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Everything posted by Ferox

  1. Added a bit more shading to the bronze -- some Red Liner, and then just a hint of Blue Liner right at the end. Looks better. Pics below: Still needs some practice, but I like where this can go.
  2. I don't know the rules, but considering the hell a bored TSA screener put me through over my Fisher pen I'd leave the files at home. You can always pick some up for cheap when you get where you're going, and mail them home if you really like 'em. Files are like clamps; I don't think there's such a thing as "too many".
  3. Your photos are coming along very nicely indeed. I like the contrast you've achieved on the green sleeves (heh, "greensleeves"; was that deliberate?), and the blue tunic's not far behind. Your blends look good, soft and smooth. When you highlight the leather, have a look at this tutorial for some ideas of how to get the right texture -- highlights are important on leather. At this stage in the WIP, the figure looks a bit garish to my eye. The red-orange leather is close to a complement of both the green and the blue cloth, and since the three colours are similar in brightness, intensity, and area they're all fighting to be the dominant colour. You might consider taking the sleeves and the leggings to something like a dark grey, to give the figure a more variation in lightness (everything's pretty bright) and intensity. Nice work; keep it up!
  4. Aha! And dock washers, which appear to be fender washers writ large, are available in up to 4" outside diameter.
  5. Thanks, folks! Fruggs: Which metallic bits in particular strike you as un-thinned? I'm near the point with the brass where thinning any further just breaks down the pigment/medium too much and leaves me with occasional sparkles in a sea of brown (though I haven't tried adding matte medium to it yet -- I've been fighting this bottle of paint for years now). The steel has more depth because I shaded it with blue liner (though not the damage...), whereas I just slapped some VMC Smoke on the brass and called it a day. I should give red liner a shot on that. Shortbeard: Glazing the skin isn't a bad idea at all, though I think I should've tried it earlier in the process. PhD's in computing science -- graphics, specifically -- and thanks.
  6. As a last resort if nothing else works, you could desaturate it a bit and leave it as "interesting ground clutter". Adding a few more bits of half-identifiable cruft would aid the effect.
  7. I started this guy back in April as a colour-scheme test model for my still mostly hypothetical Protectorate of Menoth army. I got about as far as a Blackened Brown undercoat on the bits that I intended to paint red. Then I got distracted by little things like defending my PhD thesis and looking for work, and nothing much happened until last Thursday, when I picked up my brush again. I'm quite pleased with the armour and especially the metallics. The sword was a bit tough to photograph, but I think this gives the right idea. The skin seemed like a better idea in my head than it turned out to be on the model, but it's not bad either. I'm not entirely happy with the wolf pelt; I was going for a red wolf but ran out of patience. There's something about it that almost clicks with the rest of the colour scheme, but doesn't quite work out. The "battle damage" on the armour worked out okay; the scuffs on the shield just look kind of silly. They're kind-of recognizable in hand, where the metallic dots actually reflect light, but in the photos it just looks odd. I think part of the problem is too much contrast over the freehand. The sword, alas, is not long for this world. Over its purgatory (and while I was painting it; eep!) this mini suffered a few unplanned vertical excursions, and I wasn't able to drill the pin all the way up into the thick part of the blade whilst assembling it. So the sword's been bent back and forth quite a bit around the fulcrum of the pin's tip, and it's really only a matter of time before metal fatigue triumphs over optimism. I think I'm going to have to replace it -- which is a shame, because the blade is some of the best glazed-metallic work I've done yet. The rest of the figure... well, it's nice to know I haven't completely lost my touch, and I expect to improve quickly to my previous level. It's good to be back. C&C very much appreciated.
  8. While we're on the subject: until I started in on WarmaHordes and accumulated an improbably large collection of spare 50mm bases, I used 2" fender washers to base "large" creatures. Anyone have any tricks for 3" bases that don't involve a bandsaw?
  9. I'm rather fond of nickels -- they're nice and uniform, heavy and wide enough to be stable, durable, and are reasonably sized for a 1" battlegrid. It's also tough to beat the price.
  10. Incredible work. Congratulations. Very pleased (and relieved) to read about your recovery, too.
  11. Maybe you're starting to realize that it isn't really all that hard. Oh, sure, getting a conversion-plus-diorama up to Jen Haley or dks levels is gonna take decades of practice, but getting it up to a level that'll impress the heck out of your buddies at the FLGS might take... a month or two. There's always going to be room to improve, but the flip-side of that is that as you're starting out you'll be able to improve dramatically in a short period of time. Your starting toolkit looks solid. I'd suggest picking up something like Reaper's Green Ochre or Khaki Shadow, to add a yellowish colour to your mix; also Twilight Blue. Check out some colour theory links online for a few ideas of how you can mix the paints to move in a given direction -- maybe you want a warmer red, or a cooler green. In my experience, you can spend $100 on a bunch of paints and mix what you want from similar hues, or you can spend $20 on paints and $80 on colour theory books and mix what you want from a limited palette. (I spent $180 on paints and books, but I'm a colour nerd.) Your best investment off the bat is going to be painting time. I've followed your thread in the WIP forum, and it looks like you're doing exactly the right thing. Paint half a dozen miniatures or so, then pick up a good Kolinsky sable brush. They're going for $10 or so from Dick Blick or your local art store if it has a sale, which is not too far off from the cost of a single blister -- and the brush can last for years. If you're like me, you won't realize how much you hate your starter brush until you get to use something better. But for now it's not worth worrying about. Also, make sure you have something to hold onto that's not your mini's base. Ron and Jen suggested a medicine bottle with blu-tak. I like spare chunks of plywood cut into roughly 1" squares, or if I can get it a short length of oak dowel. It doesn't really matter what it is as long as you can hang onto it and move the mini around to where you need it without your hands cramping up. Blu-tak is great for holding miniatures onto the things, but white glue will do in a pinch. Good luck!
  12. She's mounted on a slab of ground cork sheet, ripped off of a length of cork I bought at a model railroad store (I think it's for cushioning lengths of track from vibration). You can get similar sheets of cork just about anywhere; lately I've been buying cheap cork trivets at Ikea, but I've also seen them as flooring material at hardware stores and pinboard tiles at office supply stores. The rocks are bits of gravel I picked up off a construction site, washed, then cooked in the oven for a little while to remove the dirt and dust. I mixed a bit of something purple-ish with the khaki shadow to make it a bit greyer. The sticking point is how to mount the actual mini on the base. The Shepherd had a slotted base, so it was pretty easy to cut out the middle and use the remaining tabs under her feet to anchor her into the cork. Cutting out little notches in the cork is a pain, though, even with a sharp knife. Lately I've been cutting away the entire base with a jeweler's saw and drilling a pinhole up a quarter-inch or so into the leg, then inserting a length of paperclip and pinning into the base the same way. For a first attempt, though, I suggest you get your hands on some epoxy putty -- preferably Milliput -- and just slather it onto the top of the cork up to the same level as the mini's base. You can give the Milliput a rough texture with a wet toothpick or hobby knife, and it'll blend right in with the cork. I did something similar with Lylyth. For basing material, check out Army Painter's basing materials. I think the Winter Tuft set would be right up your alley.
  13. I wouldn't worry about seeing metal through the primer like that (although it's been years since I spray-primed a miniature, so take that with a grain of salt). The primer's job is to give the basecoat something to stick to, not necessarily to contribute to the final colour of the mini (though it probably will, at least a little bit). As long as the see-through patches have some primer on them, you should be fine. As for arid terrain: it's not quite the same thing as you're looking for, but I've been using Khaki Shadow as a base for my Legion of Everblight figures. Shading with purple and highlighting with Ghost White gives it a nice cool look, rather than "warm and toasty sandy desert". Add some tall green and brown grasses and you might have a winner.
  14. Full of win. The focal point of most minis is the face (and especially the eyes), and you've pulled it off spectacularly well. You're doing a great job. The standard advice here is "lighter highlights, darker shadows", but that takes some experience and confidence to pull off -- I'd say keep doing what you're doing. Don't worry about the big red spot -- the neat thing about paint is that you can paint over it. Don't pay too much attention to how much time you put into a mini: as you get more comfortable with the techniques you're using, they'll take less time; on the other hand, you'll want to use other techniques on later minis, and spend more time perfecting them. Mini painting time is like hard-disk space: the more you have, the more you use.
  15. Have a look at . Honestly, though: if you're using brush soap (like Master's brush cleaner -- my favourite) regularly and W&N cleaner when necessary, you're way ahead of most people and don't need my advice. Keep it up!
  16. Looks good! I've also had some good results highlighting blues like that with rosy highlight and even linen white, for example on my Carnivean and Bolt Thrower.
  17. Stunning! My only complaint is that the hair, skin, cloth, and boots all sort of blur together. On the other hand, they all blur together into an ochre-tan that sets off the blue-grey NMM very nicely. Maybe working some of the shield's saturated blue into the sleeves and trousers would help things along from the front view. But, hell, that's a nice mini.
  18. What kind of primer do they like? I usually use gesso, and have plenty of brush-on primer taking up space on my paint rack, but I've heard that some plastics prefer specially-formulated spray primers. Can't say I'm excited about painting up the D&D board-game figures, but I surely would like to put some pigment on the Mansions of Madness critters.
  19. I believe the learn-to-paint kit comes with a pair of brushes that'll give you a good start. With that in mind I wouldn't buy more brushes unless they were high-quality Kolinsky Sables. (I've broken this rule, picking up a cheap set of red sable flats that're pretty good for basecoating terrain.) Be sure to keep the old brushes even if you upgrade, though: they're handy for brushing on primer and sealer (if you go that route), spreading PVA glue around bases, mixing paints, drybrushing, and other tasks that might damage your good brushes.
  20. I've been using craft paints for terrain recently, and it's taken me a lot of messing around with mixing media to get them to behave nicely in glazes and washes. IMHO, trying to learn more advanced techniques with craft paints would cost more time and frustration than the money saved. Obviously, opinions vary. I think a better way to economize on paints is to buy only what you need for your next project, rather than stocking up on paints that "might be useful".
  21. That is a damn fine job for a several-year hiatus. Great work on the base, too, and props on the bowstring. (I've discovered that if you show a stringed-bow mini to gamers, rather than painting nerds like us, they'll be blown away by the bowstring and carry their enthusiasm over to the rest of the paint job.) Can't wait to see more of your stuff.
  22. Nice job! Your skintones are improving by leaps and bounds. This guy looks great.
  23. Dr. Bedlam's advice is spot-on. If you find that you enjoy mini painting after working through a learn-to-paint kit, I'd suggest that you next pick up a good Kolinsky sable brush -- Raphael 8404 or Winsor & Newton Series 7. #1-sized brushes run less than bucks from Dick Blick, and my experience is that a good brush is far better than even a pretty decent brush. Plenty of people I respect disagree with me on this point, though, and there's no reason you can't get good results with a second-tier brush. As for paints: if your local store carries Vallejo or Privateer I'd be inclined to stick to those for convenience. I use a few Vallejo Model Colour paints with my Reapers and they seem to play nicely together, so you can supplement your LTPK paints with Vallejos and not worry. (I wouldn't be too worried about mixing any gaming acrylics.) For army-sized projects, I've taken to mixing the colours I want for a test figure, then picking up a bottle that's as close as possible to that colour for the rest of the troops -- it's more convenient than mixing for every figure, but I don't end up with a bunch of paints I never use.
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