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Everything posted by Paintrix

  1. I know, I know, it's about time. At any rate, Paintrix Miniatures is underway, with about half of what will eventually be in the galleries, and a few articles up. A guide to working with green stuff, and one on basing, are nearly complete. And there are a few Reaper minis, too. Requests and suggestions for what else you guys would like to see in the way of step-by-step guides, illustrations, etc.? --Jen
  2. Very nice, Enchantra! A number of years ago I made up a bunch of dice bags for friends for Christmas, from the scraps of really luxurious or bizarre fabrics in my stash. It was fun, and I'll have to do it again next time I clean. Mine is plain black matte satin, with jet beads on the tassels. And yes, I *do* use it as a purse! It's the all-purpose dice/evening bag! --Jen
  3. Ooo, I'm going to have to try that. My favorite mail-order store has been stocking the Gunze Sanyo products more consistently these days. I like deader than dead flat! --Jen
  4. Complain, complain. Spray paint isn't even *sold* in the city of Chicago these days. It thoroughly sucks to have to go out of city limits to get a can of Krylon... (If I owned a business that sold some age-restricted product? Employees would be told to ask for ID for everyone who looked under 50, just to be on the safe side. Especially if I had lots of customers who were women Of A Certain Age. It's flattering to be carded, at a point...) --Jen
  5. If the bottles have been partly used: Try pouring the reconstituted paint through a fine strainer or sieve, then back into the bottle after rinsing it. Gets out any chunks or undissolved grit from dried paint on the sides and top of the bottle. I used to use the Armory paints, and some flow improver would probably help the overall workability. --Jen
  6. History Channel. Discovery Channel. 'A History of Britain', on DVD. On occasion, the universe has even been so kind as to co-ordinate, say, a Freaky Cannibal Murderers marathon with my needing to push myself before a deadline. (I like narrative in the background, but can't stand audiobooks; they conflict too much with the voices in my head.) --Jen
  7. Did I stumble into the Privateer forum again?... I stopped using washes for years because of the problems you describe. Never could get them to work right. I started using them again after finding a method that corrected the problems. Now, I use roughly half paint and half brush-on sealer (or Vallejo matte varnish), and dilute that mix with water to wash consistency. It settles nicely, and leaves a light, even glaze of color on the raised areas. As long as I take that color shift into account, I don't have to re-base-coat after washing. On large flat areas, of course, I'll still apply paint more selectively (layers and glazes, even wet-blends) for shadows, but for deep relief or textures, washes are often my first choice for shading. The layering and edging you describe are some of the first techniques I (and lots of other instructors) suggest to people who come into painting via tabletop and want to move on beyond the basecoat-wash-drybrush method. They'll open up a lot of possibilities in your painting, but as you master more techniques, you'll probably find yourself experimenting with discarded methods, too. Always something to be learned from revisiting the basics. --Jen
  8. Brown if you want it to look tufty or sparse. (I like this type myself, over 'soil' as Fieldarchy says.) Green for a really thick meadow or golf green look. You can highlight the grass itself to get some slightly different colors, too. Nice work! I have a few of Julie's old figures, too, that I'll paint up some year... --Jen
  9. I put 10-15 hours in the average miniature I'll sell on eBay, with no more than a couple of hours for cleanup, conversion, etc. (I pick figures that don't need much work in this area.) The same figure for a competition entry might be anywhere from 25-50 hours, with 5 to 15 for conversion, sculpting, and basing. And I *can* still turn out a character for tabletop in 3 or 4 hours, if it's a life or death situation. It won't be that pretty, but it'll be painted. --Jen
  10. Nice tank! I have an 8 gallon Biocube 'bonsai reef' right now, which is about the biggest tank I can handle. Home for a tailspot blenny (fun little guy!), a skunk shrimp, and some dwarf hermits. That's the most livestock I'd dare to put in, but it's a busy little world in there, with all the smaller reef bugs and snails and worms and things. --Jen
  11. Oooo! Next time I'm at Reaper we'll have to find a restaurant with the weirdest meats in the area. Or a specialty butcher shop. I like goat, and rabbit and squirrel, and I've always wanted to try iguana. And I'm not completely certain I didn't eat cat meat under another name in Bulgaria once... --Jen
  12. No, I was ordering some other things from Michigan Toy Soldier. I used to love the W&N varnish since it was dead dead flat, but the formula changed to the current one. Then again, I find Dullcote too shiny for my taste on some models...
  13. So, it was in stock, and in a giddy moment I dropped $13.50 for a (roughly 14 oz.) can of the stuff. I've wanted to try it for some time. It's an acrylic-based, permanent spray sealer. Good news: It does not contain toluene or xylene, the carcinogenic agents in just about every other spray varnish, including my favorite Dullcote. There is very, very little odor. Bad news: It is very, very picky about its application. A light to medium coat does not appreciably flatten paint. A heavy coat frosts badly, with the matting agent forming a powdery surface that can be scraped off. Several trials, with slightly different applications, did not yield a result I liked. So that's my experience with the product. I believe I'm going to get a better filter mask and keep on using Dullcote when I want a spray. --Jen
  14. I drop minis so frequently that I've learned to just sigh and paint up the chips and cracks as battle damage. No, really, I do. --Jen
  15. I found a couple more from that first year of painting! The eBay pieces do look pretty good next to the cheerleader.
  16. So. Post your early work here! This is not intended to make anyone who paints at a beginning level feel inferior. Yeah, your work might never look as good as what Derek Schubert turned out when he was thirteen. That's not the point. I want this to show that everyone has to start somewhere. And that models which aren't painted particularly well can still be nice minis. Reposted: my very first eBay auction model. I'd just learned to paint on a GW greenskin army, then a Dark Elf force, and had bits left over. I was so proud of this conversion and just thrilled that someone bought it. Here's one of the guys from that first army, which I touched up about six months later. This is one of the first Reaper minis I painted. I'd just discovered that companies other than GW made miniatures, and still tried to shade everything with black ink wash. Yep, I totally drybrushed this unicorn. But I was getting better at faces. Cannot explain why I thought 'spiderwebs' were a good idea at the time. My brush control was improving a lot, though. If I paint a pattern and put some blood on it, I don't have to highlight it, right? And look--spices for base cover! What an extraordinary concept! Enjoy... --Jen
  17. I bet you even painted those in enamels, right? Starting a thread in Show-Off for this purpose... --Jen
  18. I have to confess that I tend to forget some people react like this. Being reminded of it is a good thing. When I started painting, I didn't think I'd ever produce anything decent, but all those pictures of McVey's paint jobs in the army books were a challenge, not a deterrent. ( Telling me I'm not capable of something is a good way to motivate me to work harder. Always has been, in all pursuits. Most gamers I know are like this!) For a long, long time, I just did not realize that high-level work (not necessarily my own) could intimidate people. When it did dawn on me was when I started showing those first army pieces of mine. This is the very first piece I sold on eBay, when my painting and conversion skills had been honed by all the army work. Here's another early one. I'll put up some more when I have a few minutes... --Jen
  19. Gotcha. Reading comprehension not so good before caffeine kicks in. --Jen
  20. Grind 'em up (I scrape some onto my palette with a knife) and apply the powder with a brush. Blow away excess, spray on Dullcote, repeat as needed. It's great for weathering on 30mm scale. I'm beginning to use them for shading and coloring on larger pieces. On the horse I used black and white both for shading and 'scrubbed' on in place of glazes to soften the dapple pattern and painted hairs. I'm working on an 80mm Pegaso cheesecake chick where all the shadows on the flesh and the eye makeup color are done with pastel. Much, much easier than paints, when there's enough surface area. It doesn't work as well for this on smaller pieces. --Jen
  21. Hey, guys! I've been buckling down and working on an entry for the historical show next month here in Chicago. On the PlanetFigure forum, I've started a progress thread on the model. Rather than duplicate it, I thought I'd just post the link here for anyone who's interested. http://www.planetfigure.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24489 Lots and lots and lots of spiffy miniatures there... --Jen
  22. I've been racking my brain for about fifteen minutes, trying to think of a Famous Pro Painter who *isn't* aware of the differences between army painting and display/competition painting. Or who feels that gaming models should be painted with the same standards and techniques as the latter. Can't come up with one. It's aggravating when I hear these attitudes at local stores or events, because people who play with that one snobbish bad apple think that most, if not all, dedicated painters must be like that. If I'm asked for advice, it helps *immensely* to know your intents. You ask, 'How do I highlight a mini?' If you want to turn out twenty figures in a few hours, with one-coat coverage, you'll get a different response than if you want to enter that mini in a competition. I'll try to make it clear that this is how *I* like to highlight minis in each case, and that other people will have other suggestions. There are people who want Devastating Critiques , and there are people who just want to hear that they're heading in the right direction. (Sometimes it's the same person, at different times!) Teaching painting classes has taught me to ask for background I'd never have thought of asking about otherwise. Perhaps some of the intimidation and resentment is due to miscommunications of this sort. I *helped* Anne basecoat and wash one of those ugly armies of hers. Dip'n'flick is a perfectly legitimate technique in my eyes when you need to get a bunch of little metal guys on the table. A gallery of what Famous Pro Painters will actually game with would probably go far to dispel some of the insecurities of the Average Player. --Jen
  23. That's only because Talin and I haven't got around to making silly costumes for everyone so far. Just you wait. A goodly number of the artists have been talking about dressing as their alter-ego characters... --Jen
  24. You can always go with Chaos Slaaneshi. (Guess Jen's favorite faction...) Purple and teal works nicely for that. When I won my first Demon in 2002 (only five years ago? seems like decades!) there was no other recognized contest in North America like it. There was even speculation that people wouldn't go for the regional Demons (Chicago was the first) and Baltimore would remain The Contest if you wanted to go up against the best. There *are* more options these days for a painter to get recognition, happily, but I have to agree that the GD remains one of the most widely know (and still the only known in some areas). It's also the one common international award; you can tell customers in Spain or Germany that you've won some Demons, and since they have GDs as well, they have a basis for comparison. I can only repeat some of the advice given so far: Pick something you like. Learn the fluff. Figure out what you can do that is new and creative within the boundaries and restrictions. (This is actually one of my favorite parts, since it's a creative challenge and an excellent exercise--a professional painter will almost always have to tailor his or her work to the demand. Cut your coat to the cloth!) --Jen
  25. I spent a decent chunk of Saturday night looking at Chris Borer's Chicago Golden Demon winner, and I did not even think to ask him specifically how he did it. Awe make brain no work. Some of the best work with metallics I've ever seen, and the pictures online don't do it justice (but at least they're up, on the GW site). Essentially gold highlighted with silver and shaded with pink and purple glazes. Anne, we gotta drag the man to ReaperCon some year... --Jen
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