painting and teaching for sure. I'm a bit of a paint nerd, so I hope that didn't come off as too technical, I tried to keep it not-so-wordy.
  8. If you have a dollar store or dollar tree in your area, 99 cent store or whatever, you can find various solutions there in form of tupperware containers and plastic boxes with lids used to give gifts or what have you. Every kind of shape and size, round, deep, boxy, rectangular, whatever you need if you have a big store just check out the tupperware section. Also if you have a Michael's they have unfinished wooden boxes of all shapes and sizes for really cheap. Some have clear glass fronts or lid inserts with hinges...all kinds of stuff like that in the unfinished wood section. Dirt cheap for what you get, also they have a 40% off one item coupon you can get on your phone they scan at checkout. You can finish the wood if you want to be fancy or leave it "naked".
  9. Hey, I paint a ton of old minis, plastic and metal from times gone by. I say go for it with full gusto. My best way for stripping minis is a product called L.A's Totally Awesome. I get it at the Dollar store by the jug. Put the stuff in a tupperware with lid, soak the minis in it overnight, use a toothbrush and soapy dishwater to scrub off the paint. I've never seen a mini this won't strip...wear gloves. I prime everything with an airbrush and specialty airbrush primers from Vallejo but if you don't have one you can go the old standby of spraying from a can, Citadel makes good (if pricey) stuff, it's consistent. Wash the minis with soap first and let them dry, to get rid of any oils. Can't speak much to the dip method, I remember experimenting with it years ago for kicks, seems like it would be fine, don't see why not. Old classic figures are fun to paint, enjoy yourself! Regarding basing, I use a product called E6000 adhesive for sticking stuff to other stuff. Basing should be a breeze with that, spread some PVA glue around the base and dip in cat litter and sand or premade basing ballast or whatever non organic stuff you like and let dry. Also, Gorilla Glue is a good one.
  10. I am now updating my Mini Blog daily. It will be awhile until there's much content there, but it's going to grow!

    1. Darkstar


      The blog is at darkstarminis.blogspot.com

  11. Hey thanks all, @Teskal, they are painted by hand, thanks for asking.
  12. Well I'm out of time for replies this morning, but since so far in the thread there are no pressing questions I'll just drop in to say thanks for dropping in and commenting on the piece. The orbs were just tackled as if they were giant gems, with the highlights on the bottom then studying little 'orbs' of glass I have around the place here for how a simplified highlight would look. In the end they do photograph well for sure, thank you! This is my favorite of the four I posted yesterday. I will have a hard time parting with this one. But, ever onward. More minis to paint. Oh and Lanys T'vyl, great idea!
  13. Hey guys, thank you! I wanted to have a little more time to reply to everything but I think my next couple of replies to these quotes might take a bit so just want to say I appreciate you ALL coming out and commenting and I enjoy reading everyone's thoughts, thanks! Heya, as far as the base, this one I had lying around that I built a couple of years ago during an experiment. I baked a bunch of 'mini brick sized' cube chunks of sculpey after kneading it with rock salt. I'm always experimenting with stuff like that. Once the chunks of sculpey harden you can run them under water to dissolve the rock salt leaving little holes everywhere in the bricks. Then I stack them all up with adhesive, E600 or something strong and goopy, gorilla glue whatever. Once that's set I take a dremel to the bricks and chip everything and leave little wear and tear marks on it. Then I put superglue down in patterns and dipped it in some little ballast and rocks I have, sand, that sort of thing to make the "moss". After that it's all just primed and painted. Could have used more time to make it better, I'm rarely satisfied with my base work, this is one of those times but I wanted to use that piece I made and get it in use. And the copper recipe is as follows: Base of VGC Charred Brown Midtones of VGC Tan Highlights of VGC Dwarf Flesh Hots of RMS Rosy Skin Washes and shading enhanced with Citadel washes, reds, fleshtones and browns. Old school NMM copper I came up with a loooong time ago, with the aditions of Citadel washes to tie it all together. Heya no problem. for her skin I wrote it down since it was so nice. Base: VMC Mahogany Brown plus MSP Oiled Leather Shaded with Citadel Leviathan and Ogryn Mids: VMC Brown Sand plus VMC Flat Red Mid2: MSP Golden Shadow plus MSP Uniform Brown Mid3: MSP Golden Skin plus MSP Green Ochre High: MSP Golden Highlight plus MSP Faded Khaki High2: MSP Bright Skin Highlight High 3: MSP Fair Highlight Lot of mixing probably but for me, it's how I do things. I get these combos after alot of experimenting, observing reference and thinking. When they work I like to write them down for later. Then when I am faced with the same type of skintone, I can completely disregard everything I wrote down and came up with and come up with something new, then write that down. Rinse and repeat until I get a simple version that works, then I consider it "nailed" and that is my go to recipe since it requires less work. One of the reasons I get excited for new paint lines and new paints since I can always simplify my recipes if the *exact* color I need is manufactured instead of custom mixed. Many of my more complicated mixes in the past are now only 3 or four colors. Go for it! She's very cool
  14. Hey my friends, Grimreaper, KruleBear, Baugi,Darsc, Jabber, Red Ambrosia, Jdizzy, Fremen, Cassu, zoroaster, Furongian, Anne, thank you for taking time out and commenting and for the kind words, I'm glad you get a kick out of these pieces Spectacular. I agree with Baugi. What great gold NMM. Have you posted your Gold process? I am very curious to see what colors you chose. I paint the NMM Gold in quite a few ways. Here I used a purple red brown mix as the base (random paints any purple, red brown, experiment to find the tone you like as a base). Then I highlight up using some kind of orangey brown like for red hair, or pumpkins or something. You can add orange to brown for this kind of gold. Then I use a yellow white mix for highlighting. I used to use ochre for highlighting but then found out my gold wasnt dark enough and you want to have some kind of dark area for contrast or else it comes off too yellow. Then I highlight just the brightest parts with almost pure white and yellow. Then alot of shading using clear shades from GW like the purples browns and skintone shades, to enhance the shaded areas mostly just leaving the yellowy areas alone. I paint so much gold it mostly just is "free" painting practice and less science as other things that I lean on a method for. These days I just grab colors and go with whatevertype gold I think will contrast or set off the other colors I've chosen for the mini. Thank you, yes green is a great color for working with purple, good contrast there, thanks for the insight I appreciate it Yep hair is probably the thing that requires just as much of an idea of how light should be playing across it as metal. I remember when it clicked for me that hair works a lot like metal in terms of how it "shines" and reflects light. Once I got that idea I started playing with sharpening the highlights and keeping most of the tone still alive in the hair and not over darkening. Thing is though, all the different hair colors are their own beasts in terms of how to approach painting them, they all have their own distinct characteristics yeah. Even similar shades of the same color will be different and require different ways of tackling them. Strawberry blonde is very different than platinum blonde for instance. Yes, always a challenge for sure, but one thing is certain, hair is almost everywhere on minis so there's no shortage of opportunity for practice, absolutely.
  15. Hey guys thanks for the comments, much obliged Hi KruleBear, thanks. I blend with a combination of techniques, and I don't always use the same ones. For this model I based her with a dark skintone then highlighted and feather blended each successive highlight, one of the other in a layered/feathered method. Feathering each brighter color into the one beneath it. I experimented here and used extender instead of water as my 'feathering agent'. It was very useful but just as time consuming as anything else. In the end the results were fine this way as the blends became hardly noticeable and that was my goal here, trying to get that smoothness. My preferred method is oils for this kind of blending, but I couldn't find my stash of oil paints! I recently bought new ones, so much easier to use oils, it's staggering in the amount of time you can save, but you have to spend the time with the whole learning curve to get there. Thanks ShadowRaven, that's a good idea, large wings would be very cool! Thanks Furongian. Yep that's a real thing for me as well, much difference between a male and female. I paint mostly females so that's where I have the most practice. It really is all about getting that smooth soft look vs the contrasty chiseled look. And for that it takes a certain kind of approach with a focus on smooth gradients and blends over broad surfaces. I love painting skin, it's one of the big draws of the hobby for sure. One of the biggest challenges though as no two skintones are alike! Then you throw in demons, ogres, lizard people, trolls etc...into the mix and it's truly an endless experiment and study.
  16. So I'll close my series of four painted minis tonight with this gal. I saw the green and immediately knew where I would take this color scheme. The legendary mascot of Everquest, Firiona Vie. She looks like she could be "The" actual mini for this character! So perfect, and for once I didn't have to work hard to come up with my own color scheme which was kinda nice. And I gotta say, she sure is a spitting image after all the work is done. If someone else gets that same "Vie Vibe" from her, let me know for sure! Incredible sculpt from one of my favorite sculptors, I just lavished a ton of attention to everything because it was all so finely done for this small scale. Just magnificent design work, sculpting craftmanship and a true pleasure to paint from a painter's standpoint. Very dynamic for a one piece mini, great pose. Well folks, that's all for now but I have a few more I've done recently but not photographed yet that I'll be posting up here sometime (Talisman minis, classics) so see ya then! Sean
  17. Tinley, besides having a cool name that I've never heard before, is a tiny little thing! Tiny Tinley? It's been a long day. I thought she would look good in leather and sheer fabric so I gave her a sort of 'adventuring princess' vibe. Would be a cool PC for someone I think. I see some of these minis as player characters and she definitely fits that role in my eyes. Not too much to say, some freehand on the gown, the sheer effect is lost in the photo due to purple of the gown and pink of the sheer effect actually looking like a highlight, but it's much more evident when seen in the hand.
  18. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v284/seansullivan/Bella-Succubus_zpse5809a18.jpg Here she is, Bella the Buxom. I got a kick out of this sculpt, it's warms my heart to see a sculpt with anatomy like this. Of course, loads of skin everywhere to paint is an extra bonus. I painted in her bikini bottom because I had the idea to do so while painting, no particular reason just wanted to see what it would look like so I did it. Here ya go, lots of skin with a focus on smooth blending to look at here!
  19. Hey guys, The Egyptian Priestess! I wanted to paint her up since I first saw her green and I'm glad I got around to it after all this time. I just really like this piece. The theme is very appealing to me in that you have so many choices in color schemes to go with. Skintones like hers are always a treat to paint as well. I didn't bother painting her little baboon. Just was interested in the figure itself. The sheer effect on her skirt in the back is hard to make out, but it's subtly there. Alright, more to come, first of four Reaper minis I'm posting tonight, Sean
  20. Hey guys, thanks again and Jay that is definitely in the planning stages but my long plan, don't have a camera yet capable of capturing the details, when I get one I'll get started on that for sure. Glad you guys are getting mileage out of my words here, that's why I share what I know, because it's how I learned, along with billions of hours of practice. And as to being colorblind, that's quite a challenge to overcome, more power to you sir, Rock on
  21. When I glaze at the end, and it typically is only done at the end when I'm satisfied with everything else as a final touch...I don't lay in a particular shadow color over everything. I put in selective colors depending on what I'm painting, very deliberately applied based on what color I'm painting over with my glaze. I use color theory to help me determine what colors I glaze with in the shadowy regions. I use complementary colors to darken a tone instead of glazing with say, pure black. If I want to shade green? I reach for red. Shading red? I reach for purple and green in the darkest areas. This is for glazing while shading. Overall glazes, are general color adjustments and can be any color that I need. For NMM gold I like to generally use an orangey glaze but I don't put that in over the highlights as I want my highlights to remain "specular" in appearance so I would use the orangey color glaze in the midtone to shadowy region, then use a more yellowy glaze over the highlights-midtones-shadows to tie it all together. I do alot of work with glazes and rely heavily on that approach while shading and tying together the overall appearance of colors on a mini. Using like, 4 different colors to darken a region so it appears almost black is typical. Blue, purple, red, green, browns, yellows, oranges all these colors, one over the other using color theory as my guide. The basic rule of thumb with that is that complementary colors, or colors opposite one another on the color wheel, work well to deepen and darken one another when used as a glaze in the shadows. Same colors to tie in 'overall' appearance. For instance, on the red snake staff, that snake was glazed overall with a magenta-red glaze to tie in the highlights to the midtones and shadows. Overall glazing. Then shadows darkened with red mixed with green. That's about it.
  22. Hey nice avatar Liverpuncher a friend and I were just talking about him today, thank ya. And thanks again BlackSmoke and everyone, ChaosScorpion, CashWiley, I typically start anything I paint with the darker colors and highlight up from there as my typical approach. With that cape in the first image I started with a deep dark pine green kind of color as my dark shade and highlighted up the basic green of the cloak as a whole. I went up through the tones of green until I got to a pretty bright green highlight color. Not the final highlight of green, which in this case would be a yellow green, but I stopped before reaching that highest highlight and began work on the freehand filigree pattern. That approach was done by laying the lines using a very thin dark grey color I think, something like Grey Liner from MSP, maybe. Can't recall but I would typically reach for that. But the key thing is that it's super thinned down. Almost pure water with a touch of the color only. Then I practice out a few strokes on the cape in interesting flowing lines and when the water evaporates I'm left with almost no color. So if the line is bad I can paint over it or ignore it, but there's just enough color that if the line happened to be proper and I like where I'm taking it, I can still kinda see it. Barely. It's very feint. Once I'm confident in the linework I then reinforce the lines with more pigment heavy color, or in other words, less dilute, or even more words, more concentrated with color, paint. Adding more paint as I go until I can really see the lines. Then I work the lines like anything else I paint. Dark colors highlighted with the layering techniqe using successively brighter colors to highlight. Once that's done I emphasize and bring out shadow by glazing to finish.
  23. Hey guys thanks again, a distinctive personal style is something that I'm proud to have developed over time and I thank you guys for noticing that seriously. About the above quote, on this piece I just came up with the freehand details from the top of my head as I plugged them in. I like the little pattern on the inside of the cloak the most and I'll be sure to use that one again as it's not too hard to keep together and has a nice busy look to it. Many times though I do my research first and look at loads of reference images that I have saved over the years. Once I get an idea of what catches my fancy I paint it directly on the mini using almost non visible ultra thin paint. After many passes I start to get the shape I want cemented in place and since the paint is so very thin it allows me to adjust the shape as it takes form without much work correcting it. Over and over again I repeat the linework of the shape until I'm sure it's how I want it to look. Once I'm confident of the pattern's placement and coherency I then go over it with more opaque paint and solidify my choice. Then begins the long process of building up the linework, correcting errors, filling in the colors etc...all the work. And even then after the fact I may find that I don't like what I've painted and just go over it entirely and start anew if the pattern is too busy or I'm not happy with it. The downfalls of having my approach is that I can't let mistakes I notice go uncorrected. Even if that means starting over again from scratch. Not a fast painter so it hurts doubly! First world problems I guess haha. What I'm saying is that mistakes are made make no mistake. I guess that's a good way to put it. Here's an example. Way too busy when I finally got to a point where I could understand the freestyle pattern as it took shape. Eventually I went over this stuff and ended up with this here: So you see mistakes are sometimes (often) made during the process for sure and it's better (In my idea) to just go ahead and redo the work if you're unhappy with it and try to build upon your lines that you've made and make a better/tighter/more coherent pattern if at first you don't quite hit that mark. It's never easy, but it's fun and challenging and if you get it right in the end it's satisfying. If you like a challenge, freehand at this scale is definitely one to tackle.
  24. Haha, thanks all I appreciate the comments here I always get a good laugh and am humbled at the same time! About the freehand tutorial, wow, time flies! What happened is that I had planned on that but my copious amount of free time to do extra stuff like this got sucked up by actual hands on teaching here at the studio! And by copious amounts of free time I mean my one free day a week where I take a break from painting minis, to umm...paint minis and tutor/teach my skills in person while doing that. I'll tell ya what I will move the freehand tutorial to sometime in March since I'm ultra busy until after the first week of March and will be looking out for a good mini to demo and take pics of as I paint while I throw together a tutorial. I'll look for a good piece that I can showcase some technique on and order it online or go and pick one up at the FLGS. Then I'll make a thread in the tutorials part of the board. So if you're keeping an eye out, check there sometime in March as I will endeavor to really get going on that! There's lots of info I'll be happy to share as always. Regarding the question about a 'cool light' in the photo, I have 3 lights on when I image these. One is a regular incandescent, that shines from overhead a little and directly in front as a spotlight, then I have an OTT light from the left and above for 'global illumination' and I place a 'sunshine light' or 'happy light' as I like to call it, made by...Verilux I think. That light is placed to the right and laid on it's side to dispel the shadow mostly. I do subtle things with washes on my minis in the shaded areas so if you're seeing a particular color cast it may be painted on, it may be a trick of the light. If it's blue or cool, I'm pretty sure it's painted on since I'm not using any cool lights, they're all natural spectrum with one warm incandescent.
  25. Niiiice! Lot's of detail everywhere, probably time consuming to get this done. I like looking at the overall colors of this, desaturated overall effect is striking. I like the choice of an Ivory/stone look for all the gilding, interesting and effective. Keep banging these out it's cool to see that your Ultra force is ever growing over time!
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