Last fall, I was invited to participate in the NOVA Open Charitable Foundation’s auction for 2015. I was flattered to be asked to contribute to such an event and joyously poured over kits from my local hobby shop and picked out a Treeman from Games Workshop.
The kit comes with three head and weapon choices. I’ve never gamed and have no knowledge of the characters, so I decided to magnetize the heads and weapons.
I also wanted to offer it as a display piece as well as a gaming piece and the result is a base that pops out of the display plinth.
Photography on this guy was an incredible challenge…. and that may be a whole other post. After numerous photos taken with many different methods, these are the pics I settled on.
The odd color choice came from my indecision but the magical character quickly appeared and I figured out how I wanted him to look. I airbrushed some colors that I liked and did the highlights, glazing, shading, etc, by brush. He was such a different project. I hope he does well at the auction and gets to go home with somebody.
I have to admit that Space Marines are not my favorite thing to paint, but I’ve always wanted to try out some Genestealers so I accepted this commission. I was so impressed with the level of details on the Marines that I had much more fun with them than I did with the aliens.
I airbrushed the main colors, painted in the details and highlights in acrylics and then washed down in oil paints. Once those were dry, I went back with acrylics (after a light coat of matte finish) to bring up the highlights, paint the gems along with other fiddly details, and brighten up the metal colors.
I’ve been quite busy over the last few months, but only some to do with painting. This last commission took some time but it’s finally finished. I was asked to add on some winter furs to Skorne Beast Handlers and create snow and ice bases for the five handlers and a Cyclops.
This project held two firsts for me. This is the first commission that I’ve done a significant amount of NMM and is also the first time I used nail acrylic to make ice. Both were a massive challenge as well a good learning experience.
I found a couple of WIP photos of the added furs.
I used a mix of Milliput and Green Stuff for the fur trim and the one sculpted hood. Woodland Scenics snow was used for the bases over clear nail acrylic that shaped the snow mounds and icicles. I also spread on a thin film of Vallejo Water effects over the ice to give a wet appearance and to create fine tips on the ends of the icicles.
Here are the final pics.
I started this guy for a gift and finally picked him finished. I received this one as an incomplete kit, with just the helmet. I hope that will be good for the surprise recipient. I’ll find out in a few weeks.
I’m not familiar with Tau symbols for the cloak so I winged it.
A fun challenge came up a couple of months ago to paint a grey scale mini. I wasn’t going to join this challenge initially, as I have a ton of projects going on already, until I ran across a small sculpt of Elvira. I have no idea what company. It’s a small, about 30mm, resin cast. Quite a while ago I received a box full of models from a collector that no longer paints in exchange for a helping hand. This mini was in that box.
I’ve never attempted grey scale or any monochromatic scheme yet so it was definitely a learning experience.
I wanted to make a more elaborate base but ran out of time and ideas. I still may do that some day. The base was the only thing that was required to be in color, according to the challenge rules. I made a very quick red marble floor.
I thought I was going to be able to update this commission in chunks, but the new camera setup is a bit of a challenge so it was easier to finish the project, then play with pics. I know I already posted some complete pics but I’m going to show them all so the complete commission is all on one page.
It’s rather noticeable that I’ve been still experimenting with lighting. I think I’ve gotten closer to what I want but it’s still a great learning experience.
Stormblade Infantry Storm Gunner
Captain Arlan Strangeways
Lord Commander Stryker
Artificer General Nemo and Storm Chaser Adept Caitlin Finch
Storm Blade Lieutenant and Standard – Cygnar Unit Attachment
I wasn’t asked for any freehand but I can’t resist an empty banner so I painted simple insignia.
This guy was a beast to paint. I decided on putting small magnets in the machine’s feet and gluing stronger magnets to the bottom of the base. It was an afterthought, otherwise I would have sculpted the magnets in the base. The magnets are just strong enough to hold the base to the model. I just didn’t like the idea of gluing the whole thing together. The free standing guy on top (the right side) also has a magnet in one foot to keep him from tipping over without being glued to the Strider.
I think they look pretty spiffy here.
As promised, I managed to process some photos of the WarMachine Cygnar commission. This is a basic tabletop commission to add on to an existing army. I’ve been using the box art as a guide.
This first guy is the Journeyman Warcaster. I started with him to get a feel for the colors and how things would go.
These are the Stormblade Infantry. They were tough to assemble. The bodies and legs have flat surfaces without locking areas and were cast in metal ( I think they come in plastic as well). This is good because you can position them in a variety of ways but on the downside they need to be pinned…. especially if they’re going to travel. Even with the assembly being a pain, they were really fun to paint.
I then moved on to a little Squire. I love the blue and white color scheme of the Cygnar army.
Captain Arlan Strangeways is another fun character. I don’t know how these characters are used in game, but I can imagine that this guy can do some damage.
Lord Commander Stryker.
I mentioned in my last post that I’ve been playing with a DSLR. There’s so much more depth to the pictures and the colors are spot on. I barely have to do any tweaking in Photoshop. I can also see that there may be too much light reflected and I definitely need more practice with the camera and lighting set up.
For the last thirteen years that I’ve been at the day job, I’ve had the first week of July off. The whole place actually shuts down, leaving a couple people behind to deal with stuff that really needs to get done. Normally, this has been my week to stay home and catch up on commissions. This year, my guy had the same week off so we took a vacation from our daily grind.
We rented a cute cabin in Maine from a friend of mine for a few days. It had everything thing we needed and nothing in excess. My paint and laptop got left home and I had no choice but totally relax.
We visited the beach, walked around town, got amazing food. It was all good. We enjoyed the area so much that we got a hotel room for two days longer. I learned that sometimes you need to take a break to realize how burnt out you are.
This is my first day back in my studio since June 27th. It’s good to be here and I’m now ready to continue my WarMachine commission as well as tackle some fun projects. This renaissance man especially has my eye.
To help things along, my guy let me borrow his DSLR. It’s older, but it the picture quality is well above what I was using. I’ll be posting some of the WarMachine stuff fairly soon.
Last, but most certainly not least….. I got this in today.
I’ve watched tutorials in the past and they’ve helped me some. I’m a true fan of figuring out your own techniques but I also love watching other artists work. I’m quite excited about getting these discs going. That reminds me that I also have some Games and Gears brushes coming my way soon from their Kickstarter.
So that’s been my world lately.