Tuesday, January 30, 2018

28mm White Speaker Part 1

About 5 years ago I painted the 54mm version of the White Speaker (which is up in the gallery here), but recently I was approached to paint the 28mm one.  I don't normally work on 28mm scale (at least not anymore), but I figured I'd take on the project nonetheless.  It's good to step out of your comfort zone from time to time and, after 5 years of progress, I'm interested to see how the 28mm version will compare back to my 54mm version.

The White Speaker is a bit of a pain to base.  She's got one leg raised up, but much too high to just be stepping on a stair.  So what in the heck do you do with her scene?  Since I was limited to a gaming base for her, I decided to build up a broken stone wall holding back dirt on the other side.  As a bit of an easter egg, I added an arrangement of skulls and a Kingdom Death lantern which mimics the old Kingdom Death logo.  I was also asked to do a bit of OSL, so it takes care of that too. :)

I've completed the first two sessions of painting where I've focused on her skin (minus the hands and feet).  So far I'm happy with the results, though there are a few spots I know I want to fix.  It's a bit of an adjustment... I keep wanting to get the same results I get on 54mm pieces but obviously you have to make some simplifications when you're painting something half that size.

For the colors, my darkest shadows are Chestnut Brown + Rosy Shadow (4:1), then Rosy Shadow + Bronzed Shadow (2:1), Rosy Skin + Bronzed Skin (3:1), and finally Fair Highlight. I like their skin tones, but frequently mix and match rather than just using the sets as they come. In this case I didn't want the darker tones to be quite as pink, so that's why I adjusted the Rosy Skin and Shadow with a bit of the Bronzed Skin set. Since I'll be doing a bit of OSL down near the ground, I wanted to keep the shadows in more areas to help when it comes time to add the secondary light source.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Brushstrokes and Video

Not exactly new work, but I thought I'd post a couple super large images of Redghar.  These are the raw images from the camera (just cropped).  As I was in the earlier stages of my painting journey, there were times when I really wanted to get a closer look at the painted figures I saw online.  But you can only zoom in so much, I had a hard time seeing the details I wanted.  So every so often I like to share the full images from my figures.  The point I want to try and convey at the moment is that there's a place for smooth transitions and there's a place for rough transitions.

There are times when you'll be trying to push the contrast on your figures but, because you are concerned with smooth transitions, you are forced to hold back on that contrast.  While there are places where you really do want smooth transitions (like large surfaces without any rapid changes in shape), there are other places where you should just say 'screw it'.  What you should be concerned with is the overall effect.  And, there are times, when dramatic contrast makes a better effect than subtle contrast with smoother blends.

I feel like Redghar is a figure that has both.  Especially on regions like the face and leather, contrast has been preferred over super smooth transitions.  If you're curious, you can click on any of the images below for the full-sized version and take a closer look at the details of the paint application on the figure.

In addition to that, I've been playing around with my camera.  I hope to start making some video tutorials, though the first attempt did not work so well.  Last night I took a short video (no sound) just showing the figure from various angles.  I always share still images, but perhaps seeing a moving version of the figure is a little closer to actually viewing it in person.  This is also a bit of a test for how the blogger site deals with video. :)

And here's one of the knight too

The videos have also been posted to youtube.  Here's Redghar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VzzOfUfiJ0
And here's the knight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKfW6HW9gAA

Monday, January 22, 2018

Redghar Part 8

I've been wrapping up some of the remaining details on Redghar.  Since last time, I've done some more of the metallics, this time on the chains.  The large chain attached to the anchor came in several parts.  There was a section that goes from behind his back to his left hand.  I'd left this off until now because it would have made getting into the area between his left arm and body even trickier.  But, since those sections are done, no reason to keep it off any longer.  I still have the bit of chain dangling down from his left hand (which I accidentally broke off earlier in the project).  However, I want to wait until the base is built so I can take that into consideration when I place it.  And, while the metals are mostly there, they aren't quite 'done' yet.  I want to go back with the weathering colors and add bits of rust here and there.  I won't go anywhere near the level I did on the anchor... but they need at least a bit of weathering to them.

I've also been working on the knee patch.  I went through a bunch of ideas on what to do.  I even sketched in a different pattern and color, but just didn't like how it looked.  The color was too different from the rest of the figure and it, along with the pattern, proved to be too distracting.  So I switched it up and went with a purple, which is already one the figure here and there.  I also put on a subtle design.  I'm currently deciding if I want to add more to the design or just leave it as is.

On another note, I'm starting to work on some video tutorials.  Showing how I did the pattern on the knee was going to be my first one.  Unfortunately after filming it, the software crashed and the video was lost.  There are clearly some kinks in the process that I need to work out.  I filmed a bunch of short tests, but this was my first long one.  So perhaps it was too big (though it really was not that long).  I can always try breaking it up into smaller parts.  I will be experimenting some and, when I feel like I've gotten it to work, I'll try to do another tutorial.  Hopefully this time I'll actually be able to share it!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Redghar Part 7 and Knight Part 9

I haven't made much progress on any single project in the past week, but I have done a little bit here and there.  I decided to take a crack at painting some dark metal on Redghar for the pistol barrels and the either cannon balls or bombs on his belt.  It basically involved using a lot of matte black mixed into the metal, then more metallic and a bit of a matte highlight color to create the shine points.  The idea is trying to force the dark areas to stay dark and limit the light/reflective spots.
Really not much left to do on him.  I have the feeling the chains on the anchor and around his neck will take me a bit, but the knee patch (once I figure out the color) and the arm band should be quick enough to do.

In addition, I did some glazing on the knight.  Mostly I focused on the face, now that I've gotten the areas around it painted.  I also did some glazing on the armor and the surcoat, but the effects there are very subtle and not easy to pick out from the photo.

And here's a close up comparison of what difference the glazes make.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Pirate Scene Part 1

For a while now I've been planning on placing Redghar and Barbarela into the same scene, along with one of the monkey's from the Black Sailors line.  As I've almost finished painting the two main figures, it was time to get to work on the base.  Obviously it'd be best to start the base when I started the figures but, since that clearly didn't happen, I had to figure out some other ways to plan out the scene.  I knew roughly how I wanted the figures to be positioned together and, after a lot of brainstorming, I decided the scene would be a pier.  It worked with the grouping and their poses.  The rough idea is they just got off their ship and are about to walk into the town and see what sort of trouble they can get into.

In order to design the scene, I placed a piece of paper over a large thick piece of cork.  That allowed me to take the figures and push the pins in their feet through the paper and into the cork, holding them into place where I wanted them.  Then, I could sketch out the scene.  Overall size of the base, shape of the pier, etc.  I also marked down the characters outline for future placement reference.

I got some very helpful advice from Roman Lappat on the composition of the base.  Basically how to arrange the main support posts to create some asymmetry and also some height variation.  While those details aren't in my sketch above, they resulted in some changes made during the construction.

To build the piece I picked up some dowels and basswood strips from the local arts and crafts store.  I decided to go with basswood over balsa wood as it is a bit stronger and would make the base less fragile in the end.  After cutting pieces to the desired length, I went in with a hobby knife to carve them up, chip and distress them, etc.  Basically I wanted no smooth edges or sharp corners.  Slowly, the piece began to take shape.

I placed pins in the major joints as well to provide more stability to the piece.  I left them showing as I figure the pieces would be nailed together, so I can paint them that way when it's done.  At this point, the supporting structure is almost done.  I still need to distress the right front dowel and I'll probably add some other posts next to it (tied on like the ones on the left).

To get an idea of how it will look in the end, I placed on some planks and some of the accessories which will help to finish off the scene.  The planks will be distressed just like the rest of the structure.  But I won't get to those until the supports are done.  Once the planks are glued in place, I'll be able to add the pin holes for the figures and finally see how the scene will look with them in place as well.  Hopefully all the planning pays off!