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By Bonnie Bailey
Good Evening! SO after sorting through my minis and cleaning up my workstation post reaper con, I felt inspired to tackle some techniques that I have been avoiding. I wanted to pick a mini that i felt I could paint quickly (but lessbehonest, I don't paint quickly at all) and that would be a good candidate for two techniques that I am trying to learn. after a long drawn out process of hemming and hawing I found a miniature that I received an unmentionable number of years ago from reaper as a prize for buying miniatures during October. So it is Krissy the modern witch with out her familiar.
I have an idea of what I want to do, I want to keep the miniature a tight focus on OSL and Transparent fabric. If I am feeling like it after I have completed the mini, I may do a special base for her. I feel pretty good about my understanding of color, but I think this is going to be a pretty good challenge. Here's what I have so far.
This was one of my diorama entries for ReaperCon featuring miniatures from Dark Sword Miniatures. I had diorama ideas centered around the female figure occupying my mind for a while before I settled on this one. I tried a few other figures with her but nothing fit until I got the male figure and then added the wolf. I am very happy with how it came together and was very pleased that it received a Gold medal in the Diorama Category. I also was honored to receive second place diorama from Dark Sword.
Well then ... it's done! We ... are done. After a rather short ride, I finally arrived at the end. Five minutes before lock-down I handed in my "Animals in War" painting challenge entry. As always, it consists of a small background story, together with a more or less well painted miniature.
Find the WIP ->here<-
I am not all to happy with it, I could have done a lot better, but it's okay. And in the end, I messed up the pictures as well. The good thing is: I could have done worse. *sigh* But well - can't help it. So, here she comes.
I tried to translate the original text to English, so if there are mistakes ( I am sure there will be) feel free to correct me.
As always: Feel free to comment, but if you just want to say "nice" or "cool", leave a like instead, because I value those as a nod to my participation in the forums. I really don't need "cool"s or "nice"s.
The Light Fantastic
She sat by the wall, held her breath and listened.
After a while, the tripping of many feet broke through the silence.
Carefully the warrior woman looked up. She expected to see the enemy's face at any moment. But nothing like that happened.
Instead, she could hear a voice, sending shivers down her spine. A calm, mocking pronunciation, unmistakable and probably unique in the world.
"Hey, Evi," the unknown speaker shouted, "You can show yourself. I know you're out there."
She took a deep breath, smiled grimly and pressed the lamp tighter to her chest.
Yes, of course. He knew. He wasn't stupid. Quite the opposite. He was very intelligent - considering the fact he was a baboon. Call it arrogance, but it had been a mistake of the humans to believe monkeys to be of lower intelligence.
It was the humans who were stupid. I renewed attempts, the succeeded in raising the intelligence of the primates to a level that even they could not reach. Made a joke about it - called them "Spartavians".
Until that day, when the monkeys founded the SAS, the Special Ape Service, and began to overrun the human centers of civilization. The humans had no chance against the highly gifted animals - and soon they found themselves in a Stone Age created by the primates.
All in the name of nature.
But Evi was not willing to give all the power to the very hairy attackers.
"Come out, come out, wherever you are! What is it? Have you lost your voice?," the Spartavian asked.
She looked at the lantern in her hand. The light was dim, it's flame almost extinguished. It had used up most of its fuel over the long time of her mission.
She sighed, then took a deep breath and turned the handle - which actually was an ignition mechanism. It clicked into place. A crunchy sound appeared. Suddenly, the light flickered as if it had just been supplied with new life energy.
Evi counted quietly to three, rose up a little and threw the lantern as high as she could over the wall. With an almost inaudible noise the explosive disappeared from her field of vision.
Nerve-shattering heartbeats later the clapping sound of two hands catching an object sounded.
"But ... that's a lantern! I always wanted to have one like that"; the monkey remarked enthusiastically. "Wonderful! It will make a great addition to my front doo ..."
A hollow bang cut off his last words.
Slowly the warrior woman rose from her hiding place, wiping her mouth and nose. She breathed theatrically before addressing the just blown-up enemy. "Yippieyayeh! ape-face," she spat towards the quickly evaporating cloud of smoke.
"Evi!" With a weak plop, similar to the distant bursting of a synapse, Evi returned to reality and looked up.
The baboon on the other side of the fence stared at her with a mentally deranged look, then shrugged his shoulders and turned away.
"Evi! I don't like it when you play around in front of the monkey house," Mama said sternly. "What will the neighbours think of use, when they see you talking to baboons?"
"Child, you have too much imagination," Grandma said laughing before turning to Mama. "Maybe she should watch less television?"
"I'll suggest it to Harold," Mama nodded and took her daughter away from the monkey cage. "But now we're going to the saltwater aquarium."
"Saltwater? Are there any sharks?" the girl asked hopefully.
"Sharks?" Mama laughed. "No. But little whales."
The girl's eyes widened. "Whales?" she asked in disbelief.
A small puddle in front of them started to move. At first the water only seemed to vibrate, rippled and splashed quietly, then it exploded into a fountain.
A huge humpback whale emerged from the seething floods and crashed onto the floor slabs of the path.
The huge monster crawled towards them on its pectoral fins, the remains of an arm hanging out between bloody, shredded baleen plates.
"Hello Evi," the scarred monster greeted her with a sinister pirate voice. "I have learned how to eat meat."
The warrioress Evi pulled her knife out of the sheath. A light smile crept on her lips, waited there for a moment and vanished, making room for an answer that you could only expect from any good warrior. "And I know how to fillet fish."
->Linked because of nipples!<-
By Geoff Davis
This is my diorama entry from Reapercon 2019 "Done and on to the next one". It received silver in the diorama category and 2nd place Dark Sword Individual Figure. The two figures are DSM7627 Female Ranger with Bow from Dark Sword Miniatures and 77189 Creature from the Blood Reef (Bones version) from Reaper Miniatures.
My intention with this piece was to show a dynamic interaction between the two figures as compactly as possible and with a clear indication of the action, but with enough uncertainty in the details that the observer can be lead to many different interpretations of the story. For example, did the creature just miss her with a claw attack, or is he clinging to the rock in dying desperation while she contemptuously uses him as a launch pad? I went through many challenges with this figure (including crushing her in transport, breaking off her arm, crushing the bow and snapping off her leg at the ankle).
Some of the detail work I did on this included:
cleaning out the quiver and sculpting new arrows
re-sculpting her chest and back to be a wool dress (the original figure has a bare stomach and back)
adding the taught bow string using monofilament fishing line
changing her bracer so that the buckles are on the side away from the bow string
carving up and adjusting the creature layer by layer until he fit exactly where I wanted him (this is why I chose the Bones version - I would have found it nearly impossible with a metal figure)
I am very grateful to Brice Cocanour who gave me a lot of advice on how to bring out the best look of the piece by adjusting the colour and value balance. He was also kind enough to let me use some of his tools and his big container of water effects to fix some of the problems with the base. Once again, I learned a ton from seeking help from the artists. I also really appreciate the feedback I got from the judges. As a first-timer at the MSP Open, I made some newbie mistakes that I will fix for next time, and as a long-time painter, I appreciated being told exactly where things were off so that I could reflect on them for future projects.
The judges feedback was:
They liked the tartan, the fabric texture and the colour choice. Some of the lines on the tartan could be made cleaner. One way to do this is to do the lines repeatedly with very thin paint. Small mistakes are then harder to see, but the correct position of the line gets hit repeatedly making the visual appearance of the lines neater. Another suggestion was to map out the tartan pattern in light grey first before adding any colour. Use pure white to make landmarks at the intersection points of the lines which are bright enough to show through the subsequent paint layers. This helps to make the layout of the pattern more precise and less risky. Because the pattern is laid out before any colour is added or a lot of work is put into highlights and shading, any mistakes in the layout can be corrected without having to do a lot of repair work.
Overall composition was good with the story being very clear with the construction being very tight and kept to the essentials (no wasted space and unnecessary features).
They liked the overall skin tone and highlight placement to focus attention on her face. They pointed out where improvements were needed to some of the blends on the skin, specifically on her calf where some of the shadow, dirt and highlight blends are misaligned or too abrupt and not bright enough (her ankle for example needs to be a bit brighter).
The final surface texture of her skin could have been smoother. Suggestions for this included using brush-on sealer to smooth out flaws, paying close attention to cleanliness of the figure (eg large dust particles) and removing them as soon as they are found, then filling the craters and smoothing their edges, and glazing additional layers of the mid-tone to smooth out some of the edges of the blends.
Clean up the water effects where they meet the base to give a crisper line between the action and the base.
It was recommended to mount the diorama directly onto the wooden plinth if possible rather than on a gaming base attached to the top of the plinth.
The judges scores were 3, 3 and 4 for 10/12 (Silver).
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