Saturday, April 20, 2013

British Invasion

I need more minis like I need another hole in the head. This undeniable truth didn't prevent me from taking advantage of sales recently run by British manufactures Otherworld and Heresy. I picked up some cool stuff at a good price.

And so the lead pile grows.

One mini, however, has earned the rare distinction of going straight from the package to my workbench; Heresy's cyclops. He has been paired with Otherworld's meazels for this month's painting challenge on the OW forums.

The cyclops comes standard with three different heads. I chose the one I liked best, pinned it in place (after some re-shaping of the neck for a better fit), and applied green-stuff.

The arms were attached followed by more green-stuff. After this cured, I addressed a rough spot in my work with some Tamiya white putty diluted with lacquer thinner followed by a light sanding.

The meazels are one piece castings and therefore much easier to deal with. At least that was the theory.

Upon close examination one of the minis turned out to be miscast. A rope garrote was largely missing. This lead to a crash course in making rope from copper wire. Fiddly work to be sure; not least of all because it was necessary first to remove what remained of the original garrote.

My boiler-plate basing procedure, arrived at through trial and error, was used here. Speaking in general terms, the drill goes something like this:
  • Minis are shimmed with plastic card so they wind up slightly elevated from their bases. This allows for the thickness of the PVA glue used to secure the basing grit and results in a mini that appears to be standing on the ground as opposed to partially buried in it.
  • The tops of any mounting tabs are filed down so that they remain flush with the tops of their bases.
  • I collect the grit myself. I find commercially available products to be both too coarse and too uniform.
  • Once the grit is applied and the PVA dry, a coat of matte varnish is applied to hold everything in place.
  •  Minis are thoroughly washed prior to basing and receive a light rinse before being primed. The second wash is mostly to remove any residual grit that has found its way onto the mini itself. The varnish coat helps to keep everything in place during this step. That said, I still avoid scrubbing the base with my ever-present toothbrush at this point and quickly blot off any residual water with a paper towel. 


So much for generalities. Returning to specifics, I now have four minis awaiting primer and paint:

Friday, April 12, 2013

Opposites Attract

Otherworld's hook horror, the latest addition to the FF project, is complete. The mini served as a testbed for some experiments with the color purple and its opposite, the notoriously tricky beast known as yellow.

A couple factors influenced the color scheme seen here. Laszlo Jakusovszky's Hot Lead: Painting Difficult Colors, where the use of purple to shade yellow is aptly demonstrated, was an eye opener. I needed to try it out.

Secondly, James Wappel's excellent purplish-grey gnolls caught my eye. 

Also, I have had good results adding green to red and vice-verse (opposite colors again) and wanted to see if purple and yellow behaved similarly.

The skin was basecoated with Reaper's Rainy Grey (which has a decidedly purplish cast) and the carapace with Reaper's Olive Skin Shadow. The photos above show the other colors used to shade and highlight each area.


The feathers (or is that fur?) around the neck an wrists were basecoated with a mix of purple and yellow (specifically the two colors pictured at the top of the post), given a diluted wash of Secret Weapon's Sewer Water, and highlighted with more purple/yellow (less purple this time) (first photo). The highlights were dialed up with P3 Heartfire, Sulfuric Yellow, and Sulfuric Yellow mixed with Reaper's Linen White. This was washed with GW Casadora Yellow Shade (second photo). The result was good but a bit intense for my tastes. In the end I applied a dilute wash of the purple/yellow mix to calm things down (third photo).

The spots on the head and shoulders were first applied using purple mixed with a little yellow. Some of the original skin color (rainy grey) was then added to the mix and this was used to highlight the spots.