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Resurrecting the Old School Undead


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Finally some more progress. Spent the morning twisting some floral wire into trees/shrubs. 

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Broke out the sticky tac and roughly blocked in where everything is going. 

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The roots are going to require quite a bit more bending before I move forward. I'm thinking putting some pins in the ends and getting the holes drilled out before attempting to texture them. Still trying to decide how exactly to go about getting the filler on them.

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I was tempted to go even further overboard on the roots here, but decided to leave it open as I have ideas floating about for how this is going to fit into a larger scene.

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Before using the wood putty on the trees I wanted to see how it worked in smaller applications.

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I was planning on doing a unit tray for these guys anyway. The large block in the back is covering a gap that occured when sawing the wood the size.

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First layer of filler applied, slathered some on the underside of the back block and will sand it to size after it dries. 

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Added some to the bases with a toothpick. The conclusion I've come to is that I'm going to need something else for the trees, but that as general ground forming goes, the wood filler works great. 

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Evil Little Trees take one.

Channeling the idea of Bob Ross as necromancer I selected my first victim.

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And rooting around in the supply pile produced this.

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Where I'm currently at...

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This is my first attempt at actual sculpting. By and large I'm quite pleased with it, even if most of the twisted tree like texture it wound up with was more accidental then planned. The Testors putty applies from the tube easily enough, but I had a difficult time coaxing it to wrap around the branches, which came out rather thicker than I intended. Used a hobby knife with a dulled blade for this, seemed to work well. This stuff dries rather quickly and it seems like I've used a large amount already, even before going back where needed. I'm leaving the roots undone until I get it attached to the ground. So I'm putting this aside until tomorrow, see what it's like when dried.

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That is a SPLENDID idea. I hadn't thought of using Contour Putty for bark before. It looks TERRIFIC!

On thick trunks I use (DAS) air dry clay. On thinner trunks, roots, & branches I do a coating of hot glue that I tease into a rough, bark-like texture before it cools.

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I was thinking about using DAS clay on another of the trees next, see if it's easier to work with. Also it's my understanding that if you get it wet it gets malleable again, so I suppose in theory that would solve the race against time aspect a bit.

From what you've described, your hot glue technique is similar to using the contour putty. Both seem to be of similar consistency and drying time, at least from what I remember of the last time I hot glued something.

When I checked on it just now, everything seemed pretty solid, nothing was cracked, and I was able to prune away some unsightly clumps without issue. 

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Added a second layer to part of the trunk, and covered up more of the bare wire on the branches. 

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The trick seems to be small areas at a time. Also I need to make the u shapes at the ends of the branches wider as there seems to be a minimum thickness I haven't been able to get past.

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Texturewise, the poking and prodding of the lines out of the tube naturally creates a pleasing twist pattern in the bark, and while there are small tips jutting out everywhere, I'm going to leave them for now, see what it looks like when painted. 

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The skeletons have now entered the long phase. Mixed 3:1 Dirty Bone and Linen White with 3 or 4 drops of Flow Improver and went over each bone, leaving the Black Wash only in the deepest gaps. Normally I confine myself to wash and drybrush with skeletons, but with this project I figured it was time to start doing things in less of a half-elfed kind of way. So from here, the plan is to add some brownish tinting and highlight edges up to pure white. Time wise, these two took almost an hour and a half, so it'll be awhile until the next step on them. 

 

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Nothing dramatic, but some progress.

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Put a couple coats of Ebony Flesh on the tree. It's going to need a few more as every time it dries I find more nooks and crannies that were overlooked. But other than that, the material seems to take paint alright.

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Two more of the skeletons got cleaned up with the Dirty Bone/Linen White mix. 

I also restocked on Simple Green and in a day or so will have some more fresh victims ready. The next group is already prepared except for some repairs to two of them, both where hands/arm came off at some point over the years. I've been digging through my various bit boxes and can't find the missing arm to one, and it being a left arm holding a sword is proving to be a bit of a pain to find a replacement for. The other just needs his sword hand pinned into place. 

 

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Between the rain and overcast skies yesterday morning, and the discovery of a 7th and 8th Pumpkin in the garden, and the occasional ghostly vibe of oncoming Autumn, my motivation bar has refilled. So as darkness fell I returned to the table...

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A layer of Stormy Grey has been applied to various stonework.

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Another skeleton has had the 50/50 mix of Dirty Bone and Linen White.

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The Evil Little Tree had a layer of Dark Highlight applied.

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And a test mix of the various flocks I had laying around and the Woodland Scenics Cement. 

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And with the coming of the dawn, tonight's efforts come to a close...

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The Evil Little Tree had a heavily watered down Vallejo Field Grey washed on it, although it doesn't seem to show much here. Added a nice unhealthy tinge to it.

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Went over all the stones with a 50/50 Stormy Gray/Cloudy Gray mix.

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Did the skeleton's bases in Steel Legion Drab, then Argrax Earthshade for everyone.

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The Agraxing blended the stone back towards the dirt.

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And after a wash with heavily watered down Christmas Wreath, to give a worn mossy look that almost shows up in the picture. This was applied to the unit tray as well, but that didn't show in the picture.

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The gravestone after the green tint. 

The skeletons are getting into the home stretch now, with half the unit cleaned up, and the movement tray ready for flocking. 

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A short session last night due to an allergy headache destroying my concentration. Don't get them often thankfully. 

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Two more ready for the next step.

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Got the tree pinned down and contour putty applied. The long root over the stone was tricky, due to weird angling to get the tube in. Later I'll put a bit more on where the trunk meets the roots to cover the gap, and bulk the trunk up a little. 

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Thanks to everyone sending encouragement. It's helping balance out the intimidation factor of "Wait, I made how many trees?! AHHH!"

Speaking of which,

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Got another layer of putty down to help break up the straight lines.

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While the putty seems to dry quickly, I'll hold off until tomorrow to get some paint on it just to be sure.

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I decided to do the second tree in sections, too much jabbing around with the knife tip seems to get things unstuck. This one's not needing as much putty as the first, I'm slowly getting the hang of getting it to cover a larger area, and somewhat thinner layers on the branches.

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Some of it drooped onto the roots, but I'm not too concerned about it, seeing as how more layers are going to be applied over it anyway.

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Only one more archer left now. The fellow in the back's skull came out suprisingly well. Hopefully I can get these guys finished before the end of the weekend. 

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Got all of the skeletons nice and clean...then I dirtied them up again with a 1:7 mix of Sepia Liner and water. 

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Gives them a subdued "dipped in tea" aged look.

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I was originally thinking of putting a final highly thinned highlight of Linen White of the most raised sections of bone, but now I'm of a mind to leave them at this stage. Which means it's now just a matter of bows, belts, quivers and basing. Which means I'm going to have to cut up some more dead leaves. Yay. Supposedly there's a way to crumble them down with a mortar and pestle, but my efforts at that have been less than successful. Have a trip to Goodwill planned for today, so maybe I'll find a small blender, preserve a few sanity points. 

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