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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.  

       
    • By Orlando_the_Technicoloured
      What is evil, yet cute? a KICKSTARTER that's what.

      Since SoC's delivery is in full throttle, it's time to announce the SIBLINGS OF CHAOS. Coming from the dark places of the galaxy, and serving Gods of terrible designs, they march for the total ruination of everything!     from the same team that brought us Siblings of Conflict, Impact! Miniatures and Marchen return with more goodies for us (after delivery of the Siblings is complete
    • By Corporea
      ... The larch?
       
      Heh. No, but I want to try something very different from my preferred style in order to branch out and try new things.  I recently watched Coco (um... several times) and took a liking to the alebrijes, especially Pepita.  I really want Reaper to make a Pepita.  So this is my way of showing how fun it could be!
       
      The plan: A chibi lion with patterns like the traditional Oaxacan Alebrijes.  This means fun bright colors and an attempt at making a piece look like wooden folk art. It can be done!
       
      First step, research.
       
       
       
      ...and my personal favorite:

       
      Perfect!  I wanted to practice red anyway.  I ended up choosing red shadow, dragon red, big top red, seoni scarlet, volcanic orange, marigold yellow and sun yellow as my colors.
       
      Second step is to pick a mini.

       
      I supported Impact's kickstarter quite awhile ago and almost forgot I had this fellow.  It's the Venetian Lion.
       
      I set forth in an effort to prep the mini.  
       

       
      Um... it took a lot of prep. I decided to go ahead and attach one wing at the risk of making the body harder to paint.  I sanded for about half a day then filled in all the bubbles and sculpted one set of claws.  Er, I'm hoping their QC has improved since the kickstarter, because this piece took almost a day to prep.  Oddly, I think the 3D print went into the mold un-sanded and with texture, because the large surfaces had a texturing I associate with those prints.  It took several layers of sealer to smooth.
       
      But, I finally got him primed.  Isn't he cute! 

       
      Next, I basecoated with red shadow.  why red shadow, you ask?  Because red is awful at coverage because of its translucency.  So, basecoat with a red brown. This will save you frustration down the road.
       

       
      Next, layer with dragon red. Leave a few areas of the red shadow as deepest shadows.  Here's where I had to decided to commit to the wooden/statue route, because a real lion would have a darker back and a pale belly, whereas a figure in top-down light would be the opposite.
       

       
      Still not red?  Never fear!  Also, put a lot of layers of each step.  Lots and lots of layers. Next step big top red.
       

       
      Next, seoni scarlet.  I like this color.  It's super intense.  Very shiny.  Except it's matte, but you know what I mean.
       

       
      Boom! Now we're in the red zone.
       
      Now, I need eyes.  A miniature is lifeless until we add eyes.  I like doing them early because they often help guide the rest of the project.
       

       
      I basecoated the eyes with marigold yellow.  Then shaded the edges with volcanic orange.
       

       
      Then I added some sun yellow to the center.  Even a chibi eye can afford some shading, otherwise the socket looks too flat.
       

       
      After that, I drew in the iris shape.
       

       
      I used red shadow and added a pupil of nightshade purple.
       

       
      When I was happy with the shape and balance, I filled in the eye with some terra nova tundra and more of the yellows.
       

       
      Excellent!  I also mixed a bit of linen white into the yellow just at the edge of the iris ring.  Here's a front view:
       

       
      Last step in eyes if adding the white reflection.  I used pure white for contrast.
       

       
      So he's sort of a demonic cute lion.  It could work, right?
       
      Then I wanted to try out wing patterns.  For the last 3 days I've been wanting to get to the fun part, so I forged ahead and rushed to this step. As it turns out, that was an error, but it worked out in the end.  I think.
       

       
      Ok, the key to freehand is breaking down a pattern into something simple.  I started with circles.
       

       
      Filled in the circles and added some teardrop lines.
       

       
      added some more lines.
       

       
      and on and on...
       

       
      Until I felt like I was getting closer to pattern.  It was then I realized the wing looked way to flat and dull. I needed more shading.  What I should have done was make the feather lighter near the origin to add more contrast. So I glazed over the pattern.  I'll just have to pick it back up again after I'm done with the shading.
       

       
      Here's the wing with the shading.  I'll touch it up a bunch, then rework the pattern.  But I think I like it better with the change in contrast.  We'll see. I can always paint over it.  Sigh.  That will teach me to skip to the fun stuff.
       
      More later!  As always, feel free to ask questions!
    • By Gantrell
      First time posting to the Forum. Feedback welcome!
       
      Thanks.



    • 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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