Tuesday, 26 May 2015

A bit of a leap...

Well. Since the last post I got a bit carried away! I painted the jewels and earrings on the big fella, then popped him to one side to allow me to catch up with Virago...

Now it was time to push Virago forward. Well push turned into shove, and I rather fired along. This was brought on by two particular sessions; one where I managed to pretty much complete the non-metallic metals, and a second where I decided to paint her face and hair.
Now, I believe that I've described before just how great JAG is at sculpting expressions into his models at this scale, but I wasn't quite prepared for the little wrinkles in her nose and brow; or the strong set of the jaw and mouth; and the eyes. Oh, the eyes...
Anyway, I kind of almost finished her where I was just so enthused by the amazing face...

Dat face...

Suffice to say, I'm now charged up about painting the skin on the big guy. I should expect another update to that effect pretty  soon! ^_^

'Til next time :)

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Small steps...

It's kind of disappointing when you don't feel like you're moving along as fast as you want to be moving at, but sometimes you need to just slow it all down and invest a bit of time in the "polish" of a model.
These Ilyad barbars that I've been working on lately almost feel like they've ground to a halt because I've got well and truly fixed into the NMM of the armour and the axes of the male barbar. Virago has barely moved at all since the last update, but she will get the same treatment as the male as soon as I feel that he is at a stage to put down ready for the skin section.

Then, since these photos I've completed the axe heads and added a little more polish here and there to the (non) metals. I wasn't in the mood for the SLR last night, so I committed the cardinal sin of phone photos, and they weren't as terrible as I expected...!

Not the sharpest focus and doesn't show off the nuances of colour, but at least it shows the contrast.

I shall finish off the axe hafts now, then do a few jewellery bits here and there, after that the male barbar will be put down so that I can move Virago along. That shouldn't take long as I've already started on her *tiny* bit of armour, so it will leave her swords, belt, glove and jewellery before I can move onto bringing the pair of them to life with the skin part.

Short and sweet today, but it feels like the hardest part of the models at the moment just before reaching the top of the climb, ready for the easier descent. I am still massively enjoying painting both models, but, after a few days off, I need to pick up the tempo again ready for my favourite part.

Until next time ^_^

Friday, 8 May 2015

The Silver Lining

Well. It looks like the UK is going to be an interesting place to live for the next few years. So, until a rich benefactor decides to employ me to paint their minis at their studios in the Caribbean/Oz/Indian Ocean (maybe the US ^_^ ), I'd best console myself to painting things that I really like.

And like doesn't go anywhere near touching how overjoyed I am to be working on these two Ilyad models. Truly staggeringly beautiful models. The mini world is worse place without this kind of piece being made on a regular basis. But, the flip side of that is the feeling of sheer privilege when you are asked to do them.

Virago, the girl, I have had in my collection for a couple of years, but I felt that I needed to level up my abilities with the brush before I would be ready to do her justice. Having started, at last, oh my...
The. Actual. Joy of her and her *little* friend ^_^

The leather texturing was loads of fun experimenting with applying and removing paint. Really pleased with the result. The fur was more a matter of using the right paints/washes to get the effect to be realistic, as the sculpt had already done the hard work. The loin cloth thing on Virago was a fun mix of blending and texturing. I'm right into trying to get some texture into cloth and such at the moment, particularly because patterning isn't my strongest skill, so more "loose" stuff like this gives a nice effect, and probably suits too in the circumstances.

The eyes I just couldn't resist at this time! lol

Can't wait to do the next update ^_^

Friday, 1 May 2015

Salute come down & what next...

So. Salute is over for another year. As a show, I think that I enjoyed it. It felt a LOT busier than in previous years - in fact it was uncomfortably warm as a result in some areas of the hall, particularly the corners - and there was, as usual, too much to take in. We (as in myself, my wife, friend Gary and his future wife) stayed the night before on the rather lovely Sunborn Yacht Hotel, took in the cable car ride over to the O2, ate chicken, drank cocktails and returned to one of the traditional pre-Salute drinks haunts, the Custom House, for a couple of drinks. We were quite surprised at how low the turn out of familiar faces was this year, but it would appear that we were probably at the wrong end because much of the meeting up seemed to have been done at the Connaught bridge end of ExCel.
No matter, a good night's sleep was rather nice, and as it turned out, needed as awaking on the day of the event I wasn't quite right - not hungover, but definitely a degree under - and this has since turned into one of the more unpleasant illnesses to lay me low - a rather acute sinus/ear infection that has left me mostly deaf, exhausted and constantly nauseous - I am thankfully now on the mend and I can say that spending much of a week like that has made me appreciate my hearing!!

Enough of that though. Salute, the show...
I didn't take any photos of the stands, but there was plenty to see, with several new(ish) companies making their first appearances at the show. I had a commissioned piece on show at one such stand for Mythos Games/Paranoid Miniatures, who are about to start a Lovecraft type line of minis with a corresponding game as I understand it.

This little model is absolutely TINY! Barely 28mm to the eyes, but the concept was good, and I added the Victorian dock to tie in with the venue ^_^
The event went well and the model was particularly well received too, so happy days there!

I was going to add some minis to the Hasslefree stand, but, to be honest, we didn't stroll into the event until about 11.30, so I settled for a nice chat at the stand with some of the regulars (I even helped out with a sale or two which may have been due to me wearing a HF t-shirt on the day! lol).

I managed to completely miss at least two stands that I had every intention of visiting, mostly due to getting sidetracked with chatting to friends, but the good side of that is that I only spent on two minis - the new Muse model from Thomas David's Agora line, and the new Atlanta model from Joek minis - the bad being that I didn't get some stuff that I "needed"... Oh well.

Aside from this, there was a "Sherlocked" convention going on plus the usual London Marathon sign up at the same time. So the central concourse was awash with mostly young women in deerstalker hats, 60s styled outfits and expressions of hope of some form of eye contact with a certain Mr Cumberbatch, along with an awful lot of nylon and lycra clad running type people, plus us wargamer/painter/general nerd types. People watching over lunch was quite amusing!

Back into the (rather hot by this point) hall and over to the painting competition to see how things were progressing. I entered 4 pieces - M'Dusa, Clio & Erato, Gandalf and the HF girl that I had been working on in the week leading up to Salute (I've yet to show final shots on her because I rather crammed her and her base still needs a little work). My friend, Gary entered 3 pieces.
The judging had begun when we returned, and one of my pieces had been selected as a finalist. I'll admit that I didn't have high hopes at this point. Gary had 2 of his 3 pieces on the finalists tables, so he was already pleased because he had not reached that stage previously.
While the judging went on several painters began congregating in the area, so it was a good time to say hello to old and new friends and acquaintances. There were a few glum faces unfortunately who had had their works passed over in the competition, and from what I understand were given less than constructive critique when they collected their pieces. That was a shame, but it is difficult for the judging guys as they have barely a couple of hours to judge hundreds of pieces. I know that I have gone with high hopes in the past and been passed over for one reason or another, so I could understand the frustration. For me, I had no expectation this year, so anything was a bonus. A finalist spot was par for me - often as much due to me painting slightly left field minis! lol - so I was rather pleased and not a little surprised when the judges started moving winning pieces from the finalists table to the winners table, and almost the very last piece picked up was mine! 1st or 2nd, my M'Dusa was a winner... And so we waited for the announcements. When it came we briefly had Darth Vader helping with the awards, but he got bored and flounced off halfway through! lol
The winners were each announced, and a steady stream of familiar faces and friends were called up. When it came to my section, I fully expected a second - I have a history of second place finishes - but another person was called for the second... Nope, it was a first place, no less! Glee! ^_^

Having spent that little bit of extra time and effort on M'Dusa had already seen her very well received based on the photos that I'd shown on line, but to have her do so well in a real life competition was very satisfying indeed. Also, I don't think that I'd shown the lettering and Steampunk kind of cogs design that I had added to her plinth. It was something done with real life in mind much more than photos, but it helped to give a "complete" look on the day.
I've already shown the very worthy best of show by two time winner, David Soper, plus (almost) all of the other winners in my previous post - LINKY - so I won't go too much more into the rest of the awards, other than to say that I was pleased both for myself and for several friends who had all produced some amazing works.

If you wish to see (and vote too) more of M'Dusa, then you do so either at Coolminiornot - HERE - or alternatively at Putty & Paint - HERE

So. With Salute done, it's time to get back to the table, and I think that I am likely to let out a little "squeee!" of joy with what is being prepped for next...
Not one, but two, rare as rocking horse poo, Ilyad barbarians! One is mine, the other is a commission piece, but I thought it would be great to do them at the same time as side by side pieces, so that they can be seen together as they were originally intended, before I pack one up and send him away, halfway across the world! lol

Think that in the presence of such miniature "royalty", I'd best get my game face on!

I'm already looking forward to the next update... ^_^