Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Avenging Angels and Apps

This has taken me a while, but it feels good to get Azrael finally painted and finished. I've had this figure iny collection forever it seems, almost certainly since release, and never got round to painting him. I guess I wanted to do the model justice and was always intimidated by painting such an iconic character. Well he's done now and I'm reasonably happy with the end result, although I stopped once I realised I'd reached endlessly tinkering stage.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Back in Black!

 Wow! and Oh dear. It really has been almost 5 months since I updated here.

I confess. The Gundam figure broke me, following on so closely from my general unhappiness with my Dark Angels. It really was one of those "dark nights of the soul" where I felt like I couldn't face painting another mini and being unhappy with it. I also found myself looking at the Azrael figure I had underway and feeling rather disenchanted with that as well. So I just stopped. Call it a crisis of confidence.

I'm not sure what it was that prompted me to pick up the brush again last Friday and pile headlong into painting Inquisitor Asmodai. Maybe it was all the game's day stuff I'd seen. Maybe it was the new Dark Angels set that GW released. I don't know, but as it was I went at the painting full bore on Friday and Saturday, by which point I'd gotten so far....
Being a little indulgent with the painting helped me somewhat. I used techniques that I hadn't used in ages in favour of time saving approaches that I now realise had become to feel unfulfilling. The black armour was done by painting mid grey, highlighting with light grey and then applying blue wash, brown wash, black wash, over and over (retouching the highlights where necessary) until I had a coverage I was happy with. It is a time consuming technique, but it produces such a rich black with a lot of depth that just painting black doesn't have. It is also, I think, a very easy technique, it just can't be rushed.

The robe at this stage only has the base coat, mid coat and washes on it, but I'd already started wet-blending the mid and base tones everywhere I could. I really enjoyed this, working fast and loose while the paint was wet, got a smoothness of transition I'd been missing from the other highlighting techniques I'd been using.

I knew what I was going to do with the sword, so that was no worry. The banner was a problem, being already fixed in place and partially obscured by the Crozus, painting that was going to be a challenge.

And in the very short end, this is where I got to.
This pic shows slightly more clearly the transitions on the robe than the first one, largely because I fiddled around more carefully with my lighting. My only gripe with the figure is that the particle effect round the eyes didn't work as well as I'd have liked, but I'm happy enough with it.
I'm quite pleased with how the sword came out and I used the same technique I applied for Kaldor Drogo all those months ago. Progressive washes at either end blending into each other, while periodically dry-brushing a light off-white shade (Reaper Ghost White for preference), to give a little particle effect and to help with the shading. The lighting is freehand, with a couple of washes over it so it blends into the colours.
Obligatory side shot. Worth mentioning here that the technique I used for the gold on the armour and sword, was a base of Formula P3 Cryx Bane Base (a rather nice off black) and then Formula P3 Blighted Gold, followed by a quick mithril highlight and a devlan mud wash. The P3 Blighted Gold was recommended by Ron in one of his Deathwing posts earlier this year and I have to say, it is definitely the best gold I've worked with for getting the slightly moody effect I like on my DA and DW. Sally forth and buy yourself a pot today.
The banner. Now there banner was where I thought I was going to "break" myself again and give up in despair, but I tried to keep it simple. So I freehanded on the red stripe and the scroll for his name. The skull, which neatly matches his helmet, was a transfer that I painted over. Simple, but I'm really happy with how this came out overall.
Final shot of the rear. The robe was done with the trusty Reaper bone triad, wet blending as I went and then doing a final dry brush highlight with Reaper Leather White. This shot also shows what I think is a real depth of colour in the black of the backpack. There is a slight blue tinge, which I rather like and the highlighting round the edges is very fine and nicely diffuse into the black.

And there you have it. My first mini in five months and one I am quite pleased with. Certainly this has given me sufficent fuel for my fire to press ahead with finishing Azrael and he'll be up next.

Until then, I'm back. Back in Black.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Gundam - Unconcluded Conclusion

Here is is, in all its splendour and glory. And by that, I mean its assmebled, but far from finished paint job, glory. This picture actually shows the Gundam 00 combined with the Raiser fighter craft, with a variety of weapons attached.The Raiser by itself is a nice enough looking piece of kit and you can see it fully assembled in the picture below.

Why am I stopping here?

1) I'm actually a few LEDs short for completion. There are two more that fit into the attachments attached to the shoulder pods and until I've got those, I can't show the figure in all its glowing glory. I've got these on order.

2) I really need a bandai action stand to display and pose it properly. I've got one on order.

3) Until I've got the above items, I'm really not feeling the urge to press on with tidying up the paint job which is going to be far more fiddly than I'd previously anticipated.

4) I am actually kind of hacked off with it at the moment and that is usually a good sign to walk away, take a breather and revisit it when my mind is in a better place. What that means is that I'll occasionally update this post with new pictures and what not, but I'm not going to do any further posts. Instead I'll be going back to 40k stuff. There is also a valuable lesson connected to this in that I've focused on the Gundam kit to the exclusion of everything else, which isn't an approach I've taken in the past. Previously, if I've gotten bored and frustrated with a piece, I've stopped and done something else. I didn't do that with the Gundam kit and I think I've sufferred for it.

5) Although it is a wonderfully detailed kit and very poseable (with the bandai action stand) it is very fiddly at the end. Swapping configurations, attaching and removing weapons, is a surprisingly time consuming process and some of it is not as slick as I would like. There is a real risk of "bit loseage" if you know what I mean. So until I have all the parts to finish the piece once and for all, I'll mitigate against "bit loseage" by employing a "non fiddlage" policy.

It'll be a while before I update this entry again, but rest assured it will happen and will make it known in my other updates.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Gundam WiP - Body of Interest

Oh the humanity! Will the terrible puns never cease? Nope, not a chance. Heh!

When we last met I was in the process of building the legs of the Gundam 00. I'd finished one leg and was starting on the next. Well I've finished both legs now and the waist unit, combined them all together and the end result is................
Tada! More giant robot imagery after the cut.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Gundam WiP - Oh a leg! You're looking for a leg! I think there might be one back here.....

Sorry, this seemed like a good moment for a Monty Python gag. Actual Gundam assembly pictures after the cut.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Of Paints, Blogrolls and Terminators.

I've had a rough 48hrs with work, so bare with me as some of what follows descends into a rant. Only some of it mind, because not everything under the sun is bad.

1. New Citadel Paint Range.
I know these have been talked about to death across the blogsphere, so I'll keep this brief. I'm not amused. I don't mind a new range of paints. I don't mind a new formula. I don't mind that the names have changed. But I DO MIND THESE AWFUL PLASTIC POTS! They really are the most hateful little containers.

Now, I'm not short of paints by any stretch of the imagination, so I'm hardly going to fall over myself to buy this new range in the first place. Aside from the washes (where they annoying pots are less of an issue) and the glazes (because I'm curious), the plastic pots really do put me off trying the rest of this range.

Seriously Citadel, all it would take is a better storage medium for the paints and I'd be buying these. Hell, I'd probably by the full range with the carry case. As it stands, I'll stick with the far more sensible sotrage of my Reaper and Vajello droppers and the far more sophisticated pots of P3 and Cote D'Arms.

2. New Forgeworld Terminators
I love Forgeworld's stuff, I really do and their order logs + my bank balance should be a testament for this. But I really don't like these new Tartaros (Tartar Sauce?) Terminators. I've looked and looked at these, trying to find that little glimmer of love in my heart and it just isn't there. I can see what FW have tried to do with making thise consistent with the MKIV armour, but the end result doesn't work me. I like the styling of the MKIV armour and it does look "advanced" as that particular Mk is supposed to do, but it just doesn't carry over to these Terminator kits.

The things which bother me most are the shoulder pads. They're just not big enough. I think if they extended into a proper half hemisphere like the standard Terminator armour does, I'd be a but more enthused. 

Also, I'm a bit fan of the aggressive "look" of the standard Terminator armour, especially the current plastic range from Citadel. For the first time I'm feeling a bit "disappoint" with something from FW.

3. From the Warp Blogrolls

You may have spotted that I've removed the FTW blogroll widget from this page. As you may know (and if you're on the blogrolls you should), Ron has done an overhaul of the blogrolls and is starting afresh. One of the policies of the new rolls is that the blogs must be 40k focused, accepting that occasionally people will have non-40k side projects.

Right now, I'm in the middle of making a Gundam kit, which is evidently not 40k. As a civil servant, I'm a big fan of being consistent on a policy position, especially when starting out a new system. So for the time being, I won't be part of the blog rolls. This is Ron's decision (obviously), but I fully agree with him on this, because it would look very odd for him to say "blogs that focus on 40k" and then on the new blog rolls have "random Gundam stuff." It just wouldn't look right and if I were Ron, I'd make the same decision.

Once I'm back to painting 40k stuff and have a few weeks worth of material on this page, this may change. I hope. :-)

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Gundam WiP - Points of Interest

So this is where I am at present, after a few hours work this evening, I've assembled the shoulder housing and finished both arms. Assembly is proving to be slow going, partly because everything needs to be repainted to a varying degree once it comes off the sprues. If I ever do a Gundam again (which won't be any time soon), I'll be taking a radically simplified approach to the painting so the "tidying up" stage for each piece is a lot quicker.

Plus I've had a bit of a disaster with the electrics at home which meant my painting space was unusable for a few days. All fixed now though. 

I'm going to briefly talk about something we normally don't have to worry about painting Warhammer miniatures, articulation. Thanks to Swelter for their comments, which prompted me to think about this. Thoughts after the cut.