Thursday, December 22, 2011

Flower Knight - WIP

A little preview of what i'm working on right now. Kingdom Death's Flower Knight.  I've just started laying down colors and have done a little blending but there will be much more to come.
I really plan to experiment with color blending which means a lot of time and many thin layers of paint. It should be a lot of fun.
Oh and of course my boyfriend's response to when I asked how he looked was "Garish" ... which equals "PERFECT!" in my book. 

Also since I noticed a bunch of web searches coming to my blog looking for parts break down on the Flower Knight here it is!
Along with the Female Survivor:

 And the Butcher:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

X'Stacy - Finished

Yay! I was finally able to grab a few hours and fix all the issues I found from before.  I blended her skin tones a bit more to my liking, I detailed a bunch of little bits and I also trimmed off those pigment covered grass strands.
This time around I used a background color that worked a lot better with the mood of the figure. I'm much happier with it now.

Also you might enjoy a quick snap shot of my light box set up for taking pictures of minis. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

X'Stacy - WIP?

Here is X'Stacy from CMON. I actually picked her up at my local game shop. I had passed her over a few times and she kept taunting me with her silly name every time I went in there. So I snagged her up about a week and a half ago.   I thought I had finished up this one until I started looking at the pictures on my computer. I didn't follow my normal routine of taking wip pictures to see all the flaws on screen that I can't see with my bad vision, and now I have to go back and fix a bunch of stuff.  There is a bunch of blending I need to do and I need to sharpen up and clean up other parts.  So for now here is a few WIP pictures of what I thought was going to be a finished picture.   I was experimenting with some new unconventional colors for flesh tones and they have been kinda a pain to work with but so for I really like them.
I also ended up getting some pigment on the grass so I need to go in and trim that out. I went with a simple base design as I didn't want to overwhelm the figure especially after working on my last figures (picnic piece).
So tonight it's back at it and hopefully i'll have updated shots tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Not all Sable is equal : paint brush review

 Not all sable brushes are created equal, at least this is something i've found out after buying a few different brands. 
Let's start with my least favorite which I've already sent to the crap brush graveyard. 

These promise to be great brushes, I mean hey look at the pictures they look awesome! I really liked the fatty handles on them as well.  But They are horrible at painting.. wait, what? Yes they are horrible at doing the job they were designed for. 
In the pictures they are lush and pointing all the while promising to hold a lot of paint and paint a great line.  Well I've found just the opposite. I originally wanted something for my larger projects that would give me a smooth paint job instead what I got is a brush that frays like a mohawk with day old hair spray and bed head.  This is the bad part : the paint is pushed to the outside of the bristles on the canvas/miniature.  So yeah it paints two lines instead of one and well I wouldn't say "line" I would say puddle of paint.   As far as the amount of paint they hold it is pretty much a joke.  So my advice would be to skip them at all costs. 

These are the brushes I ordered for my boyfriend since I kept stealing all the good brushes we had around the house.  Well since the W&N ones I ordered for myself (see above) turned out to be junk I tried out one of his and Oooh Myyyy they are amazing. They are exactly what I wanted those other brushes to be  like.  They hold an amazing amount of paint and they have a nice tip on them which actually can paint detail work.  They are smooooooooth while painting a little pressure will take you a long way. The paint goes on evenly and there are no brush stroke lines just like it should. These brushes will improve your paint jobs because they are made of magic.  I also like these because the bristles are longer than the current ones i've been using and it make it easier to paint the nooks and crannies on miniatures.  A size 0 is the perfect 'paint all' brush it's just small & large enough for most projects.  You can't paint eyes with that size but you should know that already. 
 So of course I had to order more for myself since I have a bunch of big projects coming up. 
I only wish the handle was fatter but I might go out and buy some of those fat pencil grips and stick them on the brushes.  

These are great brushes but they have a high learning curve the short bristles and sharp tips really make you work to get the paint to work with you.  It took me about 2 miniatures and 30+ hours of painting time to really conquer this brush.  I really enjoy the 0 size for all purpose painting but the Kolinsky is going to replace it.  My favorite size is 2/0 for serious detail work.  The sharp tips are wonderful for detail work because the bristles are so short they don't hold much paint and you need to add medium / flow release to your paints to really get the full potential out of these brushes.  I've noticed that my 2nd size 0 brush has softer bristles than my first one (1 year old)  and it's harder to paint details with it. Literally i'm bending the bristles on the mini and no paint is coming off.  So i'm not sure if I will order these again if they are going to continue with the softer bristles.  

So over all i'm going to say that the Raphaël Kolinsky Red Sable Fine Pointed Round  
are the best of the bunch. They are a great price although they cost more than synthetic brushes. If you want the bristles on your brushes to stop hooking/curling stop buying synthetic and get yourself some sable brushes. As far as I can tell Sable brushes don't hook a the ends.  Also get yourself some good brush cleaner and clean after every use or every other use if you are lazy like me. * I've been told in the comments that you should space out your brush cleaning. however I'm notorious for getting paint gunked up in the ferrule and need to clean my brushes after every project if not more.   The Masters soap is awesome, along with pink soap.  The mona lisa brush shaper is great for when you aren't going to paint for a while.  After you clean your brushes dip them in the brush shaper and use your fingers to shape the brush into a nice shape and it will dry stiff and keep the shape until you are ready to paint again. 
Anyways I hope this helped some of you who are wondering what brushes to get. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Inspiration Pictures for Dioramas

While i'm working on a couple of projects at once I thought I would share some of the awesome pictures I've found to help with making diorama bases.  I know it's not nearly as cool as posting a new figure i'm painting but maybe it will help some of you out with your current or future projects.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Perfect Spot for a Picnic

Ok she is finally finished!  This is quite a large diorama so it was pretty difficult to take pictures of. My little Nikon D40 doesn't have a macro lens yet so it didn't know what to focus on.  
Here is a list of what was used:
Steampunk Dorothy, Steampunk Jen Hailey, Malifaux Mobil Toolkit & Brass Arachnid, Kings of War Zombies, & Lovecraft Tombstones from Ebay. 

I originally envisioned this piece a little more comical but it actually turned out pretty dark. My original idea was to have the copper bot waving the blanket behind him as he ran over to the spot to lay it down but the blanket was really too large and would block off a large portion of the scene when viewed from certain angles.  So I tried a few different options one being the blanket still half rolled up and spilling onto the grass. That didn't work for me either as I made it too thick and it just looked out of place.  But luckily I was happy with my third try.  I made it a little smaller and a thinner. 
The gravestones were painted like any other stone with some green washes and a little standard green grass flock to represent moss. The dirt is a dark earth pigment mixed with sand, plaster, and water effects and let set over night.
Hopefully the little story i'm trying to tell with this is showing because it would suck if it wasn't.  I know I have my own story in my head but I will let you fill in the blanks.
Here is the link to CMON I could use some voting love over there.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Steampunk Jen - WIP

Figure 2 of my newest project is almost done. Here is the final WIP picture before I do all the touch ups needed.

Also for those interested in pairing up these two figures here they are side by side, They pair up pretty well the only issue I have is that the head on the SP Jen figure is much larger than the SP Dorothy.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Steampunk Dorothy - WIP

Here is a little taste of the first figure in a 4+ figure diorama that i'm currently working on which will include Steampunk girls, robots and zombies.....
Normally I would say you could get your own here -->Steampunk Dorothy  But they are sold out at this moment.
I have a bit more touch ups to do but she is pretty much finished.    Sorry I didn't get more angles but the photos came out blurry and I think my eyes were blurry from all the tiny touch ups I had already done.
Now it's onto the next Steampunk Girl....

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Suicide Queen and Rollo

New mini is finished! Suicide Queen and Rollo by Soda Pop miniatures.
Now I don't know what I was thinking going from 54mm to a tiny 30mm  I know Soda Pop Minis are smaller than average and I should have known better.  Looking at my photos i'm mad about all the stuff I messed up and the paint that chipped when I put her on the base.  I also had major problems at the end taking Rollo off his peg and smashing 2 out of 4 feet with complete removal of one of them. So I had to sculpt some new ones and hope for the best.   Maybe I should rename him Stumpy.
Overall i'm pretty happy with her as she looks great in person. I'm also looking forward to the rules for Relic Knights to come out, as it stands I should have enough painted minis to play already.

I've just added her over at CMON and she needs a little love.  I always find the ratings on cmon interesting especially when I compare it to other ratings.  I find it very interesting that my Soda Pop minis get lower ratings than my other minis with one exception.  It makes me examine what a high rated mini looks like and what mine is missing from that example.