Thursday, November 28, 2013

Tales of War Kenjiro

Hi everyone, it's time to start a new project.  This is my second commission job, the second of the five paint jobs I promised to do for him.  This time around it's Kenjiro from Tales of War, it's very fortunate that I got to paint him cause I have always wanted to buy and paint him some days.  And yes, here's my cute little assistant Yotsuba-san!

He is a three pieces miniature where the body is molded in one piece and the arms come separate.  It's a good cast with very clever placement of the mold lines so cleaning it was easy.  The folds at the bottom made mounting it on the holder a bit difficult as I had to finish base coating it first, otherwise it would be to hard to use the air-brush on them when it's on the holder.

His pose, a waiting stance, was why I held off buying him for so long.  As far as I could remember he has been around since I started painting.  I can't figure out what he is waiting for and seems making a base that give the sense of a windy environment seems hard.  Good thing is that the guy didn't need me to make a base for him and I just have to set him on a cork.

One lesson I learned form the past is the met tab that comes with the miniature is very important for mounting it on a holder, and it's a lot easier than using a pin.  Especially for miniature like this one where the feet are small and thin.

I cut out two small slots on the cork so the mini can slot onto the cork. But before I put any white glue on it I'd have to prime and base coat the folds underneath first.

PS: These days I am dealing with some personal issues hence I haven't updated this blog as often as I had, and haven't done much painting either... Hope things will get better for me soon.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

"The Rescue" - Reaper LE Sci-fi Sophie diorama

Hi everyone,  after working on this for a month I had completed it up to a stage where my current skill level couldn't improve it any further, plus I wanted to bite through the rest of my pile of miniature and I want to start working on another commission job, here're my Sci-fi Sophie completion shots.

The most important element of this diorama is of course Sophie.  But with the sculpt you can see that she is looking down, that was why I need to spend so much time working on the rest of the set up: to give her something to look at.

This is an overview shot of the set up.  I could have done a lot more air- brushing with the structure, giving it more dramatic lighting effect, but because this is my first serious larger diorama I was again rushing towards the end a little bit, so I haven't.  Likewise the weathering could have been done a lot better.  I would take a better shot of her later, the wing is just slotted onto the column by two brass pin so I still have a chance to change her pose if I wanted to.

The scene below took me a lot of work.  Painting infinity miniature is always enjoyable as they offer appropriate details and very sharp outlines and recesses.  Had some fun making the severed arm and adding the loose wires in, will take more close up shots later.

Back story:
"The base was abandoned due to the land slide.  A ferret made a home among the cracks of the boulders. Sophie led two drones to check up on the base to see if it is possible to clear the boulders out.  The first drone landed on the yellow flowers and slipped, broke the hip joint and its arm upon impact on the ledges. The ferret, which was alerted by the commotion, came out and saw the severed arm.  With its natural habit of picking up loose items it took the arm by the loose wires and drag it to its lair.  Just then the second drone landed next to the fallen drone.  The drone didn't notice the ferret at first.  When it finally did, it got into battle stance, just then Sophie arrived, descending upon the scene, amused."

Here's a close up on the 'air-borne' Sophie.  The most fun I had with her is perhaps when I paint her suit.  It was only air-brushed with shadow and highlight, plus a thin blue base paint.  Because I got the contrast right this time I don't really have to paint on the blue highlights.  Same thing goes with the armor plates, which is in the same colors as the remotes.

Thank you for reading :)

Go back on the WIP adventure featuring Yotsuba-san!:

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In case you don't know who Sophie is, she is the mascot of the Reaper Miniatures.  Reaper is one of the biggest manufacturer of 30mm miniatures, mainly fantasy themed and they also have a comprehensive ranges for modern days and sci-fi adventure setting.  The following is something about this very special miniature (quoted from Miniature Giants)

Reaper Con 'SciFi' Sophie 2007 (Limited Edition, Discontinued), 

Reaper Con figures, like this one, were only available during the week of ReaperCon, in this case May 17-20, 2007, and were not made available to distributors. Furthermore, after the week of the show, the mold is retired and no additional figures are cast. This 25mm scale figure was featured on the cover of Reaper's Casketworks catalog #22 and displays a clever combination of SciFi and classic fantasy.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Man cave make over, before - "practice what you preach"

As someone who make a living by getting people to do things properly and orderly, my painting room is a shameful display of my personality.  As the saying goes "practice what you preach", I'd re-think how I could make the best out of the space.  Let's start with a virtual tour of my man-cave (slash painting room slash study).  Here's the entrance, the sliding door to the left is my domestic helper's room.  Although the room is only big enough for one bed, the room got the same sized window as I do.  Hong Kong normal folks standard my Helper got a pretty good room.

This is the bird's eye view of the room.  The circular table is my design.  The original idea is to give all my hobbies or work equal emphasis and so circle should be the best design.  But as it turns out the drawer below the left section leave little leg room for me, plus the space under the table got filled with boxes and stuff now...

this is the main painting area.  I used to use those clear acrylic tray to put all my paints but these days they are just used  for tools.  I guess I can do something about that too coz my right arm kept on hitting them.  the little bag hanging on the wall is my head mount magnifier.

Looking to the left of the table is my usual air-brushing area.  It's not a fixed one because I still don't use the air brush very often.  The box on the table is the shield and back drop when I am doing air brushing, I need to do something about that too coz if I do priming with spray can it get VERY dusty all over the palce.

That is the display case, my design as well.  It is actually wooden wall with a space indented.  The work isn't too fine with overly thick glass but it will have to do.  the lower shelf is for all the mini that I am working on.

So looking up these are the two top shelf above the desk.  There are a lot of room for use here.  The wooden tray got all the spray cans up there to keep them away from the little one.  The white box and the blue box are my ... collection of miniatures... yea boxes full of them.

Down under the table is the home to my aim brush, I guess it can do with a better home especially when I am planning to use two air brushes at the same time...

That's the new wooden shelf behind me, home to my camera and other various stuff.  I guess they could use some tidying up too.

Lastly the wall with my kid's drawing.  I plan to stick a huge backing plastic sheet there so I can use bluetag to stick whatever I want on it. but because Hong Kong is very humid the paper tend to get soggy very quickly so I might just want to keep it clean.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Dark Sword Elven Princess mini diorama

This set was done a while back, it was the first finished piece since I got the air brush, but before I learned more about using it.  So here I haven't done much air-brushing except for  putting in shadows around the edges and behind the pillars.  I guess the mini would loo a lot more dramatic if I do a better job with the dress.

Darksword miniatures are very good at getting the proportion of the human body right, except they all got very thick legs.  When it comes to legs I guess other brands do it a lot better, like McVey or Meow.  The best part when paint her is her bosoms, they look real and very easy to paint.   I haven't spent enough time on the mini dragon and the book stand though.

If I were to name this piece I'd call it 'Distraction'.  The fun part of making diorama is trying to figure out how all the pieces fit together and how the rest of the scene complement it.  I had a lot of fun making this.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Sophie base coating - Reaper LE Sci-fi Sophie diorama WIP

Finally after weeks of working on this Sophie herself makes an appearance! So let's give Yotsuba a bigger break.  I did this all in one night (ie 1.5 hrs) so a big pet on the back for myself.  I guess at this rate I can finish a table top quality mini in about 2 nights... (next up, massive BONES painting haha)  Anyhow this is how far I got, really not bad if I may say so myself.

Took me a while to decide on the color scheme, but I guess it works out.  I think the hair looks fine, give a good contrast against the blue suit.  I'd give it a brown wash and bright red highlights, although that would be challenging as some of the hair gets very close to the face.... next time I really should do a better and more complete base coat for the hair before starting on the face....

I think the armor plates works, it was painted with Reaper Terran Khaki (09122).  I am lazily relaying on using the Khaki paint set for anything that's white or light color.  The best part of the set is the variation you can get out of it: if I want it to appear whiter I just add more highlights, and if I want it darker towards grey I just put in more shadow.

And yes, the eyes. Look at her eyes.  Dotting the eye is something that I had practices so many time for so long.  These are easy to do bigger eyes, so it was very easy for me.  Lips was good with a bigger lower lips so the catch light on the lips is easier to put on.  Notice I haven't put up a close up of her face coz I haven't figure out the highlights yet and there are a lot of annoying tiny spots that I missed on her hair, where the grey prime is showing... Next time I would definitely do a pure white overall highlight on the prime before starting to paint.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Dark Sword Elven Princess mini diorama - wip

I built this diorama to use up some of the 'basing material' I collected over the years, it's also a gift to my friend.  the base was an ordinary 50mm plastic, then stacked on with a few  beer coaster, followed by broken tiny ceramic tiles.  It took me a long time placing them in, fun though.  The bigger gaps were filled with green stuff.

The pillars were made with straws and white/green stuff mix.  I first push through some cream in the inside of the straw, then push in the mix.  After a few hours I cut open the straw and take out the dried rods.  Because it is mixed with white stuff it chips, and so I cut it up into smaller sections and stick them back together to create the cracks.  Then I thought I might as well just sculpt the details of the pillars by chipping with hobby knife.

Painting her was actually quite fun, especially when she got so much skin showing and painting skin has been something that I am good at.  Although I did still make the mistake of not doing the highlight right, it turns out okay.  Thankfully the eyes are bigger than normal.

[Pictures of the completed diorama:]

For those who are interested in having a go at this magnificent miniature, here's the link DSM1167Sculptor: Jeff Grace
Materials: Pewter

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

air-brushing - Reaper LE Sci-fi Sophie diorama WIP

Again not much of an update, just trying to get back to the swing of painting as I had stopped for a few days.  That's actually my pattern, finished up to a stage and then just not in the mood or finding excuses not to paint for a few days. I understand that and I had work around that by leaving the most interesting part to the last to keep myself interested.

Anyway, here are some shots of Sophie herself.  I had choose to stick with Reaper's original design and keep her original wings on.  Although I think a sci fi style wing would have been much better, but I guess this will work just fine.  It's air-brushing all the way here. I used dark blue and deep red for the shadow, giving it a very deep purple.  The highlight on the wing is flesh tone with a bit of red, I hope to give the wing a more yellowish hue instead of leaving it too brown.  The body itself has the same first coat of highlight, then another layer of closer to white highlight.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

severed arm put in place - Reaper LE Sci-fi Sophie diorama WIP

took me a lot of fiddling to get the arm in the right place. I made the mistake of not planning for this at the start and I cut off the pin that used to hold it when I was painting it, damn.  Anyhow the brass pin is actually still visible when looked from the side, but I guess I'd cover it up with a small grind of sand.  The area around the Ferret need some attend as well.  But overall, I think it looks very convincing.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Ferret painted - Reaper LE Sci-fi Sophie diorama WIP

It isn't much of a progress but to keep this blog alive, here's a less entertaining update of the diorama.  Here on, I can finally start on the star of the diorama, Sohpie.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Painting Nasmat remotes - Reaper LE Sci-fi Sophie diorama WIP

Hi everyone I am back! Such a short break is it?  Well this time around it's finally brush to miniature (instead of pen to paper) with my diorama!  We can finally moved on from the base to the miniatures!

The ferret hasn't been painted yet but the remotes are pretty much done! We'd need to put on the final highlights depending on the over all looks of the set up, but for now they are pretty much ready.  Took a lot shorter than I thought.

So, this is how we started, we spray painted the primer on and used dark and light paint air brushing to get the shadows and lighting right.  Although they actually look better with just the dark and light air-brushing, I believe some day I would be just as good with the lighting effect... I'd just have to understand color and paint mixing better...

Learning from my mistake, this time the 'light' paint isn't purely white but actually it's a light purple.  That is because painting whitish color is hard for me as I tend to over paint it.  So with this air-brushed light pink it could bring out the whitish highlight color easier.

I am following a color scheme that I found on line, instead of using the box art.  I am planning to use the same blue-red-khaki color scheme on Sophie... when I finally get to paint her this week..

I had applied a very focused and careful wash to the recesses of the ferret, and all its features got a lot more apparent.  Again, well done Reaper for such a fine tiny metal miniature.  (yes, metal, not BONES ;) )

The fun part, I guess, is to place them on to the base. I learned the hard way that all these elements are suppose to be pinned, not just glued, to the base.  So what I did is I drilled a bigger hole, put green stuff in the hole, and press the pin to the green stuff, with a bit of glue to its feet.

And of course, the whole point of the base is to let the Remote lock gaze with the Ferret.  so I had to check several times that their gaze met.

Notice how I haven't took a close up shot of them? that is because I haven't really completed painting them so I am saving the close up shots for later :)

bye for now :)

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