Monday, September 30, 2013

Model Plinth

Since I had a busy work week last week it also meant no updates.  Just a short one today, I had a chance last night to combine my two hobbies of woodworking and gaming a bit in the form of a plinth I made for displaying the Dark Angels librarian I've been painting for a local painting competition.  It is about 2" tall and 3" in diameter at the base.  Made from some exotic marblewood that I've had around for a while.  I'm pleased with how it came out and I think it adds to the presentation of the model. 


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Dark Angels Librarian

My friend Pete and I have started a blog for our local game club and anyone really that would like to contribute information on modeling and painting miniatures.  I will be posting over there and hopefully either linking here to my posts there or just duplicating the posts.  My first post was a painting tutorial for the Dark Angels Librarian that I've been working on out of the Dark Vengence box set for a painting competition.  I've no aspriation to actually win the competition, but I like the motivation it gives me to start pushing my own boundries on my work and bring out a model that will look nice on the tabletop.  Come visit our community efforts to encourage painting regardless of skill at The League of Underwhelming Miniature Painters.
 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Miniature Photography Made Easy

Since I've been blogging and taking some pictures of my work to put up on www.coolminiornot.com, I thought I would go through the basics I use for taking photos.  There are really just 4 basic things you need;

--White Towel
--Tripod
--Light source
--Digital Camera with macro function

There are some other things to consider, such as where are you taking pictures.  I take all my pictures on my kitchen table because there is a really nice light fixture above the table that gives decent light to begin with.  I like to use the natural daylight type lightbulbs in my house, and I find that helps a lot when taking pictures in general, regardless of what you are taking a picture of.

Here is the picture of my setup
 
As you can see it's not too complicated.  I have a small chunk of 2x4 that I use to elevate the model, but really anything would work, this is just to bring it more eye level with the camera, otherwise you end up with some funny angled shots.  The block of wood also helps bring the model out away from the background some so that there aren't shadows directly behind the model.
 
I also set the timer for taking the picture and use the macro function (the little flower) or the super macro function.  The time helps because I can push the button and step back from the table so there isn't any human wiggling or bluriness.  The macro function is just designed for taking pictures of small things up close without losing the definition.  Here is what a shot looks like from the current setup:
 
I then use photoshop to crop and edit the photos so that they are a bit more presentable.  This clears out some of the white space and makes it a bit more appealing to view the model.
 
I hope this helps anyone who is working on showing off their work online.  I still use my cell phone for a lot of pictures because it's quick and easy, but if you are wanting to show off the detail of a model, it's worth the extra effort to set up something to give yourself a better quality picture.  Be warned though, if you start zooming in on your own paint jobs, you will start noticing imperfections and problems.  It's up to you if you want to fix them.

 
 
 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

All my Warbosses through the years

I started playing Warhammer 40,000 in 2003, and Orks was my first army.  It was pretty much necessary to take a warboss back in 3rd edition, so on the left you see my first ever warboss.  He's gone through a couple different weapon selections and poses, and was actually painted by a friend of mine Shaun Rice in Topeka, KS, who was at the time trying to get a commision painting business going and made me a good deal on the model.  I actually had to glue him back together for this picture, he'd suffered some damage in the last move, but fortunately no parts got lost and his paint was pretty well intact.  He's equiped with a power klaw and big choppa, which was the perfect build in 3rd and even 4th editions for a warboss.  I put a patch of green stuff on his head to represent the cybork body.  A lot of green stuff was used to get a dynamic pose, but looking back I wish I'd done something more with the legs too. 
 
Next in line is the warboss that was actually converted from a IG Ogryn.  It has the big shooter off of the first warboss and a powerclaw from an old rogue trader badmoon boss Nazdreg.  The head is off a black ork and the power line, representing the cybork body powers the power klaw.  Pretty simple model to make, had to do some green stuff to pose both arms, and bulk out the neck a bit to fit the head.  Turned out okay, but I feel like I should go back through and re-paint the skin.
 
The third ork warboss was the easiest of them all, came straight from the assualt on black reach box, so what you see is what you get.  Big shooter and powerclaw, plus plenty of modeling for a cybork body. 
 
Lastly is the Ghazghkull Thraka model that a friend of mine picked up at a swap meet and gave to me as a birthday gift one year.  It's missing a few bits, but otherwise will work nicely for either Ghazghkull or just a mega armor warboss.
 
 




Friday, September 20, 2013

Dark Angels Librarian

I started working on this model last night for a space marine painting competition that is coming up at my local game store on Oct 5.  There is an added bonus of a side bet going on between me and my friend Pete who is painting a Rune Priest as to who will come out as the better painter.  Here is a picture if the face which is about all I've completed so far.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Painting the Ork Warboss from Black Reach

So it has been quite a long while since I have painted a Warhammer 40K ork, probably I would guess 2007. Maybe 2008. It's hard to remember, but the fact remains that I've not painted that distinct green flesh for too long. So long in fact that my previous paints that I used to use have all been replaced by Games Workshop. Twice.

But, I persevered and while needing a bit of a break from the squiggoth I decided to look through my orks and paint one, just on a whim. What I came across was actually a buried treasure that I had forgotten about, the ork Warboss from the assault on black reach box set. At some point I got him off the sprue and primed, but I guess I wasn't too interested in what turned out to be a very decent model. Aside from a few parts that didn't line up quite right in the powerklaw and the awkward position of the big shoota, I think this model shows a lot of promise. Still some highlighting and details to do, but I'm rather liking this model.


That's it for now check back later when he is finished and standing beside my other 3 Warboss models!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Cool mini...or not?

So I decided to dip my proverbial toe in the water and start posting pictures of my work out on www.coolminiornot.com. I was super excited and even went into the process with realistic expectations of how my painting would likely be rated. The first day went great, it was fun to have pictures of my work out in such a public forum, and to check back periodically throughout the day to see how the ratings would change and how I thought a model would have a lower rating ended up higher and how a model I thought was better ended up lower, but whatever, it’s the interwebs.


So now the honeymoon is over. After my initial excitement with the 3 pictures I posted up, I was looking forward to posting a few more, so I got three ready and posted them last night. Now, granted my photography skills aren’t the greatest, and half of that is the equipment I’ll admit, but still the pictures came out clear, I did my best to crop and merge them in photoshop, and so I thought I was putting some decent work on display. But I’d be wrong.

Now, when judging models up on CMON I generally follow some simple guidelines, if a model looks like it would be decent on the tabletop, I give it a 5, if it’s on par with the work I do it gets a 7, and then 8, 9, and 10 are for the really nice stuff. Now don’t get me wrong, there are times I will judge something and then see its average rating and think, “man, maybe I was really off base there,” but that’s not very often. I’m usually within 1 whole number of the average score. Rarely would I hand out a 10, and even more rare would I hand out a 4 or lower.

Now, that being said, I look at my scores, and I can’t help but think that possibly people are far stricter of judges than I am, though initially I didn’t worry about it. My doomwheel, which I would say isn’t my best work but still a nice looking model, started off in the 7.0 range with close to 20 votes. I thought that was pretty awesome, as I would say that’s above average work. But then slowly over the last day the rating has continued to drop. So I think, “Let’s go look at other doomwheels for comparison”. That’s when the rose color glasses came off for me. Glancing through some of the other postings, I see work that I would say is either the same quality of mine with a higher rating, or a lower quality with the same rating.

So in a way, I should know that there will be people out there who would not call my work tabletop quality, and on a website that specializes in rating painted miniatures there would be plenty of people to rate me down. The take away from this is that if you are happy with how your miniature looks after it’s painted, that should be enough. If you want someone to tell you that your stuff looks amazing and that you are a first rate painter, call your mother. If you want someone to tell you that your stuff looks tacky, call my mother. And if you want an assessment of your painting skills by top professionals or those pretending to be, go to www.coolminiornot.com.

And if you want to give me 10’s on all my models, go to http://www.coolminiornot.com/browse/browseid/6713506.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Squiggoth progress - teeth an claws

I got some time this weekend to work on the squiggoth some more and was able to check a few more details off the list.  A big detail was getting the mouth done so I could put on the iron gob and not have to fuss with it any more.

Before:

After:


The process was pretty straight forward with a layer of screaming skull followed by a wash of agrax earthshade.  Then a dry brush of white scar.  The gums were similar with a base of khorne red followed by a wash of agrax earthshade then some mild highlighting with Mephiston red.

Started the base as well which I think will compliment such a nice model quite well.


That's it for now, more updates to come!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Squiggoth skin highlights

Took a long time but finally finished the skin on this beast.  Next up I will start working on the details around the mouth and claws.


More to come later...


Friday, September 13, 2013

Squiggoth in the making

I purchased this model from Forge World back in 2007 when I went to Gamesday. Last month I finally decided it had need long enough and that I would put it together and get it painted and ready for the tabletop.

Right now I'm mainly going to concentrate on how I painted the skin of the beast.  After priming the entire model black, I went through and did the base colors for everything.  The skin looked to be the most difficult to reach so I decided to start there with getting some detail painted.  The process was actually very simple, using a base color of Caliban Green from GW, followed by a layer of Straken Green.  After that I covered it all with a heavy wash of Athonian Camoshade, which is what you see below.


After that, to bring some additional detail I did some highlighting across the top edge of each scale again with Straken Green.  It doesn't provide a huge punt of additional definition but I like the result, seen below.


I think this same method could be used on any lizardman or similar mini to get a fairly realistic scale effect.  Hope it works as well for you!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Back again!

Been a while, but I've been busy with the recent addition to our family born in May. Some current projects I have either been working on or finished are pictured here; 

My handiwork for nose art on the Vendetta.

Skaven Doomwheel that I finally finished after starting work on it in April. 

The custom ork wartrakk that I started back in the summer of 2009, and was orginally part of getting this blog going.  I sat on the shelf for a number of year, went into storage, moved with me to California, and now I'm finally getting around to getting it worked up.  Still need to add a gun mount of some sort, and so I'm working on that when my time brings me around to this project.

I bought this Forgeworld Squiggoth back at Gamesday 2007, got it home, opened the box, pulled out the huge model, and then promptly put it away again, where it stayed until about 2 weeks ago when I decided that I needed to re-tool my 40K Ork army.  Not sure how much table time it will see, but I still need to get it painted for my own satisfaction.