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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The eyes!


For several years I've been fidgeting with ways to see what I am painting better... I progressed through reading glasses to headsets, to reading glasses and head sets... and finally to reading glasses + headsets + a magnifier on an arm.

Basically this steampunk-esque contraption allows me to see better but the glare that builds up with the addition of each lens and the loss of depth perception still made it difficult to exploit the magnification.... Oh yeah! I can see that big fat brush smear that I could not tell how far the brush was from the mini.... grrr...

So I began memorizing distance from preset hand positions... this helped but has obvious time and flexibility limitations....



My wife scheduled me for a routine eye exam and, when I arrived I mentioned my hobby/passion for miniature painting and described my difficulties.... at first we discussed options like loupes and professional grade jewelers/dental headset magnifiers... then the doc asked me at what distance did I work... and tried some lenses.... and ended up writing me a prescription for painting glasses....


These are totally awesome and, since they are adjusted to each individual eye I got my depth perception back! ... turns out my constellation of lenses was attempting, unsuccessfully, to account for different levels of acuity in each eye.... hence the arm mounted magnifier i was using to fine tune on details.

 As a bonus... if I do need to go a more intense magnification route I can work the prescription into the frame and retain me depth perception....

If you are having trouble seeing... measure your working distance and tell the doc what you are trying to accomplish

It just never occurred to me to ask about task specific glasses as opposed to the general purpose prescription you will get if you don"t talk about what you want to achieve.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Mistress Slithiss - Lust Elf Excruciatrix WiP

 Two versions of Lady Slithiss - Excruciatrix from the TGG2 Kickstarter from Raging Heroes.  These were just released for regular sale and are great models for Chaos, Deark Eldar, Dark Elf, Necron, or AdMech.

I thought I'd make these two with the same costume scheme and compare the two models noting especially how different or similar they might be.

I started on the SF version first and immediately lost one of the mechanical hands... grrr!  No worries with a little improvisation the missing hand was converted and assembly continued!

 The model has a lot of spines and fiddly bit that would be difficult to paint in place so I elected to partially assemble and paint the model before finishing the assembly and adding top highlights and other details.
 For the Fantasy Version I took the same approach... minus launching a tiny hand into the ether...

Here are the primed models... the fantasy version in 11 parts and the Sci-Fi version in 6 parts.

The Sci-Fi version had easier access to the joints for painting so I was able to build it a little more prior to painting.

The Fantasy version is a bit tighter in the spines and... I decided at the last moment I wanted to put it on a 25mm square base... all of my 25mm square bases are in transit from Romania... DoH!

Fortunately they are scheduled to arrive tomorrow!... Unfortunately  I'll have to locate them in the huge pile o boxes... but thats a battle for another day!  The fantasy model is temporarily mounted on a 20mm square to help with painting it and I'll fix the base after.

I primed the models with Krylon Paint and Primer camo Tan.  everything seems to be going to plan so far....

I worked the base flesh just a bit with Forest Skin from the Malefic Skin tone set from Vallejo then moved on to the purples.

Base coat was Liquitex Soft Body Acrylic Brilliant Purple followed by a wash coat of Liquitex Deep Violet ink.

The ink covered has a really rich color!  I then went back to the brilliant purple adding a drop of ink to for layer highlights followed by another layer with a drop of CraftSmart White.  A final layer of pure Craft smart white was lightly dry-brushed.

I noticed after the fact that one of the little Pub Crawling Fantasy Mice from Reaper is Ogling the twin Excruciatri...  I can't imagine that ends well for him... poor chap!

The two models share a general pose and a flowing robe with lots of appendages but really are two completely different models!  Often different versions just have a techno gadget replace their main weapon or a different should pad... Raging Heroes went above and beyond to make these two models unique. I don't believe they share any common parts at all! .. and yet the unifying theme keeps them looking related to each other so.. score for RH!

 Some scale comparisons!

The two Slithiss and Shiveryah SF version.

Keep in mind the Fantasy Slithiss is bluetacked to that square base which is adding some height to the model.... It'll finish a little taller than the SF vesion but not as tall as it currently appears!

The twins and Canoness Veridyan from GW.

Now to prepare the house for the invasion of the boxes!  Its going to be a busy week but I'm hoping to sneak in some time to work on these!

Build it!
Paint it!
Play it!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Shiveryah SF version, Canoness Veridyan, and a SF Werewolf

 Shiveryah glided across the tiny village square her feet floating conveniently above the grime and mud of the slaughter.
Looking intently for a trace of her prize the Sorceress of the Blood Rain almost missed the faint stench of piety... almost too late she was upon the wounded warrior sister.  The shredded armored habit bore the sigils and colors of the Sisters of Eternal Mercy... probably the Order of the Poisoned Cup... the Poisoned Cup specialized in the collection and study of corruption rather than the indiscriminate cleansing of it.  Their presence here piqued Shiveryah's interest... 
the cloak Siveryah wore, the gruesomely aspected Cloak of Innocent Blood, was not only a prized relic of her house but a potent artifact in it own right.  It quickly enveloped her in a light bending shroud... she was invisible to all but the most arcane of sensors... most magic obfuscation are weak to strong Faith wielders but this one was specifically constructed with only the most incorruptible materials making it impervious to Faith based sight.  Its materials were uncomfortable for Shiveryah to wear but her tolerance for discomfort was... notable, even among the Void Elves of her Kabal who were famed for their excess.

Withdrawing a short distance she located both the embattled Sister's adversary and the target of her own mission.  Things were about to get interesting.

 Hopping back on the Raging Heroes train I managed to spend some time with they awesome Shiveryah SF version.  She becomes the First Sorceress of the Blood Rain Kabal.

I had a moment of panic when undercoating her I mistaken used a gloss finish paint/primer combo.  Surprisingly this covered really well and took paint with no trouble... whew!

Her "Cloak of Innocent Blood" came about because I painted the first coat.. to two?... with "Glistening Blood" from Army Painter which I had picked up with a batch of basic colors to get me through until the main hobby supplies arrive... It turns out to be sort of a technical, or effect, paint and had some interesting color and texture things going on.  It looks like it will be awesome for pools and rivulets of blood but isn't a good choice for smooth coverage of large ares because of its, completely intentional, texture.

 Next up is "The Beast" from Anvil Industries.  Its a nice Sci-Fi werewolf.  I like all the tech gizmos embedded in it and am going to call it Subject #7.

It is a lot smaller than the Raging Heroes werewolves, as are most other werewolf models out there, so I'm thinking of using it as a prototype experimental "Super Soldier"... escaped and looking for a place to be.

It was a fun model to paint, relatively clean casting and the resin is a nice mix that has sharp detail, is not overly brittle, and takes paint easily.

 Canoness Veridyan is a classic GW pose based on the art of Blanche... She's in finecast here and it behaved the way it usually does.

I really got to play around with a new water effect here, and on The Beast.  Vallejo Super Heavy Gel.  The stuff is pretty awesome so far.  almost sculpt-able it gave good running water effects on both these bases.  On Veridyan's base i have included a lot of random debris, grass clippings etc... all painted like necroplis debris and buried in the gel.  it has a choppy surface and has dried realtively hard and without the sticky surface that is an issue with some other water effects... like the GW Water Effect.  It'll take a few more experiments to see how reliable it is but I'm optimistic.

A size comparison between the Raging Heroes and Games Workshop models.

Veridyan comes with a 32mm base while Shiveryah is set on a 25mm base but I think the larger base is intended to indicate that Veridyan is equipped with Power Armour while Shiveryah is a lightly armored Space Elf.  Shiveryah is also floating above the base so seems a bit taller than Veridyan.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Undertown Dumpsters and Mortarion

Arriving hot on the heels of the Fast Panda Sci-Fi Food Truck is "Undertown".  I couldn't wait to hop into Undertown!  Where "Forward Base" was was about getting established on raw frontier worlds Undertown is a seedy city zone filled with lots of Sci-Fi icons.  You can still see the legacy prefab architecture that clearly identify it as an evolution of Forward Base. The working outpost becomes the center of a town... that prospers and then gets sidelined as the new elites prefer to build their residences and service areas in more desirable, and exclusive, areas.

The easiest place to start was in the scatter.  The first bits to attract my attention in the scatter pack were these basic dumpsters.  Completely at home in any modern or futuristic environment they are a great addition to any urban tabletop.

Atenociti's Workshop did their usual amazing job with the details, quality casting, and a great resin mix that takes paint readily.

They learned a lot about Kickstarters from their Forward Base project and this one was less ambitious in scope and options, which resulted in  an easier delivery all round,  and greatly improved packaging helps keep the project comprehensible which I find to be a HUGE win!
 Back to the dumpsters!  There are 4 in the 4x4 scatter set and I elected to do to each as "Regular Trash" and "Recycling" the yellow lids are the recycling bins and I'll be adding recycling logos and a white stencil style company tag... probably something like CWM for Central Waste Management. I'll have to add them to the list of corporate sponsors for my Serene Dawn proving teams.
 The graffiti was fun to putter about with and I learned a few things about doing graffiti to boot! Hopefully this will improve the quality of the graffiti going forward!  I'll use a mix of decals from various sources and and freehand tags.

You can see here a nod to my friend Che Webster whose complex race of rat men are known as the Bruxx.  I've added them to the theme of Undertown with the creation of the FBN "Free Bruxx Network" which will double as an underground railroad type organization dedicated to the rescue and resettling of Bruxx, who are technically corporate property, and the underground Comm Station whose mission is to raise awareness of the plight of the Bruxx and work towards legal and political freedoms for this created race.

 The next bits from the 4x4 scatter pack are some pallets of various goods.  Its a nice touch that there are two version of two pallets... covered and uncovered. They are shown here with the dumpsters and the stubbornly unfinished Canonness Veridyan for scale.

Finally a guest painter! Wolfheart from the new Wolfheart Painting cranked out this awesome Mortarion! He's just getting set up but I expect to see more cool stuff from him soon!

I especially like the base and shudder tho think how much Nurgle's Rot was poured on it to get that "Infected Snot" effect!  The many skulls used to contain the vile goo should attract any minions of Khorne that are hardy enough to brave the contagion!

The brassy metals are also delightfully tarnished and the wing texture reminds me of a wet lung!  ewwwww! ... and I mean that in the most complementary way!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Fast Panda Sci-Fi Food Truck ready to serve!

 I've finally rolled out the Fast Panda Sci-Fi Food Truck.  Its an Atenociti"s Workshop Kickstarter project and was worked up from a paper model.

Although its "Designed for Infinity" I've included GW's Canoness Veridyan (WiP) for scale... and its primary intended use is as part of the vehicle train for my force of Jailbirds from Raging Heroes...

 The model can be assembled with, or without, the covered dining area... which I've just noticed I left a bit off !! DoH! ... but the model is intended to be one or the other and not to swap between awning and awning free...

I've made some adjustments and the model is convertible enough for my purposes!

 I love the great decals that come with the kit... this has always been one of Atenociti's Workshops long suites.  The Fast Panda  set does not disappoint!

The more mainstream Sci-Fi styling is a departure from the Grim Dark of most of my collection but I picture the Jailbirds are more like Battlestar Galactica nomads than Underhive Gangers so their vehicle set reflects that.

As the vehicle has no weapons... I'll mostly use it as a scenic objective and, of course, to tie my themes together... The Lulus have food, now they need some kind of rolling Schoolhouse and a Barracks vehicle...

I saw an amazing vehicle at the Mercedes Museum in Stuttgart.  It was a Rolling Post Office and also provided telephone service via built in booths... I wonder if I can find a model of that thing or if I'm going to have to scratch build it....
I learned a lot from this kit.  I did the test fits a few weeks before final assembly and would have benefited from a refresher dry run. I ended up disassembling large potions of the model twice... real rookie errors... and actually could stand one more parts swap.

 I  got to work with a lot of the new weathering set from Secret Weapon and also a few technical paints from Army Painters Warpaints Line.

I was very impressed with the rust effects a and the "heat" line.

The "heat colors" are kind of like a more viscous, more adhesive, wash in blue, purple, and orange.. as well as a color called old oil which is not "heat" tagged but has a similar consistency.

Secret Weapon rusts had good color while the Army Painter "Old Rust" had some texture to it.  I did a base of Old Rust (AP), a shade of Orange Rust (SW), and a glaze of Flesh Wash (SW). There is also a spot of Brown Rust (SW) here and there in the larger patches.

The Secret Weapon Tire Black, Rubber, and Rubber highlight were also very nice to use and gave a convincing effect.

  Its paper model heritage is apparent in several unexpected ways.  Mostly in that it has a lot of interdependent structures that must be painted, largely un-assembled, and then assembled simultaneously. The main fuselage requires four parts to be aligned and glued in the final step.

Canoness Veridyan has located the drink dispenser! Will she choose Zolt!, Code RED, or ZAP! ZAP!?

Friday, August 25, 2017

WiPs in my temp paint space!

 The new temp paint space... the computer nook in the kitchen!
yeah... not long term but, with the actual studio supplies not arriving until mid October... this gets me started!

 Speaking of getting started... I've been working on background narratives for my Raging Heroes Jailbirds for quite a while.  One of the things I wanted to accomplish was defining their rebel faction as a nomadic, survival of the tribe, society.  Because of this focus I've been wanting to include some non-military vehicles to give them the feel of a caravan on the tabletop.

I've finally got a start on this with the arrival of the Fast Panda sci-fi food truck from Atenociti's Workshop!  This is a "Made for Infinity" model so has a very cool "Mass Effect" styling about it.

For my purposes I'll want to produce one that is a little worse for the wear as it feeds the Jailbirds, who are constantly on the move to avoid capture by their House Kurganova tormentors.

 I'm starting with a black primer.  The resin from Atenocitis takes paint very well and the model was pretty clean... requiring little clean up!  Score for Jed and Nadine!

With my paints still in transit from Transylvania I took the opportunity to try the new line of weathering paint from Secret Weapon Miniatures and indulged in a couple of Vallejo skin tone sets (Fairy Flesh Set and Malefic Flesh Set).

 I started the work up of white using the Secret Weapon Handle Wood and Weathered Wood and will finish it off with top highlights using CraftSmart white.

The purple trim comes from the Malefic Skin tone set and got highlighted by mixing in some Purple Heat from the Secret Weapon line.  The various "Heat" mixes appear to be slightly viscous, high pigment density, stains.  I've always been a fan of stains so they should be fun!

  Here I've used them to modify another paint so they are performing more like thin paint with better than average covering qualities.

There is also an excellent triad in the set: Tire Black, Rubber, and Rubber Highlight. These are giving really good effects on the rubber boots and seat cushions.  I see a using these quite a lot in future.
I visited one of the FLGSs in Anchorage and picked up a Reaper Mousling Tavern set.  Its all metal, which I was quite happy with in this case, and was missing a model.  A quick e-mail to the Reaper Help desk saw the errant model arriving just a couple of days later.  Those guys at the Helpdesk are great!

 Some before and after wash shots. I'm thinking about doing some tiny Tartan patterns on these to add some cheery color.

I've been getting more interested in filling out my RPG focused collections and these will be pretty cool for that.

Next up on deck a pair of the new style of cottage from Tabletop World.
I just got an enormous shipment from them and the packing job was amazing!  The boxes arrived in a pretty beat up condition but there appears to have been zero damage as a result... those guys really know how to pack!  I'll put up a post about that a bit later.

Finally... a BIG pile of Raging Heroes from the TGG2 Kickstarter is busy getting sorted and labelled... and one of the Girls is even on the desk for painting!  Zoom Zoom!  You'll see her soon!