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By Dan S
I recently undertook the task of creating several display pieces to serve as scenic backdrops when photographing my miniatures, however being the procrastinator that I am, I have instead found myself with an ever growing pile of unfinished projects. In an effort to break this cycle I am no longer allowing myself to start new projects until my current one is complete. I figure a progress journal would be a great way to hold myself accountable, and hopefully by sharing my build process even inspire others into giving diorama building a try.
Anyway, without further ado here is my current work in progress, a good old fashioned hobbit hole. I managed to pick up a cheap and incomplete resin kit (front wall and chimney) on Ebay a while back. I painted it about a month ago, and it has sat on my desk gathering dust ever since. Today I finally started to put in some real work on the build.
29/05/20 - Laying the foundation.
The first job was to lay the foundations of the build. I hot glued thick polystyrene sheets to an old photo frame and then cut them to shape using a hot wire cutter. The challenging part was then getting the front wall to fit convincingly into the hill, being an incomplete kit, the front wall was completely rectangular and just didn't look right no matter how I positioned it. To fix this, I measured out and then cut some thick card stock in to triangular sections, and then cut some thinner strips to match the wooden beams on the front of the house. I then glued these to the house so that the walls now followed the contours of the hill more organically. I also made some curtains using some old fabric (The original kit has holes for windows and I needed to hide the polystyrene behind them).
Next I mixed up some Sculptamold and started to cover the polystyrene and base of the picture frame before adding some rocks that I had cast previously with Plaster of Paris (They are probably hard to make out in the photo, as they blend in with the white sculptamold, but once painted they should stand out nicely). With that done I decided to call it a day, and give the sculptamold the night to fully dry before adding any paint. And that is pretty much how I spent my Friday afternoon.
Apologies for the poor picture quality, I took the photo during the evening in poor lighting with my ancient phone camera. I'll get some better pictures up once I have something more substantial to share.
This is my first time sharing my miniatures step by step, and excited to do so. Hopefully I can learn some things and everyone else who views the thread will learn a bit too.
I have been looking forward to the Starcadia board game and especially painting the minis that come with it. So first up is the Weeble alien monster. I picked it for 2 reasons, 1 because it was a simple model and I wanted to try my hand at the big eye. There are 4 total Weeble models and it took about 4-5 hours to get to the point in the last photo. I decided to mimic the illustration that came on the Weeble card in the game, so I am using a similar color scheme.
First step was prepping the model, and removing the mold lines. 2 of the 4 models had 2 bad areas on their left fin that left gaps and a rough spot. To fix it, I tried a new method, I put a little varnish on each area. If you haven't tried it, I definitely recommend it for small gaps or trouble areas that need filled or smoothed. I put a small dab on, let it dry and done, no need to pull out the putty.
2nd step was priming. I don't like the spray can so I use gesso. It might take a little longer, but no noxious fumes and extra space needed, just brush it on and let it dry. I just spread it thin and quick most of the time, hence the streaking in the picture. The streaking never shows on a finished mini from what I have experienced.
3 is where the fun began for me, choosing the colors and beginning to paint. My most recent elven minis, I started experimenting with different ways to do base coating and time around I am trying a colored base that is different that the final paint layer. I'm trying this out to see if I can reduce a step in my process and still get results I like. After examining the illustration, I settled on a blue-green for the body of the Weeble, and yellow for the eye. I plan on keeping with the warm yellow highlight in the front and the cold blue / purple shadow in the back. Once I decided that, I chose my basing colors, of a dark yellow brown for the front and dark blue purple for the back.
4 with the base shadows on the model, I started working from dark to light. I mixed up a glaze of a medium green and medium purple blue. I gradually worked up the colors with multiple layers making sure to blend the colors together where the transition occurred between them. I left the eye alone, because the dark yellow brown was perfect for the yellow eye.
5 once I was happy with the dark colors, I moved on to my mid-tones. I mixed up glazes of yellow green for the warm light and a blue green for the cold light. I took my time on this step again applying the glazes in layers to build up the color. I decided to try reflected / bounce lighting on the model, so I applied the blue green more on top of the model and the yellow green more on the bottom. I imagine the lighting being blue white (like a daylight bulb) which results a warmer reflected light in the areas not directly hit by the blue light.
6 after a while I moved on to the eye. I continued with painting dark to light, so I chose an orange brown for the light area and the same yellow brown and dark blue purple for the shadowed area. Again I gradually applied the glazes and blended them together.
Overall I am pleased with the direction it is going, and it is still far from done. I having gotten to the brightest highlights or even attempted the mouth yet. After that will be the finishing touches, the green slime, and scaly lumps. In the illustration the lumps are black but I don't think black will look good, any suggestions? I was also thinking of doing a slime trail, or more drool I've not done something like that before does anyone have any suggestions in the direction? Or should I not do a slime trail or more drool?
Presenting Triton, part of the Merfolk faction in the game Deep Wars by Antimatter Games.
I painted his tail in some of that fancy colour-shifting paint that doesn't photograph at all and the highlighting is a bit rough, but I did a really good job (for me) of filling all his gaps so I'm calling it a win.
As always, any comments or criticisms are warmly received.
As an entry to @Glitterwolf’s painting Pandemic challenge I figured I’d try something a little different. I printed up this scaled-down nurse from Silent Hill. Plan is to have her with a wall that is flaking away (crackle paint is the intent here) and dirty tile floor.
a long time ago (I swore I had it bookmarked but alas...) I found a write-up by an individual who painted up some amazing veiny zombie skin using batting as a mask for the airbrush with the dark bruised colours going on first before adding the skin tone overtop. Since I can’t find the reference, I’m going on trial and error and some fuzzy memory.
im going to have to be very careful with the cleaver as it is less than 1mm thick.
primed white and her dress was then covered with tape to minimize cleanup later.
A good vibrant purple (mix of warcolours Violet 5 and Vallejo game air alien purple). Never planned on painting a zombie purple before.
Then I hit it, using some batting that I teased and stretched out with Vallejo game air electric blue. The right, her left, leg turned out better but it’s more splotchy than veiny. I feel for the skin layer I’ll need a finer mesh (more space between) but thicker strands. Will have to play with the batting to see what I can come up with.
Thinking of priming up a couple plastic spoons to try this on to see how things turn out before I attack her. Hope to start some work on the base tomorrow night.
Thanks for looking.
Hello all! I'm working on the blacksting wyvern from bones 4, as you can see from the title. Getting ready to start base coating some color in and noticed an area I'm not sure if it is supposed to be anatomically correct or not filled In from when made. No it does not sit on anything either that they would plug into.
Any thoughts would be appreciated!
Happy painting and stay safe!
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