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Okay! In lieu of playing with the XBOX as one of my guilty as sin animals gnawed through the charging cord on the headset, I'll start my next WIP thread...

 

From the title, this will actually be 2 WIPs:

 

1. My 6yr old wants a fairy garden, so a fairy garden she'll have!

 

2. A Bladesinger Sister that I ordered quite a while back as an opponent to *Varaug, whom I recently completed.

 

So, without further ado, here's the sitch....

 

Jazzy's Fairy Garden

This will be our first attempt at a diorama. Now, please note that this is for a 6yr old and she will be doing a lot of the work along with me, so goodness knows what we'll end up with! I'm not even sure if it will be a permanent fixture, or something she can switch up every now and then. I'm not even sure if she knows exactly what she'll want it to be/do, but we do know that it will have at least one custom tree, Liriel Silverlocks (03398 and 02458, depending on the mood), and a buttload of animals! (02756: Familiar Pack IV & 02848: Familiar Pack V) We'll be doing a large base, fallen trees, leaves, and whatever else my 6yr. old can think of. It should prove to be interesting and she'll be doing a lot of the painting...

 

There may also be an occasional Kagunk (03162) in the woods, although she's not overly fond of the idea... 

 

Bladesinger Sister

I'll be using model 14645: Bladesinger Sister for this build. I'm honestly a bit nervous about her as she's so dainty and, well, bendy! I'm going from Varaug, who's model seemed to be the definition of sturdiness, to this delicate model. It should be fun at any rate! Right now I'm debating on whether to glue her arm and hand on now, or simply attach them later. I was on pins and needles while drilling out her feet to insert the, er, pins in them. I don't have a definite direction for this build as I'd originally intended her as a combatant for Varaug, but haven't settled on that yet. I may go ahead and go in that direction so I can continue to work on my cork rock basing for now.

 

At any rate, here's Jazzy's Garden Gang and the Bladesinger Sister (I'll have to name her soon...) in all of their *mostly* cleaned up and pinned glory! I'm not priming tonight as I don't feel like washing brushes... I've washed a lot of brushes lately. Enjoy!

 

Comments? Suggestions? Let me hear 'em!

 

*Varaug is here: http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/53647-varaug-the-great-finished/

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This could be VERY COOL. While a person six years of age may not have reached the heights of manual dexterity, their imaginations are WONDROUS to behold. Enjoy your joint project; this is the stuff of fond memories.

 

For Inspiration (yours that is): check this out; there are a couple of photos missing on the first page, but the rest are pretty cool:

 

http://www.lead-adventure.de/index.php?topic=15892.0

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Okay! Not a ton of progress, but we're getting somewhere, and it's very very late... 

 

I've gotten Liriel and the Bladesinger Sister both primed, and have started on the Sister. I was able to use a technique suggested to me by both Wren & Pae to bridge a mold misalignment on her arms, using Reaper Brush On sealer to smooth out the transition. It turned out really well! I'll definitely be using this in the future!  ::D:

 

I could have gotten farther tonight but truth be told I had too much coffee earlier, making it difficult to get her eyes correct! I had to redo the eyes (well, the right eye at least) so many times I ended up with major chalking. I"ll be glazing for a while to correct that. I'm not beyond dunking her head in the water and starting over... LOL! I'll look in the morning under better light and decide.

 

At any rate, here's a couple of pic of her under Ott light:

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This one is under our table light.

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I'm going to start shopping around for a better camera soon as the iPhone isn't cutting it anymore. And now I'm off to bed with the darn Frozen song in my head as she looks more like Elsa now than anyone else....

 

Let it go man... Let it go....  :rolleyes:

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Here's a quick thought: at what point do you guys start gluing on arms, hands, etc? I was tempted to glue together "Elsa" from the get go, but figured her sword arm would make it difficult to get to the detail on the front of her figure. I'm also debating on whether or not to pin the arm, as it's already so delicate. She's not a gaming piece, so that's not an issue. Thoughts?

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What generation is your iPhone? I did a test with several different cameras and an iPhone 5, and the phone performed better than the cheapie (under $250 cameras). It did not do better than the $400+ cameras, but lots of people are unwilling or unable to pay that kind of money for a camera.

 

You can often improve your photo situation as much or more by addressing lighting and background.

 

Get a large sheet of foam (foamies brand), or one of the nice Hangar 18 backgrounds. Avoiding the starkness of pure white or pure black helps. Using either of those can make it trickier to take pictures. You tape the top end to something vertical, and the bottom end to something horizontal to create a smooth curve. (So say you have a desk or table against the wall. You tape top end to the wall, bottom end to the table to have a curve kind of like this - (

 

The point of that is to have a single flat background. It's not just that it looks more attractive in the picture. It also helps your camera because then there are only two possible things to focus on - the figure or the background. When you take a picture where you've got paint bottles or whatever else in the background, that's a lot of stuff the camera could choose to look at instead of your figure.

 

Using more than one light can also help. Macro type pictures usually need more lighting. I've successfully taken pictures with just one Ott type lamp, but I've had a lot fewer headaches once I added additional lamps. You can sometimes have trouble with reflections and glare as you add more light. The best solve for that is a photo cube, and there are crafty home solutions to that as well as ones you can buy for not too much money. Super quick/cheap one is to put some tissue paper over the light, assuming you have a type of light where that would not be a fire hazard to do.

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I usually base coat and put in shadow before gluing together figures (all 3 or 4 figures I've done that needed gluing). Washes go everywhere easily enough and highlights aren't as much of a problem since things that are covered up don't need much highlighting ... 

 

For the camera, I've been playing with pictures lately (thanks to Pixel and Doug) and as Wren said a good camera phone with the right setup can work wonders.  But my Nexus 4 doesn't seem to do very well, at least with a white background and CFL lights.  I'm going to try with other color backgrounds and bulbs before giving up on it since transferring pictures off a regular camera is a huge hassle for a WIP.

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re assembling before or after painting.  It depends.  If I don't think I can get to part of the figure if it's put together, I'll assemble later (on a piece by piece basis).  If I think I'll be breaking stuff off while painting it, I'll assemble later.  Otherwise, the whole thing goes together at the beginning.

 

As for pinning, if I can get a drill bit small enough, it gets pinned.  Some things are really difficult due to depth, but even a tiny divot with give the glue more surface area to stick to.

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What generation is your iPhone? I did a test with several different cameras and an iPhone 5, and the phone performed better than the cheapie (under $250 cameras). It did not do better than the $400+ cameras, but lots of people are unwilling or unable to pay that kind of money for a camera.

 

You can often improve your photo situation as much or more by addressing lighting and background.

 

Get a large sheet of foam (foamies brand), or one of the nice Hangar 18 backgrounds. Avoiding the starkness of pure white or pure black helps. Using either of those can make it trickier to take pictures. You tape the top end to something vertical, and the bottom end to something horizontal to create a smooth curve. (So say you have a desk or table against the wall. You tape top end to the wall, bottom end to the table to have a curve kind of like this - (

 

The point of that is to have a single flat background. It's not just that it looks more attractive in the picture. It also helps your camera because then there are only two possible things to focus on - the figure or the background. When you take a picture where you've got paint bottles or whatever else in the background, that's a lot of stuff the camera could choose to look at instead of your figure.

 

Using more than one light can also help. Macro type pictures usually need more lighting. I've successfully taken pictures with just one Ott type lamp, but I've had a lot fewer headaches once I added additional lamps. You can sometimes have trouble with reflections and glare as you add more light. The best solve for that is a photo cube, and there are crafty home solutions to that as well as ones you can buy for not too much money. Super quick/cheap one is to put some tissue paper over the light, assuming you have a type of light where that would not be a fire hazard to do.

 

Alas! I possess an iPhone 4. I'm planning on upgrading, but each new release I say forget about it, and wait for the next gen. I'm definitely upgrading when the 6 comes out, unless I change to android...

 

re assembling before or after painting.  It depends.  If I don't think I can get to part of the figure if it's put together, I'll assemble later (on a piece by piece basis).  If I think I'll be breaking stuff off while painting it, I'll assemble later.  Otherwise, the whole thing goes together at the beginning.

 

As for pinning, if I can get a drill bit small enough, it gets pinned.  Some things are really difficult due to depth, but even a tiny divot with give the glue more surface area to stick to.

 

Right now I'm using a 1/32 and paper clips. It seems a bit large for Elsa there, but I did manage to pin her feet. Hmmmm...

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Okay! So not a huge amount of progress, but we're farther then we were yesterday. The fairy garden should resume tomorrow. I'm waiting on Jazzy to tell me what she wants Liriel to look like then we'll go from there. We're going to Michaels and Hobby Lobby to pick up supplies and start on the project. I'll post pics of where we end up tomorrow night.

 

Tonight I worked on the Bladesinger Sister until I fell asleep waiting for a wash to dry... At any rate, I decided to use Yuna from Final Fantasy as an inspiration on how to paint her. I guess I feel guilty because I never got her to Zanarkand. I had finals Yuna, and that was years ago! And we were so close... At any rate, here's a link to a pic of Yuna in case you're not familiar with the character:

 

http://www.platformnation.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Yuna.jpg

 

And this is where I'm at:

 

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I'm not quite sure why I decided to torture myself with white armor, but I did and I'm still working on it. I'm thinking I was originally planning to copy the Martin Jones paint job from the shop, but decided that I'd venture out on my own and figure her out from there. 

 

ALSO, I'm kicking myself because I had all intentions of keeping a journal this time, but haven't. Ah well.. next time I suppose! I'm going to bed now, to dream of Zanarkand...  ^_^

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Why oh why do I chose to paint instead of go to sleep? Thankfully, it's the weekend!

 

Still working on the Sister/Elsa/Yuna thingie, although we did get supplies for Jazzy's garden today  ::D:

At any rate, I spend a lot of time trying to figure out the whole blending, highlighting, not quite sure if I'm doing it right thing... I think she's getting there, although it may take a few more hours. As I fatigue, I tend to start rushing and just fling the brush around instead of putting things where they need to go. At any rate, I've got to get sleep! Enjoy the update, and comments are always welcome!

 

 

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Update time!

 

For such a small figure, my progress is slow on this one. Piddled around with the skirt highlights some more, messed with her hair, tried my hand and putting laces on her gauntlets, attempted to figure out blending/highlighting on her purple tights.... It's a learning process.  :upside:

 

I do believe that I'm about to start on that utility belt she's wearing. She's got all sorts of junk strapped onto that belt, and I'm sure it'll drive me nuts trying to figure out exactly how and what to paint it all like. She does have two corked vials on her right hip that I think I'll try to do in the traditional health (red) and manna (blue) colors. The rest, I'm not sure about. I tend to get lost in the details as I think I start to lose interest in figures after a while and just want to get them done, so I miss a few things. Thankfully, I'm not there with this chick yet.

 

I need to take some pics in natural sunlight, but I haven't had a chance yet. I think I'll try to get some tomorrow so we can see what she looks like up close under real light. The Ott light has a tendency to wash out the colors, and the regular table light makes everything look all yellow. 

 

Thanks for all the help you guys send me on these figures! I've had a blast. She's my 8th figure all together, and my 2nd non-LTPK figure... which is probably why I'm obsessing over details. I think Varaug wasn't as difficult... LOL! Women!  :poke:

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Okay! After a night off last night, I decided to continue with the Bladesinger, now named Phoebe. She's driving me nuts, as far as the highlighting goes. To me, some of it is obvious, but other parts aren't, especially those purple tights! I'm thinking this may have been a tricky one to practice all of these things on this early, because of the dynamic pose, the flowing clothes, tights, and boots all in one. But she is what she is! It's almost time to start planning what base I'm going to do with this. I might as well have her run up a log or something while I'm at it... LOL! 

 

I really need another light and a better camera to take pics of these. Then again, the darkness of the pics does show where the highlights are the brightest. Anyway... Comments?

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