Thursday, 19 January 2017

Saint Celestine Underway

Always on the lookout for nice minis, I couldn't resist picking up the Triumvirate of the Imperium box. It helped that I actually have an army of Sororitas (Sisters of Battle) and that I could split the set with an avid Mechanicus fan, so I got Celesrine (plus guards) and the Inquisitor as a cool new project.

Rather than just another project in a long line of many, I'm planning to paint her up for the upcoming competition at Salute. I have some lofty ideas and we'll see how that works out as we go. For the moment, I've been trying to decide on a build. I'm keeping her in a few bits for ease of painting, but at the moment I'm mostly preoccupied by thinking about what to base her on. Given that it's a competition it should be something nice and impressive ... Hmmm, it's a bit of a conundrum....

Painting wise, I'm thinking non-metallic metal style gold for the armour. I've looked at a few tutorials and taken in a lot of info, so I think it'll be possible. Regardless it'll certainly keep me busy for quite some time! (And with any luck will be suitably impressive if I can pull it off).

Monday, 16 January 2017

30,000 Hits - The Shocking Truth Revealed!

OK, so I've finally got to 30,000 hits. It seems as good a time as any to share a guilty blog secret. I have to wonder if anyone has noticed this rather amusing thing themselves, but as I've never had a comment about it I'm not sure.

The question is - What am I using for a backdrop in my photos?

That strange shape? Is it a bird is it a plane ... some kind of high tech starburst effect??

If you rotated your screen, you'll probably have realised it's part of the DVD box from Game of Thrones.

Shocking?! ... or not?

You decide, until then have a good one. Personally I've been really unwell for about a week; damn this January weather.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Resin Anime Figure - Part VI

Almost there now. I finished and attached the second lance, so it's mostly just finishing off the detailing now and adjusting to taste. On the downside, she barely fits in the light box; having become rather wide!

Not too much to say at this point; if you missed the rest of the project, there are plenty of other posts that take her all the way back to bare resin. I'm still experimenting with improving my photography too, which does seem to be working out so far.

Anyway, enjoy the pictures...

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Resin Anime Figure - Part V, Lance 1

Well, despite several New-Year related setbacks, I've been busy again. 

I've painted up one of her lances to look like a piece of marble. This is just a quick post to show the progress I've made in that regard. I'm also trying out some different photography techniques and set-up, which is coming out rather nicely actually. I still have no idea what to do with lights etc, but generally moving them about and taking a ton of pictures tends to yield a few good shots.

I still need to paint the shaft of the lance and the green stuff on her head where I repaired the hair gap as well as patch up a few bits here and there, but the end is in sight!

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Resin Anime Figure Part 4 - Assembly

How's that for an update!

Thankfully, I finally got to the stage where I could start putting her together. I did a bit more airbrush work over the Christmas Holiday - mainly painting up the hair, the base, and the capes/flames. It was a big batch of stuff to do that took a lot of coats of paint in the end. I was a bit undecided whether to start sticking her together, but after a bit of indecision I decided to just go for it - with the thought that either way it was going to be hard to paint up the remaining details. The one part that was a real struggle was the shoulder armour, as I had to paint the whole thing assembled and she is getting rather spindly and difficult to handle at this point. It was pretty funny to work on though as I was painting her at the same time as my brother was working on his Bio Titan (see my Christmas Post for more on that one) and we were both at weird angles trying to paint round corners. It was like a lesson in how to paint unsteadily with bad posture.

I really like the cape/flames thing going on here. It was a lot of individual bits to do, but the effect is quite cool.

Oddly, one of the other things I had difficulty with was the base. Not because of the detail so much as it was that the thing is so smooth and large that the colour had to be applied really evenly as any uneven bits looked absolutely terrible. I tried to varnish the thing at first, but it didn't work and came out really blotchy. I ended up going over it with a few coats of dark grey with the airbrush to even things out again. It seems strange, but it really was unlike painting anything I've ever had the need to do for 40k or any game system.

At the moment, I'm thinking that the Red looks a little too strong, but I think a lot of it will be blocked when I get her weapons on. They'll also be a source of a lot of black and marble colours, so it'll reinforce the look of the whole thing and strengthen up the scheme a bit. Likewise, I was a bit unsure of what colour to do her hair when I started working on it, but after about a dozen coats of various browns, I settled on something that had a bit of red to it as well as some lighter tones. I didn't want to make it too stark and risk overshadowing the whole piece.

The other thing I need to work on is the gap between her two hair sections. At this stage, I think the best thing to do will probably be to fill it and then paint it in by hand. I have no idea how I'll get a colour match though! I think it'll be a job for a lot of layers of thin paint to get a smooth blend, although maybe I'll be able to sculpt some detail into the gap that'll help it mesh. I guess we'll see. I also need to finish painting the horns.

Well, that about sums up the progress for the minute. I'm happy so far, but this is turning into a real project and there's still a long way to go till the finish line. I reckon one or two more posts to go till the end (like maybe one per lance, and a final roundup). It's a strange thing though - I feel like I'm looking at someone else's hobby from the outside and it can be surprising what a steep learning curve it causes. Then again, that was kind of the point at the outset; so I'm calling it mission accomplished so far.

Friday, 30 December 2016

Space Adventure Bravo - Chapter 1, Wormhole Patrol

Captain Bravo spun in his command chair; suddenly staring directly into the eyes of the vicious Berkosoreian commander that was being projected an imposing 8 feet high across the holo-viewer screen. His steely gaze was unwavering as he gave the same order he always gave when confronted by something new and unexpected.
"Fire all guns."
His command came as a surprise to the unfortunate alien overlord almost as much as it was a surprise to Bravo's own command crew. In truth the Berkosorians were large in stature, but a benign bovine race of intelligent arthropods that feasted only on plankton and whose flatulence was well known in some parts of the galaxy to actually reverse global warming. Bravo cared not for such details as the first Quantum Beamer Fusillades cycled up to full power and delivered a thundering cannonade across the innocent merchant vessel's port side.
"Initiate attack pattern Omega." Bravo's stoic voice reverberated across the bridge through the tactical earpieces of the command crew. A warning claxon began to blare; the flashing red lights illuminating his chiselled jawline as he frowned broodingly into a flickering tactical display.
"Captain! Their vessel has no armaments; they're already in retreat". The dissenting voice belonged to a young junior officer, whose tear filled eyes reflected the flashing holo-screen as the Freedom spiralled past the lumbering alien vessel in a nauseating display of interstellar prowess. She was standing before the command chair; holding on of dear life as the gravetic stabilisers struggled to keep up with a vessel that was already at the brink of tearing itself apart.
Bravo's only reaction was to pull back on the accelerator lever hard; initiating a further boost in speed up to Light 15. The ship seemed to rock unsteadily and in some before unknown quantum conundrum, the front end raised into the air; beginning some type of space-wheelie and soaring right past the bemused alien vessel. More than a tactical manoeuvre, the action was designed to dislodge the dissenting crewmember from her perch. She tumbled head-over heels straight to the back of the compartment and into the elevator that pinged and closed its doors; whisking her away from the bridge.
"I just did you a favour; that was yellow-bellied mutiny!" Bravo remarked to no one in particular, whilst making a mental note to shorten the female crewmember's skirts another few inches to improve on the view that he had been expecting to get. "You can always improve perfection..." he mused, whilst also considering the same uniform change for male officers; he liked airflow.
"Captain, the Berkosorian ship is making a run for the neutral zone." The helmsman stopped mid sentence, suddenly reading fresh information that was clattering out of the quantum recorder at an alarming pace "No wait, there's a space-time anomaly forming ahead of them; it's a wormhole sir!".
Captain Bravo brought the Freedom around; slowing its speed to Light 4 and turning back towards their would be adversaries.
"Go after them, they'll not escape the justice of the Zordian Alliance so easily!". Bravo left his command chair behind and swaggered across the deck to the helmsman. They stared in wonder as the holo-screen lit up with swirling energy as a shimmering Wormhole formed directly ahead. Bravo merely pointed at the centre of the anomaly and gave a single ill-conceived order that would determine the fate of the hundreds of men and women under his command.
"Penetrate that hole."
He turned; pausing to give a joking wink and the entire bridge erupted in raucous laughter as the Freedom accelerated towards its target.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Resin Anime Figure Part 3 - Painting Marble and Verdigris

Well, it was a bit of a slog, but I've just finished the first pieces - namely the torso legs and head. One of the reasons I took this project on was to give my painting muscles a bit of a stretch, and I'd say they're now suitably sore!

The good news is that so far everything seems to have gone really well. One technique that you don't usually see used on Warhammer, but that I've used a lot on this model is Stippling. Essentially it is just jabbing your brush at the mini (but with finesse) to build up a series of circular marks. It builds great texture and is good for weathering.

On this piece, I used a bit of light stippling on the marble as a first coat to build up a bit of colour difference and make it look more natural; before painstakingly adding the veins by hand with a series of glazes. I also stippled on some of the verdigris to get that blotchy aged look.

As if that wasn't enough for that technique, I used a real messy stippling of different Browns to build some interest into the belt.

Everything else was painted with an airbrush and brush technique.

The verdigris was surprisingly easy. I painted the brass with Brass Scorpion (one of the best paints ever hands down). I then gave it a wash with Rhinox Hide, before washing a mix of Vallejo Blue Green, Olive Green and White over the appropriate areas. Once that was dry, I added more white to the mix and started washing some into the recesses again and stippling small dots to get a corroded finish. I did one more coat, just adding little dots and finally a wash of Caliban Green into the deepest recesses to get the tone back where I wanted it. It sounds like a lot of steps, but it was all washes and stippling, so the basecoat was by far the most difficult bit (although it took some artistic eye type stuff to pull it off).

I also did the back. It's a shame her hair will be covering a lot of this. The cool thing about this shot is that you can see the highlights I did with the airbrush on the back of her elbows.

I also finished her legs with the same verdigris. Next up is her hair and base and then I can finally glue what I have together - I just hope she'll be worth the effort.