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dks last won the day on December 27 2018

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    Falmouth, ME

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  1. Good improvements! Thanks for the extra effort. And I like how you used the different cloth colors to tell them apart. Sorry I wasn't clearer about suggesting adding highlights to the "upper wings" -- I meant the outer surface of the wings (exposed to an overhead light) but not the inner ones (in shadow). A few glints on the tails would also work, since they're oriented to reflect an overhead light: ... but even so, I like the unexpected result of the new highlights that you added to the upper-inner wings: they look like they're reflecting the green spell effect or some other light in front! (If you squint and imagine that those highlights are reflecting something light in front of them, do you see it too?) Have fun in the game! Derek
  2. Thanks for the ping, @TaleSpinner. Good question @Gryphon . The Open category is about showing off your skills and impressing the judges and the other con-goers. We want to see things that no one has ever made and that no one other than you could ever make in quite the same way. Earning a high award requires you to show off your ability to make an original sculpted creation or modification, and then to paint it. STL files and digital sculpting are more common now, and entries that involve manipulating virtual objects rather than physical ones are creating nuances for the judges of the Open category, but I still go back to asking myself whether an entry involves mastery of sculpting (of some kind) and an original artistic vision. Physical or digital sculpting from nothing is the hardest to do. Taking apart stock models and recombining the pieces ingeniously and seamlessly (physically or digitally) can also be a good way to show your skills. Picking out components and a pose from a menu, where the computer program is doing the work (such as what Heroforge offers) isn't a matter of your craftsmanship and artistry; I agree with @Heisler that these are effectively stock models. As @TaleSpinner wrote, take WIP photos of your work and/or prepare a writeup of your process, so we judges understand what you did. That way, we can evaluate your difficulty and workmanship without having to spend 5 or 10 minutes trying to reverse-engineer your entry. Any time we have to spend on detective-work is a distraction from the real work of judging (or, in some cases, just drooling over how great an entry is). Good luck, Derek
  3. Really liking this one. (I have a pair of realistically carved/painted kestrel bookends looking over me as I type this! And one of my favorite memories of a bike-trip in rural Michigan a few years ago was hearing the high "klee-klee-klee-klee-klee!" and looking over to see a kestrel flying around its nest near a barn.) (And I'm trying to figure out what real falcon/hawk/eagle to use for the colors on a hippogriff.) Good realistic shapes for the black and white wing patterns -- glad to see that you know to span across the sculpted diagonal texture and not paint V's! In order to make the eyes stand out better against the dark facial markings, you might try painting a very thin ivory/yellow ring around them, like some real kestrels have. Don't worry about messing up and accidentally getting the ivory paint on the eyes, because then you can touch up the eyes in such a way that the touchups will make the ivory lines even thinner and better than you could paint. This is one of the many tricks to freehand -- sometimes you need to "erase" to get the thin line you really wanted. And even without adding a ring like that, you might try painting a neat dot of white in the eyes to simulate the glint of the sun, so they look shiny. Also, if it were my griffon, I might add some faint darker spots on the lion haunches/legs (like lion and mountain-lion cubs have when they are young), echoing the spots on the feathers. But ignore that idea if you think it would be too messy. Thanks for sharing, Derek
  4. Looking good, and when you paint the four other bozaks, they'll be an imposing unit. If you're willing to spend a few more minutes on this one, and/or adjust what you do on the other four, I think these tweaks would be quick but effective: 1) Add glints to the armor and the horns (smooth and shiny surfaces) of a similar color to those on the bronze scales -- any place they would realistically reflect an overhead light. This will make the whole figure look like it's under one sun. I know, shiny red armor is especially hard to do, because the paint has to jump from a red midtone and an only slightly lighter red-but-not-too-pink highlight (like you've done) to the white glints. 2) You might also choose to use more of the flesh and gray highlight colors on the top of the head and upper wings (near the top claws), and less of them (if any) on the lower legs and inner wing membranes -- not only because it would be more realistic for the top of the head (perpendicular to a light from above) to reflect more light than those areas (vertical/parallel to the light from above), but also because the lighter color on the head will draw the viewer's attention, and we almost always want people to look at our figures' heads/faces the most. This would mean a quick glaze on the wings and feet with rust/chestnut brown, and probably just a few more minutes to add highlights on the head and upper wings. 3) Add green glints to the armor near the spell effect. The green looks bright enough by itself to be OSL (object-source lighting), but then the nearby shiny surfaces (the armor) need to reflect this green light or else the illusion is incomplete. Adding a few light-green glints should probably take about a minute. Ding-ding-ding-ding, done. 4) Consider changing the straps to a darker or lighter color. They are a good realistic color for leather, but because they're so close to the mid-high tone of the bronze, they're blending in. Making them darker (black / dark brown) or lighter (like a bleached leather) would make the design of the armor clearer. Thanks for sharing, Derek (PS: Fellow Dragonlance fan here! I've been viewing and enjoying all of your other posts even if I haven't been commenting.)
  5. So far, so good -- go ahead and paint the clothes, and you can change the skin later. ... because the skin will look different when you have it next to other colors, instead of just the white primer. I've painted lots of minis where the skin seemed fine when it was the only thing painted, but then after I painted the clothes, the skin looked too light/dark/muted/whatever, so I had to add highlights or deepen the shadows or turn everything redder with a glaze. It can be tempting to think that you must get the skin "perfect" before you paint anything else, but this is a mental trap. Push past it! As @Gryphon write, the highlights might look a little too pink now, but if you still think so once you've painted the clothes, you can go back over them with more muted brown/gray highlights, or deeper shadows, or whatever you think you need. Real highlights on brown skin tend not to be brown+pink (brown+red+white) but rather just brown+white. Or sometimes brown + a warm off-white (such as Linen White), if you're imagining the figure under warm sunlight ... or maybe brown + a cooler off-white (such as Misty Grey or Leather White), if you're imagining the figure under a cooler light or with reflections of a blue sky overhead. (In the photo provided by @Count Urlik , do you see that the lightest highlights on both guys are the same? The color of the skin doesn't matter, because light is bouncing off the shiny surface.) Here are some other things from the Forum, in case they help... A darker skin tone on one of the figures in my recent post about painting the same figure with multiple facial expressions: https://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/104076-same-figure-multiple-expressions-tara-and-a-young-mage/ The iconic Pathfinder paladin, Seelah: https://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/41709-60019-seelah-pathfinder-iconic-paladin/ A dark elf with purple-brown skin tones and cold gray highlights: https://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/43288-14590-liela-dark-elf-sorceress-warlord/ An older thread about painting darker skin tones: https://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/95407-seeking-advice-on-dark-skin-tones/#comment-2010738 Good luck, Derek
  6. Life-size people! Impressive! Looks like the sculpting kept you warm! I also spent about 2 hours sculpting the dragon head in my driveway, and I sure felt sore the next day after that workout; a lot of bending and crouching to scoop up the snow. Thanks for the pics. Derek
  7. Excellent shaded metals again. I especially like how you varied your brushwork to achieve both the larger smooth items (sword and armor) and the finer textured mail. Right, I guess this is a discontinued model because there are no results in the webstore when we search "02348" ... but this one is almost certainly a rereleased conversion of the slightly earlier 02326 Britta, War Maiden. They have the same legs and body and head, but different arms: https://www.reapermini.com/search/jackson maiden/latest/02326 How did you choose to paint this model and the others that you've recently posted? This was quite old but some others have been new. Are you painting for a game campaign, or painting for commissions, or something else? Derek
  8. Thanks, all! Yes, this was sculpting about 50x larger than what I/we usually do on our minis. 😉 I got a big payback from adding handfuls of clean snow as the scales and other sharp little details. The snow consistency and temperature were perfect for that. Wow, @Mad Jack and @Evilhalfling -- armature / framed snow sculptures! Sounds great. Derek
  9. I like your black-fur take on this one! The vibrant gold/aqua clothes also contrast well. She's good like this, and if you're ever inclined to pick her up again and paint another 30 minutes or more, there's an opportunity for little bits of freehand or glazes (to differentiate the two aqua garments from one another, or the yellow garments from one another and from the gold metals). Thanks for sharing, Derek
  10. Good rich colors. I like the repetition of the turquoise beads. And the tiger stripes look very sharp and the glints in the eyes are finely done, so I would be excited to see how you incorporate more freehand on larger open surfaces on your future models. @Gryphon This is 20945, originally part of Bones V. Thanks for sharing. Derek
  11. I use flush cutters / "nippers" / diagonal cutters, like @Chaoswolf and @Inarah suggested. I nip away the existing base chunk-by-chunk, until the only bits left are under the feet. But I almost never try to totally remove a base and leave the soles of the feet flat. I'm usually resetting the figure into a new floor or other base, so I'm satisfied to leave those chunky stubs right under the feet, and just glue/putty them into little recesses in the new base. Occasionally I keep nipping at those stubs, and/or mashing the metal with my chain-nose pliers (smooth needle-nose) until I've left only a narrow "pin" under each foot -- and then I can drill holes in the new base to receive those pins. There may also be some useful info / demonstration of removing bases in Anne's Reaper Pro-Tips shows (Twitch/YouTube). Derek
  12. We got about 2" of big fluffy snow last night here in Maine, and the temperature this afternoon was just above freezing. (The forecast calls for subfreezing temps for the next 48 hours.) I went out to shovel off my driveway this afternoon, and immediately I found that the snow was sticking together perfectly. I got inspired to make something out of the snow. Two hours later, I had this: Enjoy! Derek
  13. Looking good so far. I think the head "feathers" are really antennae, since she's a luna moth in humanoid form. You might look up some photo reference of moths and their feathery antennae to get ideas. Right, get some shadows and highlights on the skin and then you'll be able to see what else needs work by comparison. I suspect that you'll want to add more highlights to the hair (so it looks shinier) and go over the eyebrows with a darker purple. Thanks for sharing, Derek
  14. 🎵You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em... 🎵 Yes, take what you've learned from this one and move on to the next one! I have to remind myself that every latest mini won't necessarily be the best thing I've ever done, but I can aim for an overall trend of improvement, and occasionally a new "best". Anyway, thanks. I enjoy (and I'm sure many others here on the forum enjoy) how much you've been sharing your work, including your questions and occasional frustrations. It's useful for our collective learning. Derek
  15. Good work. For eyebrows on my minis, I like using the shadow color of the hair. The midtone would be too light. Dark brown eyebrows work for almost every brown or red hair color, and even many blondes. Mid-brown for lighter blondes. Black for black hair; white or dark gray for white hair. Photographic reference can be useful, too: perhaps do an image-search on an actor/celebrity with a similar hair color. In this case, maybe Nicole Kidman, Amy Adams, Meryl Streep, et al. I think her eyebrows look a little too light & orange, but it would be easy to go over them with something darker like Russet Brown. Raising one or both eyebrows can give an engaging expression, but once they get high enough above the bony brow-ridge then the forehead also needs to show wrinkles. I think her raised right eyebrow is near that limit, where a perfectly smooth forehead doesn't look natural. (But yes, it's also possible to paint some freehand wrinkles.) Thanks for sharing, Derek
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