Thursday, 28 August 2014

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly...

There have been a couple of hobby related things that have thrown me off balance over the last couple of weeks. One is a model that was frustrating me because the image in my head wasn't working out with what I was painting. The other is an ongoing situation with someone taking a specific dislike to either me, my painting style, or my choice of models...

The first of these issues I am on the way to resolving, as I'll explain below. The other remains something of a dilemma really...

A few posts back (in May), I mentioned that someone has taken exception to my models on Coolminiornot. Well, their campaign continues unabated with each of my models submitted since May being subjected to their trolling "fun" to a greater or lesser extent. As things are unlikely to change any time soon, and the identity of my nemesis remaining unknown, I can only really remain philosophical about it and take the view that I must be doing something pretty decent that this someone takes that much time out of their day to try and tear it down! *winks*
And with that very much in mind, here's my latest Kingdom Death Pinup, The Phoenix Dancer...

I had actually finished her a little while back, but I was in two minds about the base. I had made this base a while back from a glass effect clear plastic stopper from some cheap Xmas smellies and a perfume lid. I had to sand and buff out the mould lines and flatten the top a little to accept the model.
Once glued on, I have a LED base from a laser etched glass ornament which I sat the base on, so that I could shine the light through the middle of the base and light up the bubbles within to bring the rainbow colours in the sword into play too.

The colour scheme is based again on Lokman Lam's concept art, and I should mention that this was a preview cast of the sculpt (by Thomas David) that I received from Adam around the time of the Kickstarter. It will be released as a part of the Kickstarter soon(ish).
This was the art by the way...

Harking back to CMON, here is the voting link for her - OH HAI!
And here is the Putty & Paint link (member votes here are more than welcome) with larger images and additional views - CLICK ON ME!

Moving swiftly on, I previously showed a paint in progress of the Andrea Ainariël piece. I had painted a load of colour on the cloak, but felt unsure of whether I was happy with what I'd done. This led me to put the piece down and temporarily lose my enthusiasm for the model. A few years back I decided that I would no longer paint models that I didn't enjoy, and particularly that I wouldn't paint models specifically for competition. Now, I'm pretty competitive in many things in life, and I still like to win, but I now see it more a case of making sure that I take something new with me when I do go to shows and competitions, regardless of whether I think that they will win anything.
So, I sat and looked at this partially painted model (or tried not to look at it sometimes!) and tried to figure out what was stymieing my enthusiasm for it. In between I prepped and started painting a couple of fun pieces that I'll show in a future Ep, and inadvertantly in doing so I decided to open and try some paints that I'd been a little intimidated about since I bought them a couple of months back.
The paints in question are the Scale 75 Scalecolor Metal N' Alchemy paints, and my goodness they are a revelation! For a couple of years now I've been using Vallejo's Model Air metallic paints ahead of other ranges because the paints had much finer metallic pigments than any of the other acrylic miniature metals, and I had no experience of the likes of metallic printers' inks, alcohol based metallics or similar. The results with the VMA paints were pretty good, although I still preferred to paint in non-metallic style because I felt that I couldn't get the same quality of finish painting with "true" metals...

Not any more.

A lot of painters have been very happy with the behaviour and appearance of the majority of Scalecolor's paints, but these are pretty much game changers for me. The metallic pigment is almost liquid like in each of the paints, so no more visible flakes, and even when diluted you get great, flat coverage within two or three thin coats that is really convincing. Add to this the numerous colour tones in the range that allow you to create subtle, and not so subtle, colour shifts, you can create realistic looking reflections and effects without resorting to witchcraft. Further to this, I've been using the Scalecolor inks relatively successfully for a couple of pieces, and they can be mixed with or glazed over the metallics to great effect too!

So, armed with these new toys, I picked Ainariël back up, and set about her with renewed vim! And so happy was I with the metals that I've moved straight on and begun work on her skin. The skin is intended to stay mostly pale and pinkish, but almost none of it is finished at this stage.

Now, I've still not resolved the cloak in my mind, but the metals have inspired me to get on with it, and maybe something will pop into my head as I go along.

 Until next time, ne te confundant illegitimi ^_^

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Another guide and some gardening

Hi all.

If you have seen my activity around FB or any of the forums that I hang out in, then this may not be news, but I have had a third painting guide published on the Kingdom Death site - LINKY

This model is the Preacher pinup, and is again a part of the Pinups of Death box set and painted to resemble Lokman Lam's lovely concept art. I have now completed all of the models and am currently working through the painting guides for the upcoming months, so watch out for that. :)

I've put her into my CMON gallery - HERE - and also my Putty & Paint gallery - HERE - so if you feel like popping by and leaving a vote or comment that would be great. :)

Moving on with what I'm doing right now, I've progressed the Andrea elf a bit. I am actually a little intimidated still with regards to the drapery on the model, and have done some early blending, but I want to add a lot of either texture or embroidered imagery to the cape, so these shots are likely to hold little resemblance to the final piece.

The base I think I shall call "done" barring some touch ins of the black and a name plaque. I've done a warm/cold contrast with some warm coloured plants to the front and centre and darker, more autumnal tones to the back and far edges. There's some real plants, Silflor tufts and flowers plus some laser cut leaves scattered around. I may yet add a few coffee grounds to the soil, but I'm fairly happy where it is right now.

Hopefully I'll more her along some more this week.

Cheers ^_^

Monday, 4 August 2014

Apologies for the delay. Normal Service Now Resumed...

Well. With the best of intentions, the last couple of months have been very busy working on a great commission. There will be a wait before I'm cleared to share the pictures, but the box is on its way to the new owner and I now have time to set my sights on my favourite show, Euro Militaire.

I have several ideas in mind, but with only 7 weeks left we'll see how far I get. The first model that I've decided to work on is an Andrea piece that I had almost forgotten that I had. This is Ainariël, Arrow of Light, and I think that she is the first Freeman sculpt that I will attempt to paint. I have decided not to do any conversion work on the actual model, largely due to her being cast in metal, and the base that she comes with lends itself nicely to just building some ground work around the metal. I found an aftershave lid that fits the shape of the model superbly too, so that will be her plinth :)

There was a small amount of filling to do, but I actually received her as a second hand model, so a lot of prep work had already been done in terms of mould lines and pinning.

I plan on completing the base with earthy tones, grass tufts, fallen leaves and such, all in an autumnal scheme, and then allowing that to help dictate the colours that I will use on the model either as a complementary or contrasting scheme. I also plan to use my new Scale 75 metal alchemy paints on her armour for the first time. I have heard good things about them, so I hope to share good progress on them very soon.

Other than this, I haven't had much time away from the commission work to paint or prepare anything other than the Kingdom Death Phoenix Dancer that I started quite a while back. She is a lot closer to completion now and I am quite pleased with her as a representation of Lokman's concept art...

There is still some work on the feathers, little lanterns and sword hilt to do, then I need to create a base for her, but I've enjoyed working on her when I've had a few minutes to spare.

I do also still plan on working on Shido'ni, as mentioned in the previous post, and I think that I may do the Twisted M'Dusa model that I picked up at Salute, if time before the show allows. If it doesn't, I guess that I will probably just paint her anyway, because she is a great looking sculpt! ^_^

In other news, while I've been away, I've had a big birthday (40), which has involved quite a lot of eating and drinking, plus the ongoing good weather here has encouraged that extra beer or two in the garden of a weekend or evening. Think I need to squeeze a bit more exercise in before I can't squeeze into my clothes! lol

Cheers (and beers!)