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Everything posted by buglips*the*goblin

  1. Ok, so I found Kitiara and she hasn't had her Simple Green bath yet. To compare the difference I put a Reaper barbarian lady next to her. This should illustrate what I mean by how simple darklining and shading/highlighting (crude, even, in this case) can really make a difference. Apologies for the poor lighting, best I could do at the moment. But while the camera macro and the lighting show all the barbarian girl's flaws, on the table or even held in hand she looks pretty good. She won't be winning any beauty contests, but the method is quick and adequate for my needs and tastes. Anyway, all of you may laugh at my pinpainted Kitiara. Especially those eyes. Fannnn-tastic.
  2. For anything going into table service, which is a rough place to go with the monkeys I play with, I give the miniature a thin coat of 50/50 future and water a couple of days before dullcoating. Or, and this is a recent experiment that's proven interesting, I'll dullcoat lightly after priming, again after the basecoat and darklining is done, and then a final spritz when it's all finished. I've discovered that you can paint right over dry testor's dullcoat without issue, and this method came about by accident (I had to paint PC's for use and it took so long they had to go into service twice before they were finished). But it seems to work, and the dwarf took a tumble from chest-high to the laminate and the laminate lost. He doesn't have a blemish. So that might be worth an experiment or two if you have something going into hard table duty.
  3. That's correct, you will probably want to vary your darklining colours depending on what you're working with. Blacklining everything can make the final result look cartoonish, which is not what most people are going for. I actually am purposely going for that look, so I sometimes forget to clarify that.
  4. The beauty of miniature painting is that everything fancy builds off of easy and simple techniques. Just a matter of practice. I guarantee that you can get to an extremely high level if you want to. I sort of stopped at "looks good enough for a Ral Partha 1990's catalog", which is pretty basic by today's standards. Derek Schubert painted a Lamia once as a work in progress and went many steps beyond where I would have called it finished. Lining and shading are easy, don't be scared of those. Even if you make a mistake, it's just paint. Worst case scenario you can dunk it in simple green and give it another try. Getting used to those and seeing the immediate payoff will give you a confidence boost and the details and fiddly bits won't look nearly as difficult. And if you ever doubt you ability to get good? Remember that Marike Reimer now paints like this: http://www.destroyerminis.com/gallery/ But started from this: http://www.destroyerminis.com/portfolio/number-1/gallery/gallery/
  5. For many years I painted miniatures out of paint lids with a sewing pin. For real. Most are stripped now, but I think Kitiara from my Dragonlance Villains set escaped so far. If so, and if I can find my camera, I'll take a pic so everyone can point and laugh. Nowadays I'm much better (though pretty lazy), and here's what I learned along the way that's simple and makes a BIG difference. If you're painting with a brush, you're already ahead of where I was. 1. Blacklining. This by itself adds so much. There's two ways to think about blacklining (or darklining): as a way to make the miniature's detail pop (true), or the way I think of it: super cheat heaven. The deal for me was that pinpainting was a pain in the butt trying to paint one thing without getting paint globbed onto a nearby thing. Blacklining eliminated this in one swoop. It's a cheat line. Also handy to black out fiddly inner bits you can't really get to. So blacklining is less extra work, and more extra lazy sloppy cheat. (I'm a big fan of anything that lets me be lazy and/or sloppy). I basecoat in solids, then blackline. Some people like to do it last, I think they just like living on the edge of their nerves. Being gutless (and did I mention lazy?) I do it at this stage. Sometimes neatly, sometimes I just slobber it. Then I get out the basecoat and slowly work in to thin the blackline. Make it look like I'm all neat, and precise, and not at all a slob about it. Fools everybody. They're all like: "OMG! You have so much patience, how do you do it?" And I'm all like: "I'm a wizard, baby, that's why all the girls love me." The rule for blacklining is: where two different materials meet, make a line. So you don't have to do between fingers and stuff like that. I mean, you can, but that's up to you. I don't. Some inspiration minis in the Reaper gallery show people that do. Adjust for taste. Once this stage is complete, on to #2 2! Shading/highlighting. Now this is some scary stuff when you start out, but it's really not so bad. Everybody has a method, and here's mine - derived from laziness and cheatasticness. First, I operate on the Rule of Threes. Dark, mid, light. If you want, you can use the MSP triads. Some work nice, some seem a little too close in shade for my tastes. So I usually mix. I lay down the darkest shade as my base, which is a mix of a basic color and something else (for example, for lady skin I do 3 parts Fair Maiden and 1 part Chestnut Brown). This is to keep things simple, so all my mids come right out of the pot with no mixing. So next I take my midtone out of the pot, thin it a little with my mix of 3/4 water 1/4 future gunk, and layer it on. Once done, I'll either slap some white into what's left or I'll mix up a light batch later. For the final highlights I just stick them in small parts. Now, this won't win you any awards probably - but it's super easy to do, quick, and looks pretty good. It looks like you have the real basics down, and the application is pretty neat. Again, I came into it as a total slob. All you need is to play around with a little darklining and some shading/highlighting and you'll see a huge gain for very little additional effort. It's all basically what you're doing now, except with thinned paint. Working with thinned paint is easy, looks scarier than it is. Just thin it out with say one drop or two drops (or more, if you want really smooth layers) of water/gunk per drop of paint and wipe off the excess on a piece of paper towel. You'll get the feel of the brush loading quickly, and how much paint left in the bristles is the goldilocks zone for the work you want out of it. So that's some basic tips. If you want better practice and better explanations, try out the Reaper Learn to Paint kits. They're wonderful, I give them out as presents every chance I get. 1 and 2 will give you solid basics, 4 will cover lining, and 3 will give you some advanced practice and a try at non metallic metals (not my bag, but might be yours). Also, I don't pinpaint any more. I graduated to brushes like an honest-to-god human being. Feels nice. So you're off to a good start, I think, and like Dr. Bedlam said doing the suits on the cards is ambitious and looks sweet. Hopefully some of my cheap goblin tricks are helpful, but if not . . . I swear by the Learn to Paint kits. Anne will not steer you wrong.
  6. That's actually the stuff I'd be most likely to buy in plastic. I'm only picky about metal content in my people/creature miniatures. ETA: I like the modular bits idea, too. I'm working on changing our gametable set-up from a plexiglas hex board and magic marker to a 4'x8' sand table. With modular bits and scenery tucked underneath, it's not generally more time-consuming to set up. We're essentially using inch-scale movement with the hexes anyway (we're 2nd Edition AD&D curmudgeons), so a small ruler and a laser pointer for line-of-sight gives the greatest movement flexibility with the ability to "battle damage" terrain. Sure you can draw a big circle to show what the wizard did - or carve out a pit and fill it with dead goblins. A sand table isn't practical for everyone, especially dedicating that kind of space, but I'll be building one for 1/72 scale WW2 wargaming anyway, might as well make it dual-use.
  7. I'll use GS when I have to - it's pretty much required for multipiece or dragons anyway. Most of the reason I don't like GS is because it's adding foreign material to my pure metal piece. But with something like Takhisis, it's either that or live with half-inch gaps. Lesser of two evils there. I also don't usually base either, striving to preserve the miniature in as close to "pure from the package" form as I can. Sometimes, like with the Reaper Princess of Hell, I don't have any other choice unless I want to put up with a demon chick who can't stay upright. And she's awesome, so she gets a pass. But a lot of the Klocke pieces have tiny narrow bases that might require rebasing (a penny suffices here) and as a result I tend to pass them by and look for something with a nice broccoli base. (Somebody once asked if anybody even liked the broccoli bases, now you know. Right here, baby. Love 'em.) So if DS needs a little work, I'm ok with it. Especially since so many are so lovely. I'm just trying to limit the lines I'm buying from to keep my shelf of shame (and drawer of many things) to slightly-less-than-insane levels. So as much as I love every DS mini I've ever seen, I have to say no. And if given half a chance, I'd buy up every single set of Bob Murch's Pulp Figures line. Those rock my world. But then the Otherworld guys are doing the 1st Edition Monster Manual figures. And the RP Shadowrun figures look nice. And RAFM has that rather nifty Call of Cthulu line . . . It'll never end. I turn down all kinds of fantastic looking miniatures in my single-minded quest to only buy the three R's. I have to, it's the only way to keep the numbers manageable. Because the minute a pair of Go-Gangers makes its way onto my table the dam will break and I'll have more tin than an Indonesian magnate.
  8. ..., and don't really need more. What does this mean? Seems like gibberish to me. Look, so long as I hold to my line that I'm only buying from three companies with specific criteria then nobody's going to try and stage an intervention. My sponsor told me that the key to managing my figmentia is to set limits, and if anybody asks then I can tell them that I'm pursuing the entirely reasonable goal of collecting the best from a mere three lines. Because otherwise somebody's going to step in and try to reason with me, and I've got a lot of sharp things on my worktable. Could get messy. They can have my minis when they pry them from my cold, dead fingers. And not even then, if I can figure out how to come back as a ghost.
  9. Well, anyway I'm willing to be flexible with these since they're special pieces - and likely to be displayed in their own area away from the usual fantasy stuff anyhow. Maybe I should start a Sophie shelf. And maybe . . . I might need one of those KS biker Sophies, too. Sheesh I come in here and make one lousy post and next thing I know I've been succubussed into spending money. *channels Zapp Brannigan* It's a diabolical trap you've got here, Reaper. A sexy diabolical trap.
  10. My sci-fi Sophie wasn't slotted and didn't come with any base other than the junkpile, they may have added an additional plastic base since. Or maybe mine got blistered during Reapercon without one. But Bomb Sophie is slotted for sure, and I think the most recent 2012 one is also slotted.
  11. I wound up with a pile of those old early-80's TSR miniatures still in blister and most of them were quite horrid. I'm very much impressed that you made one look so good.
  12. I only had two of the RCon Sophies anyway - the sci-fi one and the bomb-riding one. And while I suspect some of these have . . . slottas . . . *grimace* I'll make an exception for the Salacious Sophie, Sassy Seductress. But I won't like it, though. I promise I won't like it. And not a giggle out of you, Baphomet, or I'll tell Tiamat where you live. ETA: that would have been funnier if I'd not misread it as Bahamut. But I'm a goblin, so really I think I'm doing pretty good with this whole literamacy readin thing. And anyway, I'm totally in good with the evil queen of the harpies (will not make a wife joke, will not make a wife joke) so maybe I'll tell *her* where you live. Hmm? Yeah. Don't mess with da lips. Stupid demon lord tempting me with the demon harem.
  13. *temptation* *temmmmmptaaaaaaation* *temmmmmmmmmmmmmptaaaaaaaaaaaaaation* *SNAP!* Ok, I'm in. This is what happens when the company is fronted by a succubus.
  14. I hear ya, but you should bid anyway. Sometimes a seller will let it go for under reserve if they still like the price, and some will purposely set an overly high reserve so they can see what the state of traffic is at the moment. Nobody wants to wind up letting a normally pricey item go for pennies if it happens to be a slow week. Traffic in the mini categories has been getting increasingly abysmal, but you can score yourself some sweet deals by bidding on these if the seller decides the final price is still acceptable. By not bidding, you might just be letting somebody else get away with the sweetness. With less traffic the prices don't change as dynamically as they used to, so a lot of mini sellers have taken to getting creative in order to figure out a proper value without taking big risks (the rolling, reducing, relisting BIN is another tactic). I've been making out like a bandit lately, but six years ago I had to practically fist-fight five other people just to get a pack of golems. These days it sometimes feels like I'm the only living creature in Ral Partha town, hanging out with tumbleweeds.
  15. You might as well buy Darksword figs too; they are sculpted by the same people that do Reaper and (in the past) Ral Partha, done off concept art from the same artists used by Ral Partha, and cast by the same guy that did Ral Partha's stuff. Jim's got himself a pretty nice miniatures company going over there. Plus, he comes down and hangs out at ReaperCon from time to time. He's cool like that. ~v The PC-usable Avalyne the Lifegiver was enough to sell me on that company, and it was only after thinking it over for some months that I said no. Because if I make an exception for that, I'll do it for Bob Murch. And if I do that, then I'll do it for RP Shadowrun. And then I'd do it for Otherworld. And so on. Next thing you know, somebody in the future digs me up, sees me surrounded by 100,000 figures, and assumes it's the tomb of some great 21st-century Pharoah buried with his cultural treasures. Forever known as Kolinsky Man, I'll be a riddle that endures in the minds of bored future pupils and long-winded professorial types in their high-tech tweed. You see how it is.
  16. I am unusually (and possibly illogically) picky. I only buy Reaper, Ral Partha (mostly old TSR), and RAFM (the last strictly for nostalgia). I don't do plastic, and I won't even do slottas (the sole exception being my bomb-riding Sophie, and I had to think that one over). Most of my Reaper are DHL, and most of them are pre-SKU 3000. I don't even like using greenstuff unless it's absolutely necessary (I have a RP Takhisis that had some hideous gaps between dragon heads). I have no doubts at all about the quality of the Bones, which is why I'm happy to recommend them to people I know who aren't as finicky as I am. The price is good, they're more durable on the table, they appear to be at least as good as their corresponding metal counterparts. I'm delighted to see Reaper push forward on this in a big way, and really think this will become their primary unpainted line and make them beloved by all. But they're plastic. And I don't do plastic. But my painting partner, he doesn't care. He'll do metal, slotted, mantic, GW, whatever. I'm happy to sell him on the line and trumpet their virtues, and harass him every day to get in on vampire level at least. Anyway, just between those three companies (and I was very tempted to let Darksword and Bob Murch's Pulp Heroes into the group) I have enough metal packed away to last me the next 30 years. So I'm probably good as it is, and don't really need more. Especially if they're affordable enough to buy in bulk. Doesn't mean I don't think they're awesome, they're just outside my unusually narrow field of interest. ETA: And I suppose I should note that "narrow" is relative, since even by my current criteria which limits manufacturer, type, and material I still have, even if no new metal miniatures were ever produced, more than 1,500 items I want. Which is 28 years worth if I finish one a week, or 75 years at my actual average rate of completion. Unless the top Bones stretch goal comes with clones of top painters who will work in sweatshop conditions without sleep or food, then I'm pretty much already set for life.
  17. I don't do plastic, but if I did I'd be all over these Bones. This is one of the best ideas I've seen in a while, and the kickstarter seems smartly done. I've forwarded it along to everybody I know who doesn't share the "metal only" hang-up that I have. And despite my plastic prejudice, I think this is a very good direction for Reaper to be going.
  18. Basecoating is coming along with all the speed and urgency of a crippled snail. The primered area at the bottom of the sword by her foot is the after-effect of an unpleasant surprise. I had started in on the sword basecoat (steel plate) when I noticed paint was being repelled from that area. On closer inspection, there was a big hunk of super glue or epoxy there. Don't know how long it's been there (this is a stripped sophie) or why I never noticed it before, but some determined effort (and two broken #11 blades) got it out. Her hair base is warm walnut (the PP colours are old ones, not new ones), the base is rust, and the base of gold is Dragon Gold. I'm using metallics on this one, exploring their good points and limits. My intention is to borrow some loose ideas from NMM and highlight up. Will it work? I don't know. I'll find out, though, and even if it doesn't I might discover something cool I can do with it later. The skull is the decapitated head of an RAFM skeletal troll. What would we do without skeletons to sacrifice? A bit of an expensive way to dress up the base, but I think it looks good and a bit alien. With that bad-girl pose, I figured Sophie could use a little monster-head trophy. Hey Ma, look what I killed! The base is pretty textured so I'll wash it in walnut and drybrush. Depending on the result, I might drybrush lightly in spots with some browns, tans, or oiled leather for variation. I chose rust because rust seems an appropriate Abyssal terrain colour. I also noticed some light pitting on the model, but I think layers will cover it up. More serious, there's bits of stuff trapped in the paint in some spots. This is probably dust, filings, maybe a little lint. Carelessness and a messy work area have their price to pay. I'll have to hunt them down and get them out or they'll really show up under the highlights. Her face turned out nicely, though. I'm most happy with that so far. The arm holding the sword looks a little rough in the pic, something I didn't notice in person. This might be the result of inadequate filing in prep, I'll have to inspect it. If it looks too severe I'll re-work that area, if it's not too bad in person but just shows up in pics I might work around/over it. I'm pretty lazy, after all. One note here, though you can't see it well in the pic. Where her hand rests on her hip, I darklined underneath. This is a loose interpretation of the basic rules of darklining (dissimilar materials) but because I'm going for a stark cartoonish look I thought it appropriate here. Looks pretty decent. This is probably not a good idea if realism is your goal, though. I also started in on the wings, a prime and first pass with the darklining. For whatever work on the wings I show, I'll just use this wing as the example. Same method on both anyway, no need to show it twice. So that's it for this update. I might have the basecoating finished by the weekend. I hope. Depends on if I discover any more flaws I missed.
  19. Ok, I put that Sophie in a WIP. I'm starting from the second pass of lining. You might find this of some use, too, because chances are good I may have to bust out some additional lining tricks for fix-up as I go.
  20. I did some playing around with middle out, layering in shadows and highlights. It wasn't a bad result (I never finished the mini and now she's bathing in simple green) but I decided to play with darkest shadow as a basecoat and then work up. I actually came to this by accident when I was doing LTP kit 2. My wash on Tsuko didn't turn out as I'd hoped... and then I realized that if instead of a wash I tinkered with mixing colours to make the same shadow colour I could just paint it as a base and highlight up from there. It'd mean more highlights, but no messing around with a disorderly wash. I've got a Ral Partha fighter in plate and I used this method on his cape. I like the result, but this Sophie has been on the table for a long time (almost 2 years) so I moved the fighter to the back burner and just jumped in on this. I don't actually know if it'll work out, since I'm still pretty fresh to this layering thing. But the possibility of horrible failure makes it a more interesting WIP.
  21. I figured it's about time I put up a WIP of my own after reading so many others. This is the classic 72mm Sophie. One lovely demon lady. Mmm-mmm. Om nom nom nom nom. But I digress. Ok, a couple of notes: I'm actually going for a non-realistic, perhaps even cartoonish look. For the moment that's my preference. I think it looks kinda neat. The really dark blacklines, in other words, are on purpose. Even if they wind up looking obscenely horrible. That's my story an' I'm sticking to it. Oh, and I don't really have proper picture-taking apparatus so bear with me. I'll try to make it as good as I can. Lol, anyway... here's the first installment. *ahem* Narrator Voice: Here she is primed (sloppily) and blacklined (equally sloppily). Don't worry, she won't stay this way long. To prove that I'm not abusing her with sloppy paint, here's some of the basecoating. This is mostly done in Reaper Pro Paint. The skintone is a mix of 50/50 Ruddy Flesh and Rose Quartz to make her a bit less yellow. This is the darkest shade I intend on, but it looks a little light. I might layer some shadowing in later if necessary. The dark red is 4 parts Blood Red darkened with 2 parts Kilt Green. All base colours will be the darkest colours and then highlighted out. You can see I'm starting to tighten up on the blacklining. I work from the center of an area towards the edges, painting my way over the excess black. This way I can vary thickness of the line easily as I move depending on whether I want it thicker or thinner for effect. In some cases I don't go all the way in until I basecoat the adjacent surface so I can better judge the line between where they meet. I might come back later and thin out the blacklines in some areas more as I progress. I also did the eyes first before anything else. A thin almost washlike bit of Walnut, then whites added with RMS Linen White. Y'know, she looks kinda hot and evil with pupilless eyes. I'll leave them for now until I decide if she should be evil hot or more to the cute side of things. So that's where she is at the moment.
  22. Yeah, I know it wasn't your intention that's why I wanted to clarify my point of view that it could be read that way. I'll admit I'm somewhat oversensitive about instances (real or perceived) of exclusivity because I've seen way too much of it. CMON is overrun with it, for example. Local model clubs, too. A lot of times it's with the best of intentions, and we hobbyists as a whole need to be careful about it. I remember one time I went to an IPMS meeting here. There was a guy, obviously fresh to modelling, and he'd brought a Klingon Bird of Prey. Early build, maybe his first, and painted a bright eye-gouging neon green. Well, the regulars, being 'helpful' explained what colours he should use, how he should fill gaps, and pretty much outlined all the stuff he did wrong. Not maliciously, and with the best of intentions, but it was clear to me from the expression on the guy's face that the *effect* was the equivalent of a social circle of shame. They'd stolen his joy from the *doing* of the hobby by their well-intentioned criticism of the *result*. IMO, they missed the point of the exercise. I asked him afterwards if he enjoyed the build. He said he did, but now he wasn't so sure the hobby was for him. I saw this again and again at contests, too. Never intentionally hurtful, but people didn't realize the message they were sending. I misread you, and I apologize. I've read your posts and I know you're not a jerk kind of personality. No worries, no offense was ever taken. Actually, I might post this Sophie as a WIP from sloppy start to (hopefully) fantastic finish. Hope my griping didn't put you out any, psyberwolfe. Edit: The 20/0 came out sloppy because I slapped on too much paint and I carelessly used the side of the brush in a few places when I was going quickly. I could have used anything, really. I might have started out with the intention of going slow but then got lazy and impatient. I don't rightly remember, actually, I was still only a third into my morning coffee when I did it.
  23. I wanted to come back and clarify a little that I'm not offended by psyberwolfe and I'm not trying to harsh on them for the criticism. My concern is that when you add on things that can be read as "I can do better than that with shaky hands and a larger brush", it's not a helpful thing. Doesn't bother me, actually, I'm happy to continue being sloppy. If you have to qualify something with 'don't take offense' chances are you already know it's likely to be taken that way. What I think about it personally shouldn't concern you (though it's nice you thought about that). What worries me is what somebody fresh to the hobby might take from that. I lurked here before I joined here, and when a new person comes along and sees all the crazy cool stuff people are doing above their skill level... that's intimidating. Statements like the above can unintentionally create an atmosphere of exclusivity. A newcomer to the hobby might see that as a big neon sign saying "must be this skilled to enter". I believe the primary responsibility of mini painters, myself included, is to act as ambassadors of the hobby to *everybody*, regardless of skill level. To encourage them to join in however messy they are. They'll improve, and they'll improve in their own time. Or they might be happy being sloppy for the rest of their hobby career. It doesn't matter. They're painting, that's all that counts. Since there's a whole bunch of amazing talent already here to show people the cool top-end stuff, I think my best contribution to this forum is to post my sometimes-bumbling steps. I'm not here for tips or criticism as a primary goal, but feel free to mention them. I'm here to show that being sloppy is ok, that it's alright if your skills are a bit oafish. Heck, it's fun. A lot of fun. Experiment, go crazy, mess up, but paint. Painting is the only cover charge to get into the club.
  24. It's rare for me to post finished pieces of any sort, but I figured an illustration of the final end result after the sloppy stage may be useful. My photography isn't the greatest since I'm just using a desk lamp and whatever backgrounds I can toss together, but this one should show some darklining. This is a 25mm RAFM Vampyre, and she was done with a 5/0 synthetic with some pretty gnarly tip-curling going on. Her lining was probably worse than Sophie's, when adjusted for scale. But in the end she turned out ok. The way I work, the lining doesn't need to be neat since it's the first thing after priming (which in itself may not be so neat). I find it fun to be a bit messy in the early phase since I'll have plenty of time being careful later, so I don't bother being fine about the early stuff. Your critique was a polite way of saying Sophie's lining looks pretty hideous. That's honest, and it's true. That's pretty nasty stuff she's got going on. But she's not going to stay that way through the process to the end result, she's just ugly now. I don't think it was your intent, but I felt the comment about shaky hands and a #1 brush skirted the edge of snobbery. I didn't take it personally, or even necessarily mean, I just see a fair bit of snobbery in the hobby when people do things differently and I think that hurts the hobby. It's why I don't do contests or shows, and why I rarely post finished minis no matter how awesome they turn out. Fun is the point of it all, and in my opinion it's far more fun for me to post goofs and messes from sloppiness or experiments gone awry than to put stuff up for ooh's and ahh's. Maybe somebody out there with a method they thought was sloppy and bad might feel a little encouraged by seeing the abominable messes that can crawl off my worktable. There's always hope!
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