Thursday, March 29, 2018

Lozza Part 2

I've begun to convert the bike.  Not a ton of progress, but it's starting to take on a new look which makes me happy.  I stretched the front end for a chopper style bike by clipping and replacing sections of the fork. I also took some wire and added the brake line to the front wheel.  Once I attach the front to the rest of the bike, I'll add in some more cables to the engine and rear wheel.  It's a relatively simple model kit, so I feel like adding those details really takes it up a level.

Still debating what to do next.  While the elongated front feels sleek and fast to me, I'm thinking I'll add some armor to the back and beef it up.  Make the rear a little more tank-like.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Lozza Part 1

While I continue to work on Brom, I'm starting to prep a future project, Lozza from Latorre.  He's a 75mm scale fantasy figure, but when I first saw a WIP image of the sculpt on Facebook it made me think of a post-apocalyptic figure, something from the world of Mad Max.  I was still inspired by that interpretation, and I haven't done much of anything in that genre, so I want to still take the figure in that direction.  In general, I think the final version still works, though I plan to do some minor conversion work to the figure.  The first thing I wanted to do was remove two plates hanging from his right side.  I don't know what they're meant to be, what they're supposed to be made out of, or what their purpose is.  All I can say is they look like 'fantasy stuff.'  Even if I were to do this as a fantasy piece, those sections would bother me.  If I can't figure out what they're supposed to be, how am I going to paint them?  So, last night I went to work on the figure with some clippers and a hobby knife to remove them.  I then tried to carve and file the resin to make new surface look like a continuation of the wrapping around his waist.  I also had to put in a continuation of the belt.  I might tweak it a bit more, but overall I think I'm happy with how it turned out.

I could also put a pouch or something hanging from his belt to cover up that section... but I think it turned out well enough that I don't need to do that.

The next bit of converting will be on his head.  There's a strap for a mask which you can see on the top image.  I'm going to leave the strap, but on the front I'm going to create a pair of goggles.  That's all I have planned for the figure at the moment.  Maybe I'll come up with some other stuff I want to add, but for the time being I'm turning my attention to the rest of the scene.

I picked up some stuff along the way.  Since I was thinking Mad Max, I wanted to include a vehicle.  Since he's 75mm, a car would make the scene pretty damn big!  I could do just part of a car (with the rest of the base so not included), but that seemed challenging and possibly unsatisfying (like the viewer might expect to see the whole thing).  So instead I thought what about a motorcycle?  It fits the Mad Max world and is small enough that it won't need a huge scene or dominate the base.  I did some searching and was surprised how hard it was to find a motorcycle in 1:24 scale.  I finally found a simple kit for a dirt bike.  Not the most detailed model, but it'll work.  Plus I plan to do a lot of converting work on it... redo the front to extend the poles and move the wheel farther forward and add all sort of accessories to the back (packs, trophies, gun holster, etc).  Lots of good Mad Max reference images online, so I'll be checking out the vehicles for inspiration.  At the moment I'm looking for some other 75mm bits that could work.  From the Aradia kickstarter I got a pile of skulls and I think they could work well in the scene.  At the moment I have a vague idea of what I want to do, but am still trying to get a clearer picture and nail down the details of the base.  Aside from the figure and the bike, the rest is up in the air.  But that's okay.  I've got time, other figures I'm working on.  This is a project I've wanted to do for a while, so I want to go slow and make sure that the scene will live up to my hopes for the piece.  I just wanted to share this early look at it and give you a peak at what I've got in the works.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Brom Part 4

Working on some weathering at the moment. I decided to try something a little different this time. On the recent metals I've done, I've started with undercoats of different colors (black, purple, brown, and rust).  Then I've stippled on the metals.  The undercoat shows through in spots and creates some subtle effects.  However, in this case I planned on doing a very corroded metal.  So I decided to start with some pre-weathering.  I laid down a dark purple base and then applied rust and veridgris shades. After that was done, I applied the metal through stippling.  I tried to let those undertones show through, especially at cracks or crevices. You can see these first two stages below.

Then I went back over with the rust and verdigris shades and did another round of weathering.  I covered up most of the metal.  I also went to the brightest shades of the rust and verdigris colors I've got (the Secret Weapon Miniatures weathering acrylics).  In the end, was the pre-weathering necessary?  I'm not sure.  I like to think those undertones helped build up an effect, create more a history, blah blah blah.  But hard to say for sure.

Just a little view showing the inside of the left pauldron.  Put a mottled pattern of rust with some metal still showing through here and there.  Mostly this is to show the armor on his back.  One of the difficulties with this sculpt is figuring out what some of the things are supposed to be (or at least what they could possibly be).  The box art only shows the front of the figure, so hard to tell what Latorre did with this section.  It feels a little like the material on his forearms... but not quite.  After chatting with a friend, I'm leaning towards treating it as extremely corroded metal.  There are some rivets down the center and a detail at the top which would fit with a piece of metal.  Plus, it's a piece covering his upper body, so armor/metal makes sense.  It's the best interpretation I've come up with, so unless something else comes to mind, that's what I'll be doing with it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Brom Part 3

Here's a quick mini-update.  I did a tiny bit more work on Brom, focusing on the wooden pauldron.  I used a series of browns (Walnut, Muddy, and Driftwood) and then Khaki Highlight for the final lights.  I have plans for some dull or faded green cloth on the figure, so I imagine I'll be recycling some of those browns and mixing them with the greens.  I'll have to experiment a bit, I've done that with blue and assume it should produce similar results with green.  The other reasoning behind that choice is to create a consistent feel to the piece by reusing colors in different mixes.

I also started on the fur under his left pauldron.  There I'm going from dark brown into grey.  Still a ways to go before the contrast is consistent with the rest of the figure.

Just a quick cell phone shot.  The lighting is a bit harsh, so the figure feels a little washed out (but not too bad).

I also thought I'd share this shot of the work on the base.  In the first post on this figure I mentioned doing a broken bridge.  I took some wood strips and hacked at them with the hobby knife in order to make the planks.  I tied them together with string and wound that around the posts.  For the sections I was happy with, I applied some thin superglue (a variant you can find at hobby stores) which quickly soaks into the string and then hardens, locking it in a specific shape.  Still going to do a bit more with the strings at the posts, so those sections are still moveable.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Brom Part 2

This past weekend I started painting the 54mm scale dwarf from Enigma.  I've been in a bit of a painting rut the last few weeks, but I think this project has broken me out of it.  I had a plan for the scene, but I've been racking my brain on what do with the colors on the dwarf.  He's got a random mix of equipment on him, different, materials, and some sections I'm not even sure what they're supposed to be.  So I didn't have a clear vision of how I wanted paint the figure.  After looking at a variety of other versions (this dwarf and others), I decided to go with a triadic color scheme of orange, green, and purple.  Maybe not the most common scheme, feels a little like the joker depending on how you do it.  But I'd used the same scheme on the samurai.  My though is to bring the orange in through the hair and then rust/weathering.  For the cloth, I'll do a pale green.  And then I can add some purple here and there (in the skin, in some of the armor sections, etc).  With the random hodgepodge of equipment, I felt I needed a clear color scheme or else the piece could end up looking like a mess.

I began with the part that I had the clearest vision on, the face.  Most of it is hidden by the beard, so that ends up being as much a focal point as the face itself.  For the hair, I did a base of Ruddy Leather with Walnut Brown for any sections that needed particularly dark shadows.  I then worked from Ruddy Leather up to Secret Weapon's Orange Rust and then Burnt Orange.  I did the final highlights with Fair Skin Highlight (I like using skin tones to highlight the hair, do the same for brown hair).  I tried to really concentrate the highlights there there'd be more shine.  So I picked essentially a ring around the hair on the top of his head for the highlight placement, with the strongest highlights towards the front.  The shape of the beard is like the side of a circle, so the highlights naturally should be at the top.  Getting lighter towards the face also helps direct the focus up there.

On the cloth around the head, I used some glazes of Carnage Red and Walnut Brown to build up the blood stains.  On both the cloth and the face I deviated from my traditional glaze approach.  Instead of using inks in a cup/well palette, I took regular acrylics and mixed them with matte medium and water directly on my wet palette.  Normally the consistency of glazes make them impossible to use on a regular palette.  But the matte medium makes them more viscous and prevents them from flowing all over the palette, while at the same time making them very transparent.  It also allows me to mix colors more easily for the glazes.  I wanted different shades of red in the blood stain (darker where it was more concentrated, lighter out towards the edges).  It's not how I plan to do all my glazing, but it's something worth playing around with.  From time to time, like here, it comes in handy.

Here's a couple close ups of the face.  Under the eyes, instead of using my regular skin tone and then adding glazes, I went with purple mixed directly into the skin tone.  I want a strong color and to be able to control it, so more purple in the shadows and less in the highlights.  The rest of the face was a traditional skin mix (Chestnut Brown, Rosy Shadow, Fair Skin, Fair Highlight, and Pure White).  Then some glazes of red in the cheeks and on the nose.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Templar Sergeant Part 2 and Video Tutorials!

Over the weekend I began painting the templar and managed to record a series of video tutorials showing how I painted the face.  Doing video tutorials is definitely a learning process.  Nothing fancy here.  No editing, no time jumps, no sped up sections, etc.  Just the entire painting process from start to finish and me trying to explain it all as I go.  I broke the videos up into 6 parts covering specific sections.  All in all, painting the face took me about 2 and 1/2 hours.  But with the explanations and introductions, the total video length is 3 hours.  It's a lot to sit through.  Thankfully you can skip around and just view the parts that are most important to you.

You can find all of the videos (and all of my future ones) here.  But I have also linked all of them below.

Part 1: Prep and Sketch

Part 2: Eyes

Part 3: Shadow to Midtone

Part 4: Midtone to Highlight

Part 5: Lips and Eyebrows

Part 6: Glazing