Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Orc Brave Part 3

I've begun constructing the base.  Before I ever started this figure, I began brainstorming what sort of scene he'd be in.  He's got a somewhat different pose for an orc.  In his right had is an ax, but it's down to his side and relaxed, not ready to strike.  His left arm up with a finger outstretched.  Perhaps he's pointing at something or making a challenge.  I decided to go a different route and have him reaching out to gently touch something.  The kit came with a couple scenic accessories (though no true base).  One of those pieces was a small section of tree with a lizard on it.  So I decided to build up a larger tree and have the orc reaching out towards the lizard.  I've only just begun constructing the scene.  I began with some cork for the ground and then twisted together wires to form the body of the tree.  I then pulled them apart at the top for some branches and at the bottom for some roots.  I got it all into position and then glued on the part of the tree with the lizard.  Up next I will take some modeling putty and build the rest of the tree on top of the wire frame.  I'm not much of a sculptor, but hopefully that will be within my ability level!




Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Orc Brave Part 2

Well, to make up for the slow posts, here's a second update for the orc right on the heels of the first.

Last night I decided to work on the legs.  Here's a look at how they progressed.  I began with a normal base coat.  Then I sketched in the shadows.  And finally I smoothed those out and applied the highlights.  These three photographs where taken under the same lighting conditions, so by comparing the top and bottom image you can get a good sense of how much of the shadows/highlights are painted on and what just comes from the lighting conditions.

Here's a close up of his right leg.  Notice how the biggest range from shadow to highlight is used on the major shapes.  Then, a somewhat smaller contrast range is used to bring out the finer details.

I still want to do a bit more blending around the knee (fade the purple into the green more around the edges) and the toes and white parts of the legs are unfinished.  Once that is done I'm going to go back over the skin and adjust some of the lighting and color.  I want the highlights and shadows to match of the whole figure (some parts need a bit of tweaking).  I will also use some glazes to adjust some of the skin color so the different sections match (my mixes weren't exact).  



Monday, May 15, 2017

Orc Brave Part 1

I've been a bit behind in sharing my latest project here.  Back at the end of last year I was approached by Ouroborus Miniatures to help out with their kickstarter.  They were running a small one to release two 54mm scale orc figures.  They wanted me to paint one of the two figures, the Brave, and write up a painting journal as a stretch goal for their backers.  I like the figures and it sounded like a fun project, so I agreed.  The figures from the kickstarter arrived the other month, so once I was done with my work for the MFCA show I got started on the orc.

The painting journal I'm writing is an exclusive for the kickstarter backers, so I can't share everything on this project.  I can still show you work in progress pictures and fill you in on what I'm doing. But if you're a kickstarter backer, you can look forward to more step by step pictures and a much more detailed discussion of the painting.

In addition to writing the journal, I'm also planning to enter this figure into the 'Eavier Metal 'Eadbanger competition (no reason I can't do both!).  I didn't have time to paint anything for it last year, so nice to have an eligible project this time around.

Okay, on to the orc.  My only other recent orc project has been Redghar (which is still unfinished).  I wanted to use some of the things I learned on that project and stick with a similar style, but switch up the color palette to a more traditional orc look.  I decided on a green more towards the blue-green end of the spectrum.  For the deepest shadows I used Peacock Green mixed 50/50 with Ritterlich Blue.  From there I went to Peacock Green mixed 50/50 with Marine Teal.  Then Meadow Green 50/50 with Surf Aqua.  And finally I added some ghost white to highlight.  The result is, in my opinion, an interesting shade of green.  Here's a look at an earlier stage on the orc next to Redghar.  It's a large resolution image, so you can click on it for a close up view.

Here's a look at my palette with the green mix.  It's goes from the Peacock/Ritterlich mix on the far left up to Meadow Green/Surf Aqua with some Ghost White on the far right.  There are a few spots on the orc where I went all the way up to pure ghost white too.

Over the past weekend I've continued to work on the orc.  Since the earlier image where just the head, neck, and right arm/hand were painting, I've done the back and right arm.  Most recently I've taken on the chest.  Since there's a lot of skin showing, it seems like an overkill of green.  So I decided to paint him in a two-tone look, with white on his belly, under his arms and chin, etc.





I still have some work to do on the skin (besides the legs).  I want to add some additional color to the hands and paint the scars on his back/face.  I also want to tweak some of the highlights and adjust the green shades here and there.  But, he's moving along quite well.  Not too much longer and I'll be ready to start on his clothing and weapons.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Empress' Dragoons Officer Part 7

And the piece is finally finished!

Since my last post, I worked to finish off the column.  I focused on the front side first before turning to the back.


 The rear was done just like the front, working on 4 or 5 stones at a time.  It was a relief to finally be done with all of them!!!  After that I laid down some basic dirt brown shades for the ground.  I tried to keep it light.  I wanted it to look like dry earth, not dark mud.

I also took care of the sign on the front of the column.  I applied a few subtle shades of dark grey to the gate to give it a little variation (though nothing major).  Then I added a bit of grass and some dead leaves to break up the ground work.  A few pigments here and there on the ground and base of the column, and the scene was complete!

The final step was the add the sword and scabbard for the dragoon.  The scabbard was painted in black, like the boots, and metallics for the fittings.  The cloth bit wrapped around the handle was done just like the yellow-gold details on the uniform.

Here's how the final result looked.  All in all, a fun project and one I'm happy with.






Tuesday, April 11, 2017

SCAHMS Show 2017

This past weekend was the SCAHMS (Southern California Area Historical Miniature Society) show.  It's an annual event in Los Angeles put on by our local figure modeling group.  I hope to write up a report on the show, but in the meantime here are a number of pictures I took at the show...

  

Yup, my stuff was there too.  The only piece I had in the competition was the Dragoon (on the left). But I gave a presentation in the morning on painting historical figures in acrylic, so I brought along the other figures for the talk.  Once I was done, I included them in my display, though they were for display only and not judged as part of the show.  The figures are a bit underexposed against that white background, so not the best picture.  But since I already have nice close ups of each, I didn't spend much time trying to get nice shots of my own work at the show.
 

During the award ceremony I was surprised and honored to be given this year SCAHMS Masters Award.  This is something they present to one person each year recognizing your body of work, not just your entries at this years show.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Empress' Dragoons Officer Part 6

The base is coming along brick by brick.  Makes me wish I'd picked a simpler setting for him but too late now!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Empress' Dragoons Officer Part 5

I finally had the time to sit back down and finish off the Dragoon's left boot.  Here's a quick close up of the finished boots next to the sketched in ones.  In case you missed my last post, the tutorial on how I did them has been posted here.


That means the figure is essentially finished.  The only thing to add to him is the sword (which he'll be holding in his left had).  The bottom of the scabbard will be resting on the ground while the handle will be in his hand, so I wanted to wait until he was ready to go on the base before I permanently attached it.  That will actually be a bit tricky.  I've got to get the attachment right at both ends.  Then there are the straps which will go around his leg and attach where they disappear beneath his coat.  I'll have to bend and adjust these so they look right.  If I'm not careful, it'll be easy to scratch up the existing paint job on the figure.  It's all stuff I should be able to handle, but it will need to be done with some care.

In the meantime, I need to paint that base.  I started on that the other day.  I gave the gate a dark base coat (it will be wrought iron) and then applied several different shades of grey as base coats for the stones in the column.  I plan to make this using light grey/white stones, but I want to have some variation in there.  Right now it's a bit extreme, but as I continue to paint and highlight each one, I think the end result will look subtler.  So far I've just painted a few, but I need to keep moving along if I want to get this done in time for the SCAHMS show!


Monday, March 6, 2017

New Tutorials

I've got several new tutorials up on FigureMentors.  Here's a list in case you're interested in checking them out:

Painting a Shiny Black (with Matte Paints)
The most recent work looking at how I did the black sections on the Dragoon and the hair on the Fallen Angel

Step by Step Painting of a 54mm Saxon Warrior
This is an older project, but I only recently got around to writing it up.

Knight of the Holy Sepulchre
A summary of my work on this.  Not a true step by step, but still an in-depth look at the project.

A Reference on Crusading Knights
Not a true tutorial, but a good summary reference for anyone interested in painting crusaders.

Empress' Dragoons Officer Part 4

Taking advantage of the painting time and getting as much done on the Dragoon as I can.  I cleaned up the gold lace/cord and did the rest of the cords and epaulets.  This was done with Burgundy Wine, Muddy Brown, Palomino Gold, Buckskin Pale, Linen White, and Pure White.  I then took care of some small details (the last of the horse hair on the top of his helmet and the medal on his chest) and then I turned my attention to the boots.  Like the horse hair, I wanted a shiny black look for the boots.  I'm putting together a detailed tutorial which will be posted over on FigureMentors (though I'll share the announcement/link here as soon as it's up).  In the meantime, here's a quick look at how I painted them.  As you'll notice, I only completed one of the two boots.  The blending is a time consuming process, so I find it easier to just focus on one at a time.  I'll hopefully take care of the other boot later this week.

First, I began with a sketch of where I want the highlights

Then I start the slowly blend them back down into the black.  I start with the lightest shades and gradually get darker and darker.  Here's a look at that partially done.  The image on the right has been blended from Vampiric Shadow (an off white) to Dark Elf Highlight and then to Dark Elf Skin.

From there the blending continues, going from Dark Elf Skin to Dark Elf Shadow.  A little Pure Black was used in some shadows, but most of what appears to be black is just the Dark Elf Shadow.

Finally, I went back in with some Vampiric Highlight and then Pure White to add some extra pop to the reflection points.  You can see the comparison below between the previous blend (on the left) and the one with the brighter reflections on the right.  I also made a few tweaks so some of the blends (like on the top of the foot) while I was at it.

I've written up a much more thorough discussion of how I did these and how I approach shiny black in general.  I hope to get it posted in the next few days, so check back for an update with the link!

Now that you've seen the boots, here's the rest of him.  Just a little more to do on him and then it will be time to tackle that base.