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Geoff Davis

Age of Sigmar Duel Project with OSL

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I don't usually paint Warhammer miniatures, but there is a local painting contest which has very specific rules so I figured why not.  I've never entered a painting contest before, so there is no time like the present.  I've decided to carry on with my experiments in object source lighting and apply wht I've learned so far in this project.  One of the big challenges will be doing the OSL in the metallic armour of the knight.  I've never tried that before.  The two figures are "Neave Blacktalon" and "Wight King".


Here is my planned layout.  The white line is to align their line of sight so they are looking each other in the eyes.  The source of light will be a big glowing rune on the ground in between them.   I chose these two figures becuase they both have cloaks that are blowing in the wind, but they are blowing in opposite directions.  That means that when they are facing each other, the wind direction is consistent.  I intend to make the grass be bent over in the same direction as well.  The wind is blowing from the wight towards the knight.  I am very tempted to name this project "Fus Ro..."  That might not be genre appropriate though. 




I had some in progress shots of the base but I lost them somewhere.  Drag and drop error, probably.  I used milliput to make the rocky base.  I used the base of another rocky miniature to make impressions to give it texture.  The wight's foot is incorporated into his base, so I incorporated his whole base into the milliput mass.  I sculpted the runes/rock circle into the milliput and then added sand to it.  In the crevices.  I made my first big mistake at this stage.  I added the grass tufts too.  I should have waited until after I primed the whole base and then painted the ground where the grass would be attached.  My thinking was that the grass would look better if it was highlighted with the OSL effect in the same way as everything else.  However, it has proven very difficult to get paint through the grass tufts to make them shadowed underneath.  Other than that, I like the way it turned out.  I prepainted the whole base using the stone greys triad.  I highlighted the base with the greys and added white to get the areas that would be hit by the light from the rune to be brightest.  Today I spent the morning painting the OSL effects onto the base.  This lets me make sure the OSL on the figures and on the base will line up with each other and also be the same colours.


I am using these for the OSL effect:




Here is where I am at so far.  The figures are beside the base on their cork handles so you can see how they will line up eventually.  I need to darken the areas around the outside edge of the base a lot more still.  It is actually a lot darker than it look in the picture already.  I added progressively Nightshade Purple and Brown Liner to the Stone Grey for the shadow areas on the base. 



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Here's the base with the sibeccai runethane I did a while back.  It's a very similar colour scheme.  There is a lot more purple in the shadows of the sibeccai but I haven't added that level of colour saturation on the current project.  I definitely need to make the shadows darker.



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I found the missing in-progress pictures of the base.  I made it out of yellow milliput.  The grey square is where I incorporated the plastic base of the wight. 










I've been working a lot more than expected in the last week, so my progress on this painting project has been slow.  It's unfortunate that I only found out about the painting contest a short while ago.  My project may have been too ambitious to get it done in time.  I have five days of painting time left, including the remainder of today.  I've learned a few things already which will be really helpful for future projects.  First one is that I haven't assembled a plastic model kit in at least 20 years.  Both of these figures were multi-piece with lots of fine detail on very soft plastic.  You can't handle this stuff roughly like you can a metal miniature, they damage very easily.  They both also needed to be almost completely painted before final assembly, otherwise reaching the inner recesses would be impossible.  This makes working out the OSL highlighting very challenging. 




The knight is now fully assembled and doesn't look too bad.  The metallic parts are done, but everything else still needs highlighting and the addition of the lighting colours. 




The wight is not assembled, he's just held together by hope and a bit of tape.  He has some very deep crevices which light can reach into that mean I can't assemble him until almost all the painting is done.  I may have an aneurism trying to figure out the lighting on the part of his cloak which is extended out above the rune. 





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Well this was a good learning experience.  I had never entered a miniature contest before and I learned quite a lot.  The feedback from the store staff who were the judges was quite helpful.  


First thing was that deliberately painting for a contest changes the dynamic and adds a stress level to the project.  I only had about two weeks to complete the project, so right off the bat I felt like I didn't have enough time.  I started cutting corners almost right away which affected the final quality of the project.  The main mistake was not filling cracks using greenstuff.  I pre-painted most of the miniature before assembly.  To avoid having to repaint areas after assembly, I didn't fill a couple of big creases.  I just put a bit of glazing medium over them and called it good enough.  That was a mistake and greatly affected the overall result.  I also cut corners on some of the details which I am actually quite good at painting, like gems.  I just didn't bother painting them up fully in favour of putting more time into the OSL.  


You can see the big crease in this photo:




Another mistake was that I positioned the glowing effect badly relative to the two miniatures.  If I had offset the glow instead of having the light be centered right between them, the overall look of the undead guy would have been much better.  The position of his cloak right over the light caused a lot of unnecessary painting challenges.  If the glow had been pushed slightly to the right from his perspective, it would have looked better overall for both the undead guy and the knight.  I also didn't select a primary viewing angle before starting.  As a result, there is no one angle from which the project 'looks best'. 


Trying to mix the OSL effect with the metallic paint didn't work particularly well.  Any thinning of the metallic paint, including by adding the various glow colours, caused separation of the metallic particles.  It's hard to see in the photos, but you can see it when you look at the miniature in person.  The real light reflections combined with the artificial OSL light reflections only works from certain angles.  Because the light source is below the miniature, those effective viewing angles are relatively few. 


What did work quite well was adding nightshade purple into the metallic colours for the darkest shade areas.  It kept the overall metallic colour and blended well with the adjacent unshaded areas.  It's something I'd recommend trying if you are doing TMM with a strong light source. 


Anyway, I'm pleased with how it turned out overall.  It gave me lots of useful insight for future projects. 












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I'm not sure I agree that the placement of your OSL was bad or wrong, it introduced challenges but what I'm really seeing is that the OSL itself is to even across the entire piece. It sounds like you learned a lot, try again and bring the next one to Reaper Con!

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Thanks very much for your comment.  I've just started work on another project...might be ready for Reapercon 2019.  I'm going to try not to rush myself this time.

Edited by Geoff Davis

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