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Epicenter

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Everything posted by Epicenter

  1. Yes, Acetone will do nasty things to all of the plastics I've encountered so far that are used to make models and minis. I've heard people who say they can brush Acetone on there and break the superglue seal, but myself, I've never had any luck with the method - I usually need to soak stuff, and that will do bad things to plastic / resin / etc. The usual method I use to break superglue bonds is to freeze it. Bag it in a Ziploc bag or something, and stick in the freezer. Wait like 3 or 4 days. Take it out, the superglue should have become pretty brittle and should be breakable without too much effort.
  2. To my everlasting shame, I only got one of these things like a year and a half ago. Before then, I just did nothing wreck clippers destroying entire minis for some part I wanted to transfer. The Jeweler's saw has made my life so much easier. :) Hmm...so I wrote this huge wall-of-text describing the solution to the problem I think you're having. But it's a little confusing, even to me to read. So I'll use pictures instead. Step 1: Once the blade is screwed in tight at both of the terminals (blade down, of course), gently pull the arm wide until the blade is taut. At this point, you shouldn't worry too much about it loosening up a bit - if your saw has a bit of resistance like mine does, it's important to get it about in the right position. Step 2: Using a hand (we'll say right), hold the saw like in the picture (yeah, my hands aren't good - it's been over a decade since life drawing) and yes, for a jeweler's saw it's huge. Just think of it as oversized for demonstration purposes - most people will not be able to fit their whole hand in there like that. The key is to have your thumb on the end of the arm like shown. Push the arm out with your thumb (or if you have a weak grip you can use both hands to pull it apart taut) and use your thumb to keep the pressure so it remains taut. Step 3: Using your other hand, you can now tighten the top screw or the side screw or whatever that holds the arm in place. Hope that helps. EDIT: As for sawing, I find the less pressure you use, the better. In fact, I give it a super-light touch and literally just use the weight of the saw and nothing else to saw through stuff. Using any kind of force or pushing force with the sawblade is a recipe for broken blades - just a medium-speed smooth sawing motion is best. A lot of people lubricate the blades with beeswax or something. I've yet to need any kind of lubricant myself.
  3. Usually, when I name a sci-fi game, I name them after some specific quality about the campaign plot, usually with an "action-y" bent. For space travel, a nautical theme often works, especially if you're waxing poetic. This can seem a bit cheesy to some people, but usually those people don't have a romantic bone in their body, so who cares about them. "Across the Sea of Suns" is a good example of this. Your own title would work for a game about piracy: Sky Pirates. Or "Pirates of the Stars" if you want to be more lyrical. If you absolutely insist on naming a campaign world with something to do with the Asian theme, unless you're going to be running a tongue-in-cheek game full of stereotypes I'd say away from the more tongue-in-cheek suggestions. Unfortunately, there's a lot of combo-ideas in Chinese that sound really awkward to Western ears (see also, the title of the book "The Joyluck Club"). Chances are names like that would be the kind "really" used. For example, "The Romance of the Joyful Perfume Receptacle" (with the last part being the name of the starship) wouldn't sound too awkward in Chinese, but that's a very odd sounding name to Western ears. Even if you transliterated the name to something like "Tale of the Lucky Perfume Bottle" it still wouldn't sound that great, but imbuing a title or venture with a word of good fortune is big in naming, sadly. Though, "Tales of the Lucky Venture" actually doesn't sound too bad (especially if it's like Serenity and the ship's captain is anything but lucky a lot of the time, where the name starts to sound a little ironic). All that said, here's my ideas. Obviously they won't all apply to your universe (especially if your universe is balkanized and not under some united and ancient Chinese Empire): The Empire of the Dragon Throne (yeah yeah, I know *yawn* but it works) Traders on the River of Stars Tales of the Jade Stars Tigers of the Misty Nebula Mysteries of the Stars of the Jade Fan The Lantern of Stars The Dowager's Mask (which would be the name of a star cluster or something) More military-sounding titles might be something like: Letters of the Invincible Army Banner of the Immortals
  4. Good observations, everyone. :) Thanks for the advice, I'll give it another try. Now, Celestine needs a bath in Simple Green...
  5. Sorry about the photo there - I hope it's good enough. So to make a long story short, many, many moons ago now, I posted a thread about doing blending and NMM. At the time, I was told to put up a photo of an attempt. So after moving and generally attending to a bunch of RL stuff I won't bore you with listing here, I finally bought myself a Canon digital camera and took this photo for advice. So this is my first attempt at NMM blending, on a Celestine mini I have lying around. Beyond the fact it seems a little gray (I suspect it's partially my lack of skill in taking photos, and the background, maybe). Looking at the image, I'm wondering what I should do to get away from the "stone" effect I'm getting on the mini (ie; it looks like her armor is made from concrete, instead of metal). Admittedly, with all the fiddly details, it's not the best mini to be working on NMM with, and no, despite the fact I painted the cloak/tail cloth red, besides fooling with the metal, I haven't really done a think to Celestine yet.
  6. I've been sort of curious about this stuff but no experience using it. Maybe I'll get a bottle and find out!
  7. *goes to find a jar* "That's the cheesiest..." *goes to find some blu-tac* "idea for a jar I've ever seen..." *goes to find his cleaner* Thanks. :)
  8. The work on Neo is just great - the quality of the photography is nice too. Great work!
  9. This is a disclaimer: I cannot do this better than you. I would suggest adding in the odd bullet hit or three on the models, especially the shoulderpads. tanker22: Fantastic weathering on that model! I find the dozer blade positively droolworthy. I can see you've studied (or had the opportunity to work from) things rusting away. As an armor builder, about the only criticism I'd have is that the vehicle looks more like an abandoned wreck, rusting away somewhere than something still being used. Mostly it comes from the fact that the rotating/swivelling areas of the sponsons are rusted (I would at least put in shiny metal "swivel grooves") and tips of the exhausts should probably have more soot on them.
  10. W&N 7s for drybrushing? Do you have rolls of gold leaf in your bathroom instead of toilet paper? Can you take photos and share with the class? I didn't know such decadence existed. ;) More seriously, I guess if it works for you - I tear up my brushes fast enough without drybrushing with them - I don't really want to think of what would happen to them if I did.
  11. A lot of companies do them, but I always feel like I'm paying as much for a Reaper fig (or more) for a step down - for something Reaper (or really, Games Workshop, Rackham, or Privateer Press to be fair) would never accept to put into production - except maybe in the bad old days. I'm convinced that historical gamers are so used to 10mm, 15mm, and 20mm minis that there's an acceptance of lower quality to reach the "5 star" rating, even at the 28mm "heroic" scale. I catch myself doing it all the time - my expectations for detail, proportion, and quality always drop when I start looking for historical minis as opposed to fantasy (or to a lesser extent sci-fi). I've seen those Kreigenspiel US Marines, and for me, they just reinforce what I'm talking about - the weird body proportions (like the guys who look like they have necks a foot long - and sure, "pencilnecks" exist IRL, but nobody ever goes to the effort of modelling them, it's just bad sculpting IMO), the badly sculpted guns, the weird press-mould friendly static poses. I think it's honestly one of my biggest pet peeves. For instance, if you look at some Garrity or Klocke sculpt on Reaper and you'll notice the finely done chainmail, the detail on the sword hilts, the attention the folds of cloaks, the way the material of a belt pouch bunches up as it nears the drawstring. Meanwhile, for historical minis, we'll cheerfully accept glass-smooth fabric covers on helmets, night vision equipment that looks like a few pieces of chopped up plastic sprue glued onto someone's head, and so on. What gives? That's what I'd like to see - Reaper to do some historical figs with the same lavish attention to detail that fantasy figs seem to have as standard.
  12. Perhaps I'm in the minority here, but I'd really like to see highly detailed modern military figures. Most figures I find for this sort of thing just seem off in some way - like their rifles are cartoonishly huge, half of their equipment looks like it dates from the Vietnam era, or they "pull a Foundry" - they insist on putting some female fig in there who's usually more skimpily dressed than her male counterparts and is always using a smaller weapon than her male counterparts (I don't know who thought that's cute, but frankly it really makes me avoid Foundry - enough with the "chicks with tiny guns" or the polar opposite "chicks with huge guns" if I want to cop a feel of some scantily-clad female fig, there's plenty of other manufacturers I can buy from). While I'd be satisfied with just US figs appropriate to perhaps Iraq or Afganistan (no political statement here - I'd just like some guys carrying M4s instead of M16s, the helmet attachments, and so on), "special forces" in other themes would be interesting as well - especially if they're NOT in berets, or standard "fritz" helmets (or God forbid, old metal M1 helmets from Vietnam) or look like SAS from Iran embassy storming (black outfits with gasmasks) - I think the market's seen enough of those styles. Other themes: * A unit of "modern mercs" might also be fun in a similar theme. I don't mean rambo types, or similar "Soldier of Fortune" reading loonies, or refugees from John Woo Hong Kong era gun-fu movies (though ... there'd be a market for those, I think), but people who look like a mix between military people and civilians, suitable for use as merc NPCs or as player characters. I find such a characters to be suitable for use in most near-future and hard sci-fi settings as well. * A sniper in a ghillie suit with a similarly attired spotter (they could even be sold as a pair!). * Guys using modern looking missile launchers - you know, that don't look like bazooka/LAWs or RPGs or if not shooting them, at least toting them on their backs.
  13. I've done my own decals - you're talking about the Inkjet printer paper ones, right? It's not hard, though as is typical with stuff like that, results vary quite a bit. The most painful thing with waterslide decals you make yourself is that you can't really do white. Amusingly, white is like the one color most of us model decal'ers want the most because that will let you make your own stencilled numbers and names and so on. These companies sell you sheets that can technically do white, but I've never had good results with them. Otherwise, the decal making is pretty standard. Find the art you want to use - obviously the more detailed the image is you want to use the more danger there is of it coming out worse. In addition, the more precise the image, the worse it will come out. All that said, you could probably do Transformers symbols without too much trouble. Get the image the way you like it, run it in preview in whatever program you're going to use to make the decal, make sure you like the size...then cross your fingers and try printing it. Obviously, these decal paper makers can't make paper that will work great in everyone's printers so quality will vary from printer to printer. EDIT: I don't know if this really changes anything, but I find warming the paper up over a lightbulb (the incandescent sort) a bit before printing seems to give me better results. Once it's done, I think it goes without saying, don't touch it, let it try for a while - preferably overnight, then spray some varnish on it to seal the ink in. Then let that dry. After that, use it like a normal transfer. Since it's homemade, it won't behave like the ones you use buy at the model store, though if you're experienced in using decals, application won't be such a pain for you - they'll sort of behave like old decals (not exactly, but if you've dealt with 30 year old decals and such, you'll have less problems with this stuff). (Ignore this part if you're experienced using decals) The typical rules apply: Paint (with a brush) the area you're going to apply the decal onto beforehand with some sort of glossy varnish (like most modelling freaks, I use Future/Klear instead), especially if you use matte paints or sealer, let this dry before you start. Before using the decal, warm it up a bit by putting it near an incandescent light bulb for a while - this will soften the decal. Cut as close as you can to the printed area without destroying any detail. Score the decal in the middle with an X-acto knife if you're applying it to a curved surface. While I use normal warm water with these things so far, a friend of mine has used Solvaset with good results. Let the decal soak, but avoid letting the backing paper come off of it - since decals always work best if you can gently slide them off of the backing onto the smooth varnished surface, then gently dab NEAR the decal (never on top) to draw off the water. Once the decal is fully dry (I'd give a day) paint over it with a layer varnish to seal it in.
  14. At some point, I became tired of that exact problem and just started using Micron markers to do my eyes - local humidity matters a lot. I had a running discussion with a friend of mine out in Georgia who never had problems doing eyes until I realized the reason why my brushes would dry out so fast is that I lived in California where our humidity is really low, while she lived out in some part of Georgia where the local humidity is really high. I seriously didn't think humidity mattered from the time I blotted the brush on a paper towel to when I brought it to the figure, but apparently it does. It explained a lot of the problems we had in our painting issues - like she never had "spray clumping" for her paints while I never had some of the problems she had with her sprays.
  15. As someone who does almost all of his 40k fig buying off of eBay... Just to echo what others say, metal GW figs, especially older ones (like your early terminators) sell better and for a higher price if they're not painted. If you can strip them so that they basically look new, very early / rare Space Marine armors (especially Terminators) will fetch you a decent eBay price. As a rule, New In Blister/Box is the way to get the best price for something on eBay for 40k. Unpainted/unmodified/stripped of paint will fetch you the second best price (in some cases, the same as NIB). The minute the brush touches the mini for 40k, its value drops considerably in many cases. Even minis painted well by skilled painters or pretty hit or miss their value - occasionally people will get into a bidding war over the mini, but often contest quality minis go for like half of what you they could have gone for otherwise - unless the painter is known on eBay. The minute someone "converts" their mini (ie; replacing weapons and such), unless the conversion and painting are major Golden Daemon winning quality, the value almost entirely vanishes. I think stripped of paint with a certain amount of provenance (do a bit of research on Stuff of Legends and include the year and production run) and good photos, the early terminators could earn you a pretty penny. EDIT: Your post #28 photos are actually of fairly recent Terminators for the most part. Unfortunately, they suffer from "recently replaced" syndrome - I'm not really sure if you can get a good price at all for those. A lot of people have replaced them the newer plastic Terminators who aren't in that pronounced "coach huddle" and dump them on eBay.
  16. These are the two guides I've been experimenting with. In my experience, the big factor is if you can think of intensities of light as different colors. If you can, you've got your work cut out for you. (please note the first link you may get some adspam on it - be warned) http://www.coolminiornot.com/article/aid/106 http://www.brushthralls.com/painting-techn...the-basics.html
  17. My only guess is the proximity to direct sunlight. Like most people, I take care to store my paints away from direct sunlight. However, I like to use sunlight as a sort of "fill light" on my workplace - as well as the fact the room that's used for painting usually has the drapes pulled open. While the sun doesn't shine directly on the paints for any length of time, it does get "near" the bottles - perhaps that's causing the pigments to "bake" in the bottom of the bottles and accelerate the process of hardening that Vaitalla describes? It's the only thing I can think of. The bit about the high-vinyl base from Vaitalla was very interesting. It does indeed happen most often to those with a reddish component - certain browns seem struck by it often as well, though all of my colors have been struck by it from time to time. I've had it happen most prominently to a bottle of Vallejo gold, though (yeah yeah, what am I doing using that skim milk color? I didn't know better! I do now!). Ah well, it seems Master series will be seeing more prominent placement in my paint rack very soon here. :) Thank you for all your replies!
  18. Yes, I'm used to Vallejos coming in a "seperated" state when I buy it initially - I typically shake it for a while, stir it and so on and it's fine. I'm not really sure what is different about what occurs after I bring it home. The paints never dry out or anything, it just seems like the pigment clumps into ever-smaller clumps but never really sufficiently to be mostly indistinguishable to the naked eye (which is what I'm guessing normal paint is). Enchantra - I've given Vallejo an email. They seem to believe it's nothing a little shaking and stirring won't fix (or a lot of shaking and stirring, actually). I'm a little skeptical myself - I've tried shaking and stirring these bottles for like hour (and had like tennis elbow the day after) without the paints returning to a usable condition. I suppose to give a little more insight - typically when I buy my Vallejos I find the paint has settled, but when shaken or stirred, the settled pigment is like mud - it dissolves back into the clear solution in the bottle. In the case of my paints, the pigment almost has a "rubbery" feel to it - like when I slide my stirring stick (or clip) through it, it seems more to cut through it instead of normally where the pigment slowly melts in to fill the gaps. For what it's worth, I haven't noticed this occur with Master series paints. While Pro-Paints do settle like this, 15 minutes or so of stirring and shaking brings it to a usable condition, similar with older Polly S water-based colors and Citadel paints.
  19. Hello there! I thought I'd bother you all with a paint question - specifically about my paints going "bad." This isn't about Reaper Paints (at least not yet, and never I hope) and in fact I'm slowly converting to Reaper Master series because I'm so fed up with this problem. Most of the time, the "paints going bad" problem revolves around my friends complaining about their GW paints drying out. My problem is a bit different. For a while now, I've been using Vallejo paints after getting fed up with GW's sources changing and their paint's behavior changing as a result. But then I noticed Vallejo paints have this tendency to "settle" or "seperate" out. For those unfamiliar with what happens: I don't paint as nearly as often as I'd like for various reasons and there are indeed times where my paints will sit, unused and untouched for months at a time. I've noticed a tendency for Vallejo paints to "settle" on me - there's the clear liquid (I'm guessing it's basically water plus your usual binders/extenders) on top, the pigment having settled like sediment to the bottom. No problem, shake it up, right? Wrong. The pigment seems to have settled to the bottom of the bottle with the consistency of like a slightly sticky clay or mud (it's actually closest to play-doh if you're familiar with that). No problem, I remove the top and use a straightened out paperclip to stir it. However, it's already too late - the pigment never really dissolves back into the "water" and no matter how well I stir it or shake it, forever more, it's like clear water with tiny clumps of color in it, the difference clearly visible to the naked eye. At this point, the paint is useless as far as I can tell and only suitable for disposing of (and buying a non-Vallejo replacement). Now, I have no problem with buying new paints, but I am in Northern California and we have that reputation (no no, not about smoking proscribed substances or sexual orientation) and I'm no different: I hate buying stuff and "wasting" it after using only a few drops. So I'm wondering if any of you paint formula savvy people can tell me: * Why does Vallejo paint seem to go bad in this way? Has anyone noticed Master series paints going bad in this way? I'm working on replacing my Vallejos with Master series right now, but if this is something that happens to Master series paints I'll explore other paints. It's not a universal problem, my old Reaper Pro-Paints don't seem to do this, nor do my ancient Polly S Fantasy colors or my old Citadel paints in the hex (octagon?) bottles from like 20 years ago are still fine (wow, did I just age myself? I think I did). * Is there any way to keep this from happening? I'm frankly sick and tired of buying new paints, and my area has no stockists where I can just go and purchase Master paints at a store as I find bad Vallejos - this means I have to order them online and it takes a few days for the new paints to arrive. I'm replacing my Vallejos, but I'd rather do it on my schedule, not the schedule of bad paint's.
  20. Just popping in to say that I haven't abandoned my own thread. Thanks for the continuing advice. I'll keep it in mind. Meanwhile, just waiting for my new W&N brushes to arrive (hey, it's not like needed both kidneys. God gave me two for a reason. I think of it as a surgically implanted loose change jar!) while I practice with some old ones. Hopefully they'll arrive soon then I'll try this stuff out and mug ask someone for a digital camera to put up some pics for critiques.
  21. Too late, I think the thread's already been flown to France and they've made their demands to the negotiators. Seriously, thanks to everyone for their replies. I suppose it's time to replace my brushes and try out some of these ideas with some W&N Series 7s.
  22. Thanks for all of the replies, everyone. Rodnik - Yes, I suspect that I'm overly-thinning. For the most part, I dip the brush then wick the brush on a paper towel and bleed off most of the paint before using it on the mini. The typical issue I run into that I run the brush over a place and don't really a see a difference. I let it dry, then give it another brushing over, still no visible difference. Without any way to judge how much effect the first highlight has, I keep repeating until I see something. Then I start working on the second (lighter) highlight - here's where the problem really begins. It's impossible to tell the difference between the first highlight and the second at first so I'm left guessing as to where I applied the first coat of the new highlight color. The same with the second, until like the 5th or 6th time I repeat when I start to see a difference. By then the brush has pretty much covered the entire first highlight instead of being slightly smaller. Vaitalla - I wish I had the money to make it out to GenCon, perhaps in the future - the same for the Warlord rulebook. I'll keep it in mind if I come into that kind of "free" money, but right now I can't justify shelling out money for a rulebook for a game I don't play for painting advice. As for brushes, how have people's experiences been with buying them online? I've frankly never been able to find a local store that sells the vaunted W&N Series 7 brushes. Being an art major* I've always been leery of buying them online because I've always been afraid that online retailers will simply stuff brushes in a box and send them to you and you'll get brushes with the fishtailing, split ends, bent and loose bristles, and all that other stuff of reject brushes that are left over when the flesh and blood customers are done shopping (you know, the last few brushes you always see at art stores - or most of the brushes at hobby shops). As for paints, I use a pretty eccletic mix right now - Vallejo, Reaper Pro Paints, several different iterations of Citadel, and Vallejo. My primary paints are Vallejos right now - split between Game Colors and Model Colors. I'm generally happy with Vallejo (certainly better than newer Citadel), though I've noticed that the Vallejos seem to have this issue with consistency - the word 'wildly' comes to mind and these are new paints. My Vallejo white is thicker that the Elmer's glue on my table (thinned, it works just fine), while some of the Game Colors seem downright liquid, even after pulling the stopper and stirring it around a bit to get the sedimented paint stirred in they still flow more like thinned paints. I feel I should say that I am curious about Reaper Master Series paints but again, there's not a single game store in my area that carries RMS (the store that carried RPPs decided not to stock RMS because RPPs didn't move at all). A friend recently ordered some RMS paints online and has been pretty happy with them, so I plan to take the plunge and try a few RMS colors out soon. (* Yeah, how pathetic is that, an art major who can't layer on a mini? I can do all this stuff on canvas, paper , the wall of a building without a problem. A mini? Nope.) Awong - Good points, thanks. As for the camera thing, I'm working on it (now if I could just get rid of this "bills" thing...). The digital cam I have right now is an elder model without any capacity for photographing minis effectively (and to think I paid $1500 for it when it was new). Flynn - I'm really just trying to get to the bottom of this layering thing - it's one of the skills I figure is really the key to doing anything more advanced than slinging paint at a figure and hoping for the best. I keep calling it blending, which unfortunately is associated with wet-blending - which is not what I'm trying to do, durr. Mclimbin - We all have to start somewhere, eh? Admitting I'm bad at this is the beginning I figure. Getting better will be a challenge. I'm sort of set in my ways of treating colors from using pencils, pastels, and airbrushes. Mini painting is an entirely different beast. Errex - Yeah, I was looking at an NMM guide I saw on the Rackham boards and he seems to use the method you describe: http://www3.sympatico.ca/jleblanc012/etape-nmm.jpg Something like that is the method you're describing? It seems like fitting in all those gradients in ever so thin lines around what you've already done would require extraordinary skill with handling an excellent brush superbly mixed paints - skills that'd mean I think almost any method would work for you? Do you use wet-blending?
  23. Hello, first post here. :) This evening, I was attempting to muddle through the mysteries of NMM, as I have been for a while now. I've tried countless methods and none of them work. No doubt everyone is thinking about now, "Oh no, it's another of those NMM whiners." Don't worry, I'm not. Here's the truth I can't really escape: "Hello, my name is Epicenter and I can't do NMM because ... I s*ck at blending." You can't NMM if you can't blend. Okay, now that my confession is over, I'd like to ask the advice of some of the experienced painters regarding what I'm doing wrong and how I can change it. See, I used to do highlights and they were pretty stark and ugly - like how the "noob painting guide" in White Dwarf might look these days. I wasn't really satisified with that. I wanted to improve to a more natural difference in gradients. So I was told that I should be thinning my paints even more and use like 10-15 different gradients (say for NMM, ranging from the darkest hue but always to white in range of 15 gradients). The problems start when I'm given wildly varying amounts "average" ratios for layering (highlighting or shadowing). I've heard numbers quoted from 1:5 ~ 1:6 to like 1:10 ~ 1:12. I can appreciate that different paints should be thinned to different amounts and that there's no universal golden rule as most hobby paints aren't made to exacting standards and vary even from batch to batch and whatever other stuff you're using to thin your paints. So I'm not really here for mix ratios but instead some practical advice. Here's the typical conversation: Me: "Okay, I've just put the color on and I honestly don't see a difference at all." Advisor: "Oh, that's normal, you don't see a difference. It'll build up." I've tried it this way for some time now. Occasionally I get decent results, but most of the time my highlights and shadows turn out extremely flat or so stark as I might as well hadn't tried layering at all. Have I been following bad advice? I'm clearly doing something wrong as it seems very hit-and-miss and I'm not sensing any improvement in my skill. So here's my questions: 1) Enough is Enough: How many coats of one thinned color should I have to apply before I see a difference in the color in an area for an area? Once? Twice? Five times? Seven times? Ten times? More? My gut feeling is that it should be once. But those I've spoken told me if I can see a difference in a single coat, then the paint is too thick. Yet, I find the application of multiple coats of the same color is sloppy - the thinned paint tends to spread no matter how careful I am simply because I keep running a brush over the same areas over and over again. As well, by the time I put on my fifth layer or whatever, I find some parts of my highlight look very intensely different in hue from other parts, even though it's same color of thinned paint because it's difficult to these super-subtle difference in gradient. 2) How can I tell where to paint if there's no difference in hue? This sounds like a silly question, but bear with me. If I can't tell the color there's no boundary to the layers. I know that blending should involve smaller and smaller areas of lighter or darker color. But how can you tell what to make smaller if you can't see the previous gradient? After like ten layers of the same paint, I tend to end up with one big and uneven spotch - I find I tend to keep going over the same place over and over again with successively lighter hues and the end result looks like I didn't bother layering at all. 3) How many gradients should I really be using? How many gradients do most people use, not just for NMM. I'm guessing due to the constraints of smaller areas (and the fact the viewer doesn't really notice small areas as much you can be sloppier with gradients in tiny areas), but it still makes me wonder: How many gradients should I be using for shirt-sized area of standard "flat" cloth (like non-satin/non-silk but like just plain cotton or wool)? How many for a shirt of satiny cloth? A dagger? A sword? Thanks in advance for any insights on this.
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