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Everything posted by awong

  1. I have to agree that lighting is a very important consideration. I've just found a set up that isn't giving me unexpected surprises when I move my mini to another room (with more ambient lighting). I have an Ikea floor lamp that shoots over my left shoulder with a 60w Reveal bulb. I have the general room lights and an Ott to the right side for more fill and to check color under different conditions. I generally paint under the Reveal though. I'm considering getting another floor lamp for my right side (they're cheap at about $15US), but I'm a bit worried that my paint might start drying way too fast (at least the hairs at my temples will fry evenly ). I have yet to actually finish a mini under this new lighting config. but what I've seen so far is making me happy. -AW
  2. ACK! Clock ticking! I'm going down to the wire...of course, I saved the part that I have no idea how to pull off for last. Hope I still remember how to work my camera as well! -AW
  3. Very nicely painted up! I really like how you painted the crystals. A very nice touch. -AW
  4. A_D, That's a very solid start for a first mini. Looks like you have a mentor already and that's really going to add to your enjoyment of this hobby and flatten out that learning curve. I already see basing with flocking, eyes, an understanding of the importance of thinning paint...heads and shoulders over how I started. We'll be looking forward to seeing many more mini's, and, as others have stated, this is a great place to ask for advice and critiques! Welcome to the boards. -AW
  5. Mine are in the -10.25 to -10.50 range. I can't paint with contacts in but with my glasses, I can just slide the specs down my nose and look over them (a la angry librarian). I've also used the double spec method of glasses and +3 reading glasses on my nose...that usually gets concerned looks from my wife and kids. It's a nightmare at contests though. When I really want to get a good look at a mini, but I can't get close enough, or when they're behind plexy and my head bumps the case before my eyes can focus or I move in to look at mini A but get my cheek poked by the lance of mini B. Oh when will those Bionic Eyes get invented! -AW
  6. Thank you Derek, I, like everyone, really appreciate not only your artistry, but also your willingness to talk about and share your experiences, thought process, and techniques. It is humbling to see such beautiful work, but equally heartening to hear that you have struggled with the very same hurdles that we all slam up against at one time or another. I always look forward to your posts and threads because I know I'll take something useful and enlightening from them. -AW
  7. Hey Balthasar, Allow me to be the first to welcome you to the boards! Regarding Hair... If you use the search option, and select the "More Search Options", type Hair as the keyword, and add PaintMinion in the "Filter by Member Name" you'll be able to read lots of tips and tricks on hair by the "Hair Maven" herself. If she responds...and I'm guessing she will, you should ask her for her handout on hair technique. Sorry I don't have anything specific, but I think letting the true experts answer would be less confusing, and frankly, I'm still struggling with my hair as well Again, welcome. -AW
  8. Gorgeous! I'm curious, when you find imperfections like bumps...are these just uneven surfaces or dust specs/hairs (I get those a lot). Do you end up picking them off or? I'm trying to get smoother finishes but I'm plagued with weird and uneven deposits all the time. Especially vexing on faces. Do you have any suggestions, tips, or tricks for maintaining a smooth surface? Thanks -AW
  9. Sorry Lyn, Here's the link to their products page. I thought their products had been discussed elsewhere so I spaced out and didn't link. Their DVDs are great...not like actually sitting with someone and talking to them direct, but for me, it's the closest that I'll get to actually watching masters work. NJoy! -AW
  10. Wow! That's a really nice conversion! The skirt is great. Did you coat the wrapped wire with glue or did you paint straight over it (primered)? A real solid job on the shirt sculpt too. She would fit in great with those recent Chronoscope Business Thug types -AW
  11. Hey there Steve, I agree with the rest, a stellar job for a first mini. That you are enjoying the painting and want to continue is the most important thing of all, so you're definitely on the right track. I'll throw in a little something about dry-brushing. You can still be very controlled with the technique. That is, even though you are scrubbing and whisking the brush around, you can still concentrate the brush strokes so that you work with your lighting scheme. We all know that just generally stroking all raised surfaces will highlight those surfaces and a simplified concept of lighting dictates that raised surfaces get more light BUT, if one is too general, all surfaces seem to get the same amount of light and defining/recognizing forms (through light and shadow) becomes difficult. You can concentrate the applications on surfaces that face a specific "light" (a direction, most people like overhead as that's where the sun beams at us) and not dry-brush so much on areas that should be in shadow. The wonderful thing about dry-brushing is that, depending upon how subtle you are with it, you can get nice blends (I've seen blends that almost look like airbrush but were dry-brushed...mostly on Armor models, but it can be done). TaleSpinner suggested another wash over the chainmail area. That's an excellent suggestion, this would bring back some of the deeper shadows in the rings and, you could also concentrate the wash into the "seams" or edges of chainmail panels, which would help separate them more. This would also darken the overall silver. Then, look at the mini from above. The surfaces you see would be what light would directly hit. Do a little more dry-brushing only on those surfaces (maybe a little blending down the sides if it starts looking too abrupt). You should start to get a feeling of form and volume as the shoulders catch more light, the chest catches a little less, areas cinched in at the waist catch even less. As you think more about light (and dry-brushing is a great way to quickly visualize that) blending and layering will make more sense too. I hope that wasn't too much. I think this is what Remi was suggesting for the edges of the chainmail. Keep up the good work! -AW
  12. Sand paper will work just fine. Try to stick to some of the finer grits. Emery boards, the type beauticians use for smoothing fingernails, are readily available and usually come in varying grits perfect for minis...plus, they're mounted on a nice backing. I use a combination of sandpaper and small needle files. If you're just starting, try the emery boards and if you get serious, get yourself some nice needle files. -AW
  13. I like using these. The one I have allows me to unscrew the handle making it more comfortable to grip and safer to put down. I've also used electrical heat shrink tubing on the pins to give a little added cushion so the pins don't mar the edges of the base. If I base the mini before painting, this works well. If I've only pinned the feet, then I just clamp the pins. The biggest problem with this holder is if there is a lot of painting that requires attacking the mini from below. Then the platform can get in the way. I'll usually position the mini as close to an edge as possible and then rotate the mini around as needed. A cheap pin vise is also great when you have pinned a mini's feet. Just chuck it in and you've got great access from above and below. I took a block of wood and drilled some holes the diam. of the pin vise. I'll stick the vise into a hole if I need to set the mini down. The only problem I've found with this is that my "holding" hand gets tired and cramped clutching it for any length of time. Lucky for me, I only get about 1-2hrs to paint at a time -AW
  14. I'm going to give it a go...taking a little break off the Mini Exchange to squeeze this in. I've played with some greenstuff and made a few mods. Paint being slapped on in short 2 hr. spurts after the kids hit the sack. I hope I can finish the mini in time. -AW
  15. I used to build and paint a lot of armor back in the day. A nice dark wash would probably work well in the seams and along edges and fillets/joints. Back then, I was adding a small drop of dish washing soap or alcohol to break surface tension which allows the wash to settle nicely. These days, I'd probably just go with Flow Improver. As an added effect (although this could be very tricky at such a small scale) we also lightened the panel edges. Imagine highlighting from the centers of the panels to the outer edge (center of each panel would be darkest). Also, varying the individual panel colors slightly to give the effect of uneven weathering or swapped panels from other vehicles. These techniques worked pretty well for larger armor, with some imagination and skill, they should spice up your mech minis as well. Hope that helps. -AW
  16. I'm about 80% done but I'm taking a little break to try and squeeze in an entry for the Summer Contest (deadline July 31st), then back to finishing the exchange mini. I may have bitten off more than I can chew...fingers crossed. -AW
  17. My "discovery" of Reaper was quite circuitous. I've been an avid modeler since 7. I had a small group of friends who used to drop by my place to build models. I got tired of what I was working on (anime related kits) and started hunting the web for alternatives. I landed at GW, bought a set of Orks with the intention of starting an army. I then hunted further on-line for inspiration and new painting techniques (I was a figure painter, genus Historical, species oilpaintenamelum at one time). That landed me at CoolMiniOrNot. That made my eyes bug out. CMON and an issue of White Dwarf introduced me to Jen Haley...another search. I ended up here at the Reaper Forums, lurked, and finally decided this was the place for me. I'm not a gamer, but the quality of figures, the range of choices, the paints, the dedication of all involved, and the helpful, friendly people, convinced me that this was to be my main haunt for all things mini. I may drop out/stop painting/stop posting every now and again, mainly due to work and kids, but I'll always attempt to log in once in awhile, to check the pulse of cool little pewter things. -AW
  18. Your troll is great! Looks like a fun paint-up. Are you going to be casting this or is it going to be a one-off? Brings back memories. -AW Edit: Oh, and welcome to the forums! Hope to see more.
  19. I'm currently watching and enjoying this. Some very nice tips for proportion, using armatures, sculpting techniques...I've only dabbled with greenstuff, but this is very inspiring. Actually, I'm pretty impressed with MM's whole line-up. Have a look. -AW
  20. These are nice as well. I'm assuming the skinny little guy is 'da boss'. Looked like they were fun to paint. You handled the grey and dark suits really well. The dark lining is a nice touch and I like the subtle highlighting. -AW
  21. Beautiful work on the transparent gown for the first fig. Very convincing! Great work overall. -AW
  22. Really beautiful! I'm always impressed by your work. Love the fold back cloak and how you worked the colors on that! -AW
  23. Edit: this probably falls under a 'thread Hijack'. I can start a new thread if necessary, Sorry. Anybody here ever use Printer's Ink for metallics? I'm always reading about its use by the Historical Painters. I even attempted to hunt some down (MichToys, but they're currently out). I found some Speedball Acrylic Printer's Ink, but I'm not convinced it's the same. I'm getting as much grain as with any other brand of acrylic Metallic paint. If anyone has some experience with PI, I'd love to here about it. -AW
  24. Regarding feedback, You can get almost instant feedback by simply posting pixs in the Show Off section on these boards. You will get honest and courteous comments regarding your work, and you can ask very specific questions regarding technique, color choice, etc. Much easier than attempting to solicit comments from busy judges at a formal event or hovering and querying strangers. Give it a go. Also, Reaper is holding a Summer Themed Contest (actually two themes!) right here! -AW
  25. Nausicca, Here's the Black Lighting Data Base. The Black Lighting crew run events and demos at local shops and clubs. I think that's probably the best way to really experience this hobby to its fullest, with other enthusiasts. I'm guessing that the group you play DD with can also be of help, probably have some supplies and paints that you could borrow and learn with. By Berkeley, did you mean Northern California Berkeley (94701)? If so, I know there are board members up in your area. That Data base may get you in touch with them. Looking forward to seeing the results! Have fun above all else. Incidentally, I started mini painting using craft paints at $.99. It gave me a feel for what I was in for, then I was hooked. -AW
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