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Everything posted by dks

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uriel No mention there about being cast out... I'm most familiar with Uriel from Paradise Lost, where Milton described him as the (arch)angel of the sun. But lots of people wrote lots of things about lots of angels, and they don't always agree. Derek
  2. Then he'll just be paying for Amy's ticket out of his own pocket? Or I'm sure you can come up with some other appropriate "winning bid" to exact from Ed for keeping that Sophie around. Anyway, I agree, Anne: beautiful work on yours. Excellent concept and execution. Derek
  3. Thanks for the nod, Kelcore. The grey wings and crimson accenting give your version a much harder, darker feel than mine -- a guardian angel who's at least as much about attack as defense. You took "gold armor and bluish-pale skin" and made the scheme your own. Nice work! Derek
  4. Thanks for painting my female-adventurer-of-diminutive-size, Jester! I like the deep blues and greens for a halfling rogue. The figure is actually named Ingrid Sparklestone (since I figured that a svirfneblin should have a Scandinavian first name but a lot of them were already taken by female dwarves in DHL), but somehow she was misnamed "Olivia" in the latest CasketWorks. There is an Olivia halfling figure -- Werner's sculpt, with the loaf of bread in her pack -- and then there's the human cleric named Olivia that Werner sculpted more recently.... Anyway, it must be inspiring to the other players, to have such nice minis representing their characters! Derek
  5. Favoring a physical solution over a chemical one, myself, I would probably pick the paint out of the eye with a pointy-hooked dental tool (being careful not to mar the metal underneath), and attempt some deft scalpel-work to soften the edges of the gouging.... I think I've chosen the subject for my entry, FWIW. Need to finish two or three other figures and then get serious about it. And I heard that any units of dwarves would be automatically disqualified this year. Derek
  6. Excellent work. These Skorne remind me of Michael Moorcock's book The Dragon in the Sword, which includes a faction of eldritch warrior-women dressed in bone-colo(u)red armo(u)r. I like the texture that your yellows and browns give to the surfaces. I painted some Ral Partha elves as wearing ivory armor about ten years ago, in reference to the Moorcock book, but my skills weren't sufficient to get the texture right. Derek
  7. Devil-baby needs a new pair of wings! Nice conversion (and atmosphere), Jen. Derek
  8. What type of plastic are the figures made of, anyway? Polystyrene, polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride (i.e. PVC or often simply "vinyl"), ...? A quick Web search shows me that vinyl is a typical plastic for toys, but I don't see specific mentions of what the D&D prepainted plastics are made of. I hope that Reaper isn't getting into the PVC business. Despite the physical and chemical advantages of PVC over some other types of plastics, many researchers have shown that it releases especially nasty carcinogens when it is produced, damages the air and water around factories (which in the USA are mostly around the Gulf Coast), and makes children sick because some compounds leach out of their PVC toys. Various public-health advocates and environmental groups are calling for a phase-out of PVC from the marketplace. http://www.pvcinformation.org/assets/pdf/E...asingOutPVC.pdf If the Reaper plastics won't be PVC, please say so and eliminate my potential objection. Derek
  9. My contribution: A ranger by Grenadier, with rust-colored brush-on primer (Polly S) and Testors enamels, circa 1987. The red hair and beard are actually primer that I chose not to paint over. (Photo taken this morning, 2007.) I had painted a few figures with my older brother about 2-3 years earlier, and this ranger was left over from that batch, primed but not yet painted. This, therefore, was the first figure in my current 20-year string of painting. Derek
  10. <abridged version of my post on the General Forum, ReaperCon Sophies thread: > So, indeed, my Sophie never made it to Reaper. It got to Denton overnight and went out for delivery in the morning, but then disappeared. The UPS employee I just talked to on the phone admitted that it was probably stolen. Therefore, I will not use UPS to ship packages to Reaper anymore. Thanks again for all your words of appreciation. I don't know yet whether I will recreate this Sophie, do something different on a second one, or not paint a second one at all. Derek
  11. So, indeed, the final word from UPS is that the package I sent is gone -- likely stolen. (It made it to Denton overnight safely, but disappeared after being scanned at 8 o'clock on the morning after I sent it.) I got the claim form (a faceless document) this morning, but I immediately called and asked to hear from a UPS employee who actually helped to conduct the trace. One such employee just called me back, and she spoke with candor (admitting that theft was the most likely scenario) and honest regret. I appreciated this and was glad to hear back from a person rather than just a FAXed form, but the fact remains that UPS is not protecting packages from thieves. (A box of pecans that my mother tried to send me last Christmas was stolen out of the UPS warehouse.) Therefore I will not entrust my parcels to them anymore. At least I insured it for $400. That's over $100 per hour of painting. Side note: the UPS employee said that the destination address of "Reaper Miniatures" might even be a flag to a would-be thief, similar to listing a jewelry business. Perhaps it would be wiser to use "RMI" or "Sophie's Place" or some other less obvious name. (I do have another end-around option available to me.) Not sure what I'll do now. I have a second Bourbon Street Sophie at home, so I could paint another... either the same (out of defiance, or resigned to being stuck in a temporal fugue) or different. But I have a couple of other figures to finish first. <insert complex array of emoticons here ... sadness, anger, disappointment, resignation, attempting to understand what drives someone to justify stealing> Derek
  12. There's that thoughtful husband of yours proving his mettle (so to speak) again, Debby! Beautiful, Flynn. The colors harmonize well. I like that new-leaf chartreuse color for the cloak (if I'm seeing it right) -- it looks well suited for a springtime ranger. Crisp painting; good representation of materials; and just as much freehand as the cloak needed. Kristianna should feel honored to share the shelf with her. Derek
  13. Thanks. Good eye! Yes, I painted the bulk of the highlighting along the folds, with a final layer crosswise to simulate some texture in the fabric -- much coarser than whatever the real fabric would be, simply exaggerated to make it more noticeable. (The same goes for the stockings.) I guess I forgot to add that final crosswise layer on the front/inside of the train, or maybe I thought that the inside should be smoother... I'll look at it again tonight and might touch it up. (But I won't try to appease smokingwreckage by dumping the whole jar of red paint on the figure....) Tonight she gets sealed, and tomorrow sent to Reaper. And thanks, mattmcl. Glad you enjoy the closeup view. Seeing the brushstrokes generally means that I was working fast and didn't use enough layers to get a smooth transition, but I like to claim that it's an intentional part of my style. Derek
  14. Thanks, everyone. No, Flynn, she took way more than 2 hours. Three-and-a-half, at least. I started the boots with a base of "lively black" (Brown Liner plus Blue Liner), and highlighted them with the Stone Greys triad, with a few final dabs (IIRC) of Leather White. I assumed that the strongest light was coming from her left, above and slightly in front, so the strongest highlights went on the upward-facing surfaces, and the rest stayed very dark. I basically kept a lot of black in the leather and glazed (with the 'black') any greys that started to look too light. (The heels/soles were Brown Liner, highlighted with Bone Shadow -- basically, an even warmer black.) Here's a closeup, as requested: Derek
  15. Here is my contribution to the Bourbon Street Sophies. My inspiration was the dark New Orleans depicted in certain vampire novels. Royal is a block away from Bourbon, and St. Ann Street is several blocks from Canal; I chose the latter street in homage to the famed author of those novels. She will be headed to Reaper HQ next week, and eventually to the auction block. Enjoy, Derek
  16. He lives, and he rocks! Wonderful colors, lovely eye appeal. Maybe you (or someone else) could convert and paint a new Lord Jester as a companion piece. Great to see your return here, Jester. I won't call it a comeback. Derek
  17. Fine work, Mengu. I especially like the variation in Ilkhan's skin tones (pinker knees, etc.) and the freehand on Bailey (simple but effective linework, nice positive-negative interactions). Thanks for the extra views. Derek
  18. Beautiful work. I like how the khaki hair reads as "blonde" against the purplish skin, and how effectively the warm-tinged horns frame her head. Do you have a closeup shot of her face (esp. the eyes)? Derek
  19. Fine work, Vhaidra! I like the way you did the hair and the shield, to make this figure your own. The freehand pattern on the shield works very well, and the NMM on the sword is very convincing. I also like the custom-carved base. (The stairs show that she must be a formidable villain -- any lesser character would have broken an ankle in those high-heeled boots!) Thanks for your praise of the version that I painted for the Gallery. The colors for my "black" armor were Brown Liner, the Stone Gray triad, and Leather White for the highest highlights -- no pure black or white. I wanted a warm tone to harmonize with the reds and bronzes. I painted the base in a cooler blue-grey, to create some subtly different under-reflections on the armor (such as at the knees). Keep up the good work, Derek
  20. Very festive color scheme -- I like it. I especially like the way you used freehand to bring the blue-purple up to her face (the star) and bring the silver down to the end of the skirt (the fleurs-de-lys). The two-tone mask is another nice touch. A little freehand goes far in each of these cases to improve the composition. As you said, you aren't seeing this as your best work, but if you're willing to spend a few more minutes on her, here's what I would suggest hitting with one or two highlights: 1) the black stockings, since they look so stark; 2) the hair, to give it some sheen; 3) the wings, maybe just the bones. These should take only 10-15 minutes but IMO would be minutes well spent. Derek about to take his Bourbon St Sophie out of the package any day now...
  21. Um, yeah, 15-20 hours is fine, especially if it's divided among several sessions. As people have said, if you enjoy the time you're spending, that's the most important thing. If you'll indulge me... For the first 15 or so years of painting, I didn't keep records of how long it took to paint figures. I always thought I took about 4-5 hours for a good job. Then I spent 13 hours (in two long sessions) on a figure a few years ago -- painting when I should have been working on a final project in school but had to take a break -- and that was 'the longest I had ever spent on a figure', to my knowledge, but also the best thing I had painted. (It was my Visions in Color figure, the "Oak Lady" sorceress.) I still generally keep to about 10-12 hours over a few long (3-4-hour) sessions, but my competition pieces for ReaperCon and GenCon have been a few times that. I can send my "Good Fast Painting" notes around as desired. Or I'll post them on my website... whenever I get one. Be warned, though, it's like the Necronomicon ... read them and you'll begin an inexorable slide into insanity. Derek PS: Hey, Paintrix has a new avatar.
  22. Excellent work. The equipment (moose skull, bag, jewelry, armor, etc.) is very good overall. I also like what you achieved in the Lord of the Feast's right hand and his face. I haven't seen the source art, but the forms and the details remind me of Matt Wilson's art for PP, so you probably got it spot-on! Minor negatives: The Lord looks a bit flat from the side, especially through the torso, glutes, and thighs, and the bones and muscles in the right side of his ribcage don't look accurate. (Too few ribs, odd groove under the arm.) Were you sculpting him from a front-view picture? The warlock's eyes seem a little too high on his head, too -- not enough forehead/cranium above them. But these are all within the limits of artistic license and stylization. (I would ask for at least as much forgiveness in my own sculpts.) Where are you sculpting? Derek
  23. I like those girls! You achieved a very nice, rich blue on the cloth parts; the blue-tinted plate-skirt looks good too. Based on your other Show-Off posts, I guess you're building up a dwarven army? Also, it turns out there was a glitch when the Shieldmaidens were being cast. The one with the long braid lost her belt buckle and her left thumb in the mold. You seem to have worked around it. I hope it didn't confuse you -- and I hope it doesn't bug you too much, now that you know about it. Derek
  24. Thanks, all! Yes, those happen to be my sculpts too. Mistaking them for Klocke dwarves is a high compliment. Saying that they aren't as good as his is also valid, and true. My assignment in sculpting them last year was to make them fit in with Werner's other dwarves, chiefly Freya. So I studied Freya closely, simplified her armor a bit, and aimed to make the Shieldmaidens a little shorter than her and with slightly smaller shields (the leader must have the biggest gear!). I see many flaws in them now, especially in the faces/eyes, but "I'm getting better...." Derek
  25. Here are the three Dwarf Shieldmaidens (Warlord figures) that I recently painted. I sculpted them last summer, starting at ReaperCon, and Cheryl (ladystorm) gave me advice and encouragement along the way. She asked for a helmet on one, for example, so I added it. The painted figures were commissioned for her birthday (yesterday), as a gift from her very thoughtful husband. Paints were all Reaper Master Series. The colors were inspired by a painting in the "Art of Star Wars Episode II" book. The shields and weapons are cast as separate pieces, allowing some variation within a unit, so I sculpted straps and handles after I attached the shields. Ladystorm said she likes them a lot. Hope you do too. Derek
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