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awong

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Everything posted by awong

  1. I couldn't help noticing that the technique of "slobbering" paint, letting it sit for awhile, then "shlorping" off the excess is very similar to what they tell you to do with wood "stains"...maybe we could call this technique "staining" :) On a side note, does anyone wish to tackle some overseas terminology that I've been running into in articles from France and Spain? "Filtering", "tints" and "veils"? My suspicion is that these are refering to glazes? and are best guess translations. Can anyone from Spain or France illuminate ("illuminate" also shows up a lot...I'm guessing illuminate = highlight? ) Thanks AWhang
  2. Keep an eye out for Jo-Ann coupons also (assuming Jo-Anns are as prevalent as Michael's). They will also have 50% coupons now and again. Extra 40% coupon? Don't forget to pick up an extra Ott light replacement bulb. Those can get a bit pricey and life truly sucks when one goes out and there isn't an open Michaels anywhere within three time zones :) I also picked up one of these. The plastic box height is perfect for vallejo sized bottles, and plenty big for reaper jars. Lots of pockets for tools. I use the second box with dividers for transporting minis. Gotta love Michaels and Jo-Anns!! Thanks AWhang
  3. I thought I'd weigh in with one. I just finished reading through Andrea Press' How to Paint Fantasy Miniatures ISBN: 84-96527-81-6 I was able to order this through The Red Lancers for $28.95. They also carry many additional How To's if interested. As in Durak's article, a disclaimer of ...these opinions are mine alone and do not reflect the views and attitudes of Reaper, its staff, or, for that matter, Andrea and its staff...YMMV. This is a beautiful booklet to be sure. The title does not mislead, it addresses Fantasy Miniatures, not Minis, so some techniques may not be totally applicable. It tends to skip over areas that could easily be chapters in themselves, but it does talk our language...they use paints we're familiar with, techniques (after translation, E.G. filters=glaze...or wash...I'm not sure, zenithal light=overhead lighting...I think) that we use, and figures we are familiar with. The Softcover booklet is 63 pages and attempts to cover an awful lot. Topics grouped under Basic Techniques include "Preparing a figure", "Blending", "Flesh", and "Metals". Advanced Techniques include "NMM", "Freehand", "Terrain", "Directional Light", and "Animal Coats". These two Main Categories (Basic and Advanced Techniques) are done in what best could be described as two page articles or spreads with in-progress photos (varying sizes, only a few articles use photos of any substantial size) and accompanying text keyed to the photos. The average number of photos and explanitory steps is about 5 to 6. This, to me, was a bit disappointing as I was hoping for something a bit more in-depth. NMM (Earth Sky NMM no less) in 6 steps just doesn't seem right. The final grouping of articles fall under Master Pieces. There are 4, only one of which I'd consider as a Mini (a Rackham Devourer, and those are pretty large-ish pieces). The other 3 are 54mm and up. These articles have better photos, are longer in length and depth (although still with the terse photo captions). However, when you start reading about "airbrushing" and the like, one starts to wonder how applicable some of this is to the way we paint :( To be fair, Andrea produces their own line of fantasy figures (54mm) and one would expect this to be a vehicle to help showcase their line-up yet other figure manufacturers are also positively presented. They (the articles are written by 6 different contributors) use Citadel, Andrea, Vallejo, Humbrol, Lifecolor and oils and each "article" is accompanied by a color chart for "orientation" purposes. For those of us who have read "figureInternational" magazine, you'll be used to this. Each miniature is beautifully painted and much can be learned by studying the photos. In summary, I could probably recommend better technique books for Mini painters, especially newbie painters. This reminds me too much of a collection of short articles (really short) and lacks the depth to truly teach. ...But...I'm a book junkie and, as a book with some really nice pictures of very well painted figures, it's a keeper:) Hope this was somewhat helpful. Thanks AWhang
  4. Are you looking for kits that help you create your own etched brass sprues or 3rd party etched brass kits? Etched brass sprues are usually produced as enhancements for existing model kits. E.G. a specific etched brass sprue for a specific model of airplane. Try Squadron Hobby,Brookhurst Hobbies, or Pegasus Hobbies. I'm sure there are more, these are just the ones that I'm familiar with. Be aware that most kits are very specific in nature. Hope this helped Thanks AWhang
  5. I bought some of this from Darkson Designs at last year's GenCon LA. I haven't tried them yet but they look very convincing for mini maple leaves. Give'm a shout. Thanks AWhang
  6. Steel wool is also a nice material / tool for smoothing surfaces and polishing up pewter. It comes in various grades, and is really pretty cheap. I've got a bundle that is actually rusting away faster than I can use it:) Warning: steel wool leaves a lot of little strands so one should use this outside or, what I do, use sandwich baggies to polish within. This helps "contain" most of the strands. A good washing and rinse is a must afterwards too! I'm pretty lucky in that the swap meet that I hit has one of those "tool guys", who sells all sorts of jewelers tools (I bought a peg clamp for only $14). He also carries a great assortment of sculpting / dental picks which are great for recarving detail. I also like to strengthen or recarve soft separation lines between items or between skin and cloth with those. Burnishers can be useful to smooth out ruff surfaces on soft metal castings too, but that takes a deft hand...too much pressure and everything looks like a termite has gotten to it. I've heard that our brethern over on the Military Miniatures side use sewing needles to burnish with, smoothing out large areas in soft metals much the same way. Gap filling CA glue is a quick way to fill smallish imperfections and ruff surfaces. But...as mentioned earlier, the best medicine is perventive...check out your casting before you buy. If a retailer has multiple blisters, be sure to ask to see them all...you'd be surprised at the difference between castings...even locations of seem lines! That's all I've got :) Thanks AWhang
  7. Hello Tiffany, Just catching up after visiting Paintminion's boards :) You've done a beautiful job so far! I agree with Jubilee, the hair is a bit too close in color to the cloak, but your transitions in the cloak are really smooth! The photos are showing a few abrupt light to dark transitions in the green cloth. Specifically, by the bottom end of the staff, there are two light to dark folds that look like one or two more transition steps could be added. I thought the same about the puffy sleeves, but the more I look at the image, the better I like those. I really like the gemstone! I have yet to attempt something like that...I can't even do those oval gems with any consistancy :( Really looking forward to seeing this one finished! Thanks AWhang
  8. VL, I really like the look of the armor, especially the breastplate and knee guards. In the frontal, it's the most convincing example of a dark bronze metal that I can recall seeing in quite some time. Could you go over your technique and color choices please? Many Thanks in advance AWhang
  9. Hey there Meg, Niriodel is definitely my favorite of your recent bunch. I really like the color scheme, it pops out at you but doesn't seem un-natural...I'm going to have to try this combination some day. I only have two comments and they should be taken as being extremely nit-picky... The outlining seems a bit harsh to me. A softer transition from the surface color to the outline color would feel more natural (to me, I understand that some prefer this aesthetic). The second is the choice of Gold for the color of the metal parts. It may just be the photos, but they're getting lost in the Orange. Maybe white metal NMM would give more contrast? See, nit-picky. Beautifully rendered hair and cloth. Your ground work is also nicely done! Looking forward to seeing more from you. Thanks AWhang
  10. Skin tones are great! I really like the contrast and the look of weathered suntanned skin. The freehand is a nice touch too! AWhang
  11. Hello OS, When I started (or restarted) painting minis, I also began using "craft paints". I thought the same as you, cheaper startup costs, great color selection, availability, etc. I quickly switched over to the miniature specific paints as the thinning process so important to mini painting was really breaking down the stability of the craft paints. Mini paints are formulated to our purposes. If you've experienced any frustration while painting thinned coats that don't seem to be doing anything, paint that had "dried" but is now rubbing off under a second coat, or gloppy, chalky, uneaven surfaces...then by all means switch. Don't throw out the craft paints though...they're perfect for terrain and base work! Thanks AWhang
  12. Arkayn, Although it's been awhile since I've done a diorama/vignette, here are some things that might help. Try drawing out a plan of what you've got in mind. Sketch out some key views to get a feel for what you're after. Reference is also very handy (fantasy artists, paintings, Lord of the Rings movie books, etc. ) Quickly sketch out the area of the base, then start composing the main elements. Are you trying to tell a story? Show off the house? Show case the figures? Answering those questions will help you compose the scene. I'm familiar with those car cases that you're using as a base...they're big. If you are only planning on showcasing two figures, then you've probably got something way too big. You will risk loosing the minis in the scene...proper composition might help keep that from happening. I'm assuming that the sticks you've laid out are the beginnings of floor boards? In that case, I'm noticing a very static, orthoganal layout (walls parallel to the edges of the base). Try a more organic approach. By canting the walls at an angle to the base, you'll introduce more dynamic spaces and add some movement to your scene (if done with an eye toward directing the viewer's gaze around the scene). Take a look at Shep Paine's How to Build Dioramas for good suggestions. Looking forward to seeing more!! Thanks AWhang
  13. Vallejo makes a grey primer in their model air color range and their game color range has white primer. I'm not 100% sure that it's water based but the rest of their range is. Reaper Master Series and Pro Series both have a brush on primer (looks white) but I've never used those. Again, I don't see if it is water based. Hope that helps a little. I usually use the aerosol can primers, but they're definitely not water based. Is his concern over water-based primers an environmental one or health. If he were to use a mask, out-of-doors, he could really minimize the health risks and greatly simplify the process :) Thanks AWhang
  14. Naveen, I really like how you've done the exposed skeletal sections on the "pony". The colors and glossy-ness really help the grusome effect. The only suggestion that I'd have would be to treat the skin edges. Some purple might be used to give a more infected wound look. Tans leaning toward yellow might give a puss draining feel. Greens for gangrene (?). It would help accent the rips, tears, and exposed sections, and allow you to transition to the horse's "normal" coat color. Just an idea. Can't wait to see the completed piece. Thanks AWhang
  15. "...so don't focus on anything else other than the fur." I'm not the best at hair either, but this is what I'm reading from your pix. I'm guessing that the bright yellow is ment to be the brightest highlights (I'm seeing it in the tips and the prouder clumps of fur/hair) while the rust red is the darker shade of the hair. If this is true, then I think more transition is needed from the red to the yellow. You might need to mix some intermediate tints between the red and yellow. Then the washes will help transition between the smaller color steps. Darker recesses as mentioned would help delineate the clumps/strands. Also, your photos are showing exactly (well, almost exactly, depending upon whether you're using an overhead lighting scheme) where and how tight the lightest highlights should be. To me, it looks like the yellow areas are overshooting the areas and that's what is causing me to see the yellow on red more as two toned dyed hair vs. as the highlights for the hair. I think tighter yellow highlights would really help. I think the most successful area is the back of the head! That's starting to read as red hair highlighting toward yellow. If, however, I've missed your intention with the yellow...then please disregard the above :) Thanks AWhang
  16. Patrick, I really like the effect you got on the Gun Mage's leather! Would you mind going over how you did it? As mentioned earlier, it really has a lived in, well worn look. Many Thanks in advance AWhang
  17. Congrats Jubilee! I had an opportunity to see this stunning figure in person (working the Paint 'N Take this year) and it's a beauty! Much deserved win! Thanks AWhang
  18. Just a fun FYI sort of post for true photography nerdy types. Boy could I use one of these now :)
  19. Keith Parkinson, one of the original D&D illustrators and recently art director at Sigil games, died of Leukemia yesterday. Sad as he was only 47 More info at http://www.darkswordminiatures.com/
  20. Hello, I did a quick search for "2 tier lazy susan" and found these. a plastic 2 tier a stainless steel one another cheap plastic one The third one (Copco) is what I ended up buying at a Kitchen Outlet. I actually bought two and combined them to make one three-tiered l.s. The non-skid feature is nice, but, as with all storage racks of this design, anything past the outside edge is difficult to see and reach. Stepping the surface with concentric rings of cardboard will help with visibility but the only way to reach bottles is through other bottles (unless you can increase the distance between tiers). Definitely a handy and useful space saving utility! Thanks AWhang
  21. Hello all, I've been using a single speed dremel for about 20yrs and I've found that a really great accessory is a foot operated speed/reostat. These allow you to quickly adjust the speed of the tool. I find it great for slowly starting holes (when a drill bit tends to like to jump and scribe through a finger or important detail ). Micromark sells a few - foot control 1 foot control 2 Not too expensive either, especially since it should last you the life of your dremel tool. Thanks AWhang
  22. Not yet, but I'm definitely saving this for further reference! Many thanks for the detail! It's exactly what I needed. Thanks AWhang
  23. Luckily, I have access to both Photoshop and PSP. I'll have to start playing with these a bit more. When you say "basic Cyan/Magenta/Yellow color correct", are you just fiddling with the numbers until the three images start to look the same? Or is there really a basic procedure for balancing out colors so they match better? Sorry for turning this thread into a "how to" on image post-processing Thanks AWhang
  24. Thanks to everyone for your kind comments! @Death Angel - you're absolutely right about the picture size. I had used Photoshop's "save for web" option and I had assumed that it would reduce down the image size. I was really surprised at how huge the images loaded up as! My photo skills are next to nill so seeing the mini at that scale is kinda off-putting to me. Thanks Aryanun! May I use your adjustments and swap them with the originals?:) @Deep_sashelas - the freehand is all done with very, very, (add about 10 more "very"s) thinned paints. The first few coats hardly make a mark. Each time I go over the design, it shows up stronger and stronger until I'm happy. The beauty of this is that if you stray outside of a line, you don't really see it. Only the multiple reinforced paint strokes really stand out. Incidentally, if anyone is suddenly over-taken by a need for coffee after seeing the back cloak, the design is stolen from a Starb**ks coffee cup:). Inspiration and caffeine!! @FuzzyIzmit - thank you! @Aryanun - how did you color balance and correct the images? I had tried using photoshop's "autobalance" or was it "auto correct"..."auto-something", but for someone in the visual effects field, my Photoshop skills are borderline pathetic! You wouldn't happen to have a tutorial somewhere or maybe I could just pick your brain in a PM :) Thanks for your fixes! @Lady Tam - I'm really relieved and happy that you like her! @Lorderl - thank you. I whole heartedly agree with you. In fact, these exchanges are the only way I can ever finish a mini! I also really enjoy trying to pick the right mini for the assigned person...that's why the current ideas for future exchanges don't really appeal to me much. Thanks again everyone! AWhang
  25. and a side. Ratz and confound the photos...I just noticed a spot of unpainted hair!! I'm going to have to start taking more photos during the painting process.
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