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.
While working on commissions, I like to pick at simple projects for friends…. things that will take little time comparatively to armies and squads.
The first is a Beholder I painted for a friend. He seems to have a soft spot for Beholders… or likes to torture his gaming groups with them…. either way it was fun to paint. This is another Reaper Bones minis. I still prefer hard resin or metal minis, but when you need a lot of figures for gaming that can be stored haphazardly… Bones is the material to get. It’s inexpensive, paints up well, and is nearly indestructible….. unless you take a flame to it.
I’ll admit that I have no idea what a Beholder is supposed to look like color wise, so I winged it. I can say that my friend was very pleased with his gift.
Next up is a repaint of a small statue that another friend had found. It’s body is nearly identical to his stocky Bulldog and asked if I could put some paint on it with Jasper’s markings and coloration. It didn’t take much but his personality came out in the repaint.
Please forgive the first blurry photo. It was a quick phone camera shot and I didn’t realize how blurry it was until it was too late.
I’ve been keeping my hands busy with commissions, fun projects, favors, and all sorts of art projects. At some point I’ll do a rambling post with a bunch of random pictures. I’m also due for a “Featured Artist” post…. it’s been a while and I have someone in mind.
Anyway.. this post is to share a string of photos from the second Invades army from Dystopian Wars. It belongs to the same guy that the first one was done for. They’re both going to GenCon this year for tournament. I hope they do well.
I still was asked to stick with the organic beetle theme. This time I picked a blue, black, and purple scheme to offset the green and orange of the first army.
Predator Class Bombers: I started with these to get a color scheme down.
Terror Class Frigates: The legs on these are magnetized to the bodies but stuck permanently into the bases so that they are more stable on the gaming table.
Sentinal Class Cruisers: The legs on these are completely removable from the base and mangetized to the bodies. Instead of using the parts that came with the models, I sculpted the underneath part that the leg sockets go into so that there would be more room for a strong magnet.
Scarab Class Hive Ship: These models are much more interesting by eye. I’ve had a difficult time photographing because of the iridescent quality. I did what I could, including changing my lighting out, setting the camera differently, and playing around in Photoshop. This Hive Ship is the best representation of the true colors.
Tiny Flier Tokens. I know I put a size comparison up in the last post…. each of these are about the size of a quarter… and there were 32 tokens all together.
The whole gang.
I was asked to paint up some alien ships called Invaders that are for the Dystopian Wars game. I’ve painted all sorts of ships so far and these were delightfully different.
I finished these a couple of weeks ago. They are at their new home and are well loved. A second, duplicate set will come from the same customer that I’ll paint in a different scheme.
I did the under painting with acrylics and then went back over with oil paints with a little metallic pigments mixed in to match the color. This gives the ships a beetle like sheen.
These Predator Class Bombers were the first to get painted so I can fiddle with a color scheme. They rest on their flight bases rather nicely and don’t need to be glued in or magnetized.
The Scarab Class Hive Ship was the next to be painted. I really like how the pigments make this look organic yet alien. I magnetized the weapons but, like the Bombers, it balances on the flight base rather nicely.
Next up were the Sentinal Class Cruisers. These were a bit tricky as I believe there were missing pieces from underneath the body where the legs attach. There were no sockets for the legs or the weapon so I mixed up some Milliput and sculpted something that would hold magnets for the legs and create a space for the weapon.
The water bases were sculpted with Milliput, painted, and then Vallejo Water Effects were laid over to resemble choppy ocean water.
Along the same lines, but much smaller, are the Terror Class Frigates. I tried to magnetize the legs on these but the metal bodies were too heavy and would swivel and collapse the legs. I found some scraps of half round wire and pinned the legs. The half round keeps the legs from turning but they can still be taken out of the model for storing and transporting safely. The water effects also makes a decent gasket for the bottom of the feet, further stabilizing these leggy alien ships.
The last bunch are the Tiny Flier Tokens. There are thirty with three on each token.
For comparison, here’s the group pic. It doesn’t seem like much but after sculpting, pinning, magnetizing, and painting tiny stripes, it ended up being a decent amount of work.
I’ve been asked by a handful of folks about how I painted the red on the Blood Raven army so I thought I’d write something up.
I have to say first that nothing too special was done. This is how I go about painting a tabletop army. I would paint a display quality army much differently. These guys need to look impressive as a group and different from the sea of GW armies out there, not look super clean and spiffy individually.
First I found and followed loosely Les Bursley’s video tutorial on painting Blood Ravens. I tweaked it as I went a little but I advise that this video be watched as it’s a better summary than this post.
These are the paints I dug out: Reaper Blood Red, Reaper Carnage Red, White, Reaper Shield Brown, and Vallejo Scarlet. The oils are W&N Lamp Black and Burnt Sienna.
I started by priming black and using Les’ basic techniques, airbrushing Shield Brown from the top and sides, Carnage Red on the same areas, Blood Red from above and then Vallejo Scarlet from above on the higher points. The troops had to be done more carefully, masking out the shoulder pads after airbrushing them brown then white and using the Scarlet more sparingly. The results, especially on the vehicles, is a much brighter color on the tops than on the undersides.
After getting these nice and bright, I used the Scarlet to edge highlight and bring up any areas that would be brighter naturally (but not going for actual realism) and also create some contrast from a distance.
After getting the basic colors where they need to be and highlighting the edges, I added the details such as insignia and weapon colors.
Satisfied with the overall outcome, I mixed up the oil colors. There’s no real formula for the color. It’s mostly Burnt Sienna with a touch of Lamp Black. I washed the entire model with this mixture. It flows nicely into the crevices and darkens every color evenly while creating a gritty look to the model. Some painters use a gloss varnish before adding the oils so that the oil paints can be wiped away. I was going for a dirty look so I didn’t bother with the gloss varnish. I wanted the oils to cover everything, not just part of the model. Any of the models that had a large amount of metals to cover got an additional thin layer of Lamp Black to darken them up more.
The oils take a while to dry. The thinner the wash, the faster the drying. I also used a lamp to dry them a little faster, but there’s still some time to wait before touching the model.
The result of the oil wash is an overall dark red and off white from a bright orange and bright white start.
In between the Blood Ravens and Dystopian Wars, I managed to sneak in a Eldar Farseer. Painting up something different and more detailed saves my sanity when I’m faced with a sea of red armor.
It came to me with a head swap from a High Elf . I just had to rotate the hand palm up and add the rune.
The colors and details were picked by the owner.
I did brighten the rune after this picture was taken to make the OSL a bit more convincing but otherwise it’s an accurate photo.
I started on the Invaders from Dystopian Wars. I have an approved color scheme for one half of the commission. I’ll share some WIP photos soon.
This is the last model for this commission. I actually finished it last week but haven’t had the time to post pictures here.
I had to come up with a background large enough for this guy. I made the flight stand removable for safer shipping and storage.
Just the other night I decided to get a decent group shot of the whole group. Space and lighting made for taking pictures difficult but I got some in.
It doesn’t look like much when they’re all built and painted, but the piles of sprues I received in the beginning were a daunting site. I was fortunate to get help from a friend in building the last few vehicles.
I now have Dystopian Wars Invaders on my desk ready to go. Hopefully I’ll have something approved to show in a short time.