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This year my husband got me some resin terrain from Itar's Workshop, including some sci-fi pieces.


One of these is IWS-IND-003, "Engine" and one of them is IWS-IND-001, "Power Generator", but I can't recall which is which. Here they are with Reaper's Dee Dee, Astro Girl, for scale.



Please pardon my ignorance. I don't know know if these are true-to-life or pure fantasy, so I decided to paint them how I liked. I didn't take pictures for the earliest stages.


First I primed them with titanium white (Golden matte fluid acrylics) with a very little flow improver added.


Typically I wash over this with burnt umber to bring out details before painting. But for these pieces I wanted elements to glow as if lit from within. I have found that lighting effects work better over a pure white base, so I added them before the umber wash.



One of them is going to have a cold, green glow, like fluorescent lights. The other has a shaded violet glow from above. Both have a bit of warm gold light.


The mixes are simple. The green was just a touch of phthalocyanine green with titanium white. The violet is the same with the addition of some quinacridone magenta. The yellow is simply yellow iron oxide with white. (Reaper colors = Clear Green (almost), Pure White, Clear Magenta (probably), Palomino Gold)


Anything painted on white looks deeper than it is. These colors are pretty light, and to show how light, here's my half-painted Reaper frost giant next to one of the resin pieces.



For the last preparation step I washed some burnt umber over the pieces, brushing only lightly over the lighted areas to leave the recesses brightly colored. I may have missed a cranny here or there which I will fix as I go along.

post-8022-0-36896700-1405094480.jpg post-8022-0-50220400-1405094491.jpg

Edited by Pingo
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I'm pretty sure that plasma-based power generators are still very much in the alpha stage in real life, so I'm pretty sure there's no wrong way to do plasma-based power generators in miniature.  :;):

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Yeah, sort of what I thought. I'd be willing to bet that the maker intended the purple one to be the engine, but I could make a fairly strong argument for the opposite way around: "Those aren't pistons, they're transformer coils."  ^_^

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I love these and if you were to stop right as they are, you've already got them looking like lights, especially the purple one. I look forward to seeing the progression of these!

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Those are some very interesting pieces, and they're looking really good. I can imagine quite a few uses for them.

Edited by Chaoswolf
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Hi Pingo;


I like your sci-fi terrain items...very nicely done...I like both pieces but I especially like the piece that has the 8 purplish lights on top!...Are you going to keep them as stand off single pieces or are you going to put them in some kind of ruins, abandoned building or warehouse?


Paul (Catdancer)

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At the moment I am planning on using them as standalone pieces. The way my group of gamers play, we generally set up and break down terrain for specific game sessions. (We have gotten years of use out of a set of reusable hills, cliffs, ramps, and bridges from a dinosaur set someone gave our children many years ago -- we call them the "meat loaf" set because that's kind of what they look like.)


On the other hand, you never know. I do love dioramas and vignettes.

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Interesting looking pieces. I can see them being very useful as terrain pieces for gaming.

Looking forward to watch your work on these.

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I had a little time to works on the pieces. Mostly I painted them with some Raw Umber, which is a very dark, transparent, slightly cool brown, very good for shadows. I was hoping to make the colored areas look more glowing by comparison.


It's also a standard technique in painting. Doing an underpainting in a brown monochrome helps work out the darks and lights and then looks richer later when colors are layered over it.


... Not that I'm necessarily going to do that the whole way through. It's just where I drew the technique from.


post-8022-0-56501200-1408810698.jpg post-8022-0-47199400-1408810706.jpg


post-8022-0-34913900-1408810711.jpg post-8022-0-22961700-1408810716.jpg

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Very nice! You could almost use 'em as is. The darkness of the brown really works well to make the 'light' sources stand out.

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Here's where the virtues of a nice blodgy brown underpainting come into play (note: a nice smooth brown underpainting works too, if smooth is the effect you're going for).


On what I'm calling Engine A, I washed a bit of Iron Oxide Red over the ... let's call them coils. Normally this pigment is pretty opaque, but a single not too thick layer lets a lot of the brown show through. This transparent layering of shadowy colors goes a long way to making a figure look well-worn and realistic.

post-8022-0-87770500-1409405522.jpg post-8022-0-00011800-1409405529.jpg


From here on in I'm using a different painting technique, applying metallic paints, which these days are usually made from mica flakes and are pretty transparent. Painted over straight white they tend to look pearly and faint, which is fine if that's the effect you're going for. But painted over darker colors they really pop, and if those darker colors are uneven the unevenness comes through.


These are the colors I'm using (although for today I have only used the silver and the light copper). They have a considerably stiffer texture than most miniatures paint.



I don't want the metallics to sink into the dark crannies and rivets on the machines, so I am putting them on rather dry and thin. I have a small flat hog's bristle brush, stiff and rather worn. I dampen it very slightly, blot it dry, pick up full-strength paint on the tip, brush most of it off onto a paper towel, and smoothly scrub the paint across the flats of the machines.


It makes for a surprisingly smooth coat.


The metallics are so transparent that a single coat will not immediately register as metallic, depending on the lighting. This looks better in real life than in photographs.

post-8022-0-97282100-1409405995.jpg post-8022-0-57815600-1409406003.jpg


From certain angles depending on the lighting the metallic effect pops.

post-8022-0-99086000-1409406053.jpg post-8022-0-57756400-1409406059.jpg


I put some silver on the lower pipes of Engine A, a slightly thicker layer than on the other one, and over a less dark brown underlayer.



I then put some light copper on the coils of Engine A. The red underneath gives it a little more visual body. I like how it looks like little stacks of coins. The left photo does not have copper over the top surface yet and the right one does. Note the difference.

post-8022-0-82583600-1409406297.jpg post-8022-0-77185100-1409406304.jpg


Here's another tilt-in-the-light test to show how the metallic effect comes and goes.

post-8022-0-14852900-1409406377.jpg post-8022-0-96313100-1409406382.jpg


I added a bit of light copper here and there on the other engine to make its silver look a little tarnished and gungy.

post-8022-0-97806000-1409406439.jpg post-8022-0-99935900-1409406445.jpg


Here I've added more silver and light copper over Engine A. The prepared underpainting means I can just concentrate on adding the metallics without worrying about shading or effects yet.

post-8022-0-62505000-1409406521.jpg post-8022-0-49168200-1409406527.jpg



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Wow. These are looking really good.


Also, on two unrelated notes:

  - You've either got really tiny hands, or these are much larger than I initially thought.

  - Every time I see blue gloves I can't help but think "Two by two, hands of blue".

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