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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Red Box Games set for Frostgrave

I have been away for quite some time as I have been doing some work on commission. However, I am in between jobs and now have time to post and paint some figures for pleasure.

This is the completed set from Red Box Games. figures are 32mm. The female is 30mm.

Currently I have a set of five figures on the table, 4 females and a male.  The learning curve on painting exposed female flesh is a bit steep, however I will be ready to take test shots soon.

Thank you.

Monday, August 22, 2016

WIP Blance from Hasslefree

I'm painting this figure for a friend to be used in Frostgrave as a Necromancer, hence the choice of skin tone.  The skin tone was created from a mix of Reaper Dusky Skin, Reaper Rosy Skin and Citadel Liche Purple.

Thus far only the first layers of shadow and highlight have been applied.

Blanche is from Hasslefree, stands at 35mm and was sculpted by Kev White.

One more painting session then she will be based.  Following that I will take a test photo in order to make final corrections.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Christia the Chaste-Red Box Games

With this figure my goal was to try some more advanced techniques.  I did the armour in green NMM and the shield design in gold NMM.  Further this was my first attempt at using realistic water on a base.

Although I am not a display painter, I liked this figure enough to do more elaborate basing.

This is Christia the Chaste from Red Box Games, sculpted by Tre Manor.  She is diminutive, standing at about 25mm.

Currently on the painting table I have a female Necromancer from Hasslefree Miniatures and some Lesser Undead from Red Box Games.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Tradkarl-Red Box Games

The painting table is full of figures from Red Box Games at the moment and I am working through them, albeit slowly.

This is Tradkarl, sculpted by Tre Manor.  He's a hefty fellow, standing at 35mm.

He has loads of character and was a real pleasure to paint.

My next two projects involve painting females, something I tend to avoid as they are more difficult. However, they do present more opportunities for playing with colour and experimenting with skin tones.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Bernard, Jack and Arvid-Red Box Games

Currently I am working on a series of figures from Red Box Games and I must say that I am absolutely in love with these figures.  I prefer figures done by sculptors who have a firm grasp of human anatomy, who can lay down clean lines and create detail that is crisp and clear. Tre Manor is just such a sculptor.  Further, the casting is nearly flawless.  There is very little flash and I have yet to find discernible mold lines.  A painters dream.

From left to right is Big Bernard, Ugly Jack and Hawkeyed Arvid.

The next figure up is Tradkar who could easily be used as a tracker in Frostgrave.  I'm in the final highlighting stages and should post him next week.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Myrianna-Red Box Games, Complete

I completed this figure several months ago, but life got busy.  One week of not posting turned into two, turned into three and so on.  It's so much quicker to just post to Facebook, but I do need a place to organise my images in such a way that people can easily locate the work.

Again, this is Myrianna from Red Box Games sculpted by Tre Manor.  The detail is exquisite on this tiny figure and the casting is flawless.  Quite a joy to paint.

I have three other figures from Red Box Games that are painted and photographed.  They should be posted tomorrow.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Myrianna-Red Box Games, WIP3

After completing the final layer of highlights on Myrianna,  I took what will be the last test shot photo prior to basing the figure.

The decision on what colour to paint her dragon was a difficult one.  Normally I would choose to paint the dragon a subdued red.  With this figure being so small I did something a bit unusual and decided to make that dragon really pop by using a bright blue and coral palette. Whilst this may not be the most harmonious choice, it does make the dragon visible.

After looking at the pictures I can see that there are a few areas that need a little more work.  When I get to this point with a figure I set it aside for a few days and work on basecoating another figure in order to give my eyes a rest.

The next step is to sculpt the base.  Due to her diminutive size in comparison to the rest of the war band, I will have to build a base that elevates her.  Myrianna should be complete and ready to post next week.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Myrianna-Red Box Games, WIP 2

Progress on this piece was hindered due to my being out of town for several days.  Upon returning, I promptly came down with a dreadful sinus infection.  On Saturday we had a sudden storm with 60mph sheer winds which took out our power for nearly 24 hours. In the midst of all this craziness the only thing I could think was "I just want to paint my mini!"

So today for you I have only the beginnings of highlights on the figure.

Taking photo's at this stage is quite useful as it helps me to see where things need to be tweaked before I go any farther.  For instance, the shading on her face needs to be deepened, the highlights on her dress are too low and lack depth of colour.  These I will glaze down with the base colour then reclaim the highlights and bring them up several notches.  The highlights on her cape are sloppy and will be glazed down with the base colour and the highlights will then then being reclaimed and tightened up.  Also the grey trim needs quite a bit of work as I have merely sketched in the roughest of highlights. And of course the staff, the gemstone and the dragon need to be completed.

In the following photo you can see where she was at last week and where she is now.

I plan to have her completed and ready for a final test shot before weeks end.  At this time I have not made a decision on how to base her as she is to be part of a ten figure war band.  This being the case whatever base I design is one I will have to repeat nine more times, so I need to make something I can tolerate doing repeatedly.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Myrianna-Red Box Games, WIP 1

Although I rarely post WIP's, I always take test photo's as I work through the process of painting a miniature.  However, with this figure, I am making an exception.  I would like to show my dearest of friends Dez, from The Hollywood Spy the myriad of steps we go through in bringing a figure to life.

Thus far I have only begun working into the shadows using thin glazes. The only exception is her hair, which I am making red, something I have not tried before.  My next step will be to complete the face and then begin highlighting the rest of the figure.

This is Myrianna from Red Box Games, sculpted by Tre Manor.  She is beautifully sculpted, a delicate figure with crisp detail and the casting is superb.  A gorgeous figure and a real joy to paint.

There is a tiny dragon sitting on her shoulder and I have simply inked it so I can see the detail when I go to add paint.

Myrianna will be part of my first Frostgrave Warband.  It seems that I have been bitten by the Frostgrave bug and as there is no known cure, I am giving myself over to the disease.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Defenders of the Empire-Lead Adventures Miniatures

These figures were painted as part of a Themed Bonus Round in this years Analogue Hobbies Winter Paint Challenge.  I was quite surprised to learn that I had been awarded first place for the entry.

The sculpts are from Lead Adventures Miniatures.  They are beautifully sculpted, with crisp detail and no discernible mold lines.  Further they are loaded with character and a real joy to paint.

Along with these, I purchased two other Steampunk Ladies and three rather large Steam Robots.  They are on the painting table now along with my first Frostgrave Warband and some WWII figures. 

Generally speaking I have around 10 figures that I work on simultaneously and I post things in the order in which they come off the table.  I find this method keeps me excited about picking up the brush every day.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Deadlands Noir-Reaper Miniatures

Bob Ridolfi has long been one of my favourite sculptors as his display good knowledge of anatomy, have clean lines and great character.

This is a 28mm figure from Reaper Miniatures, was sculpted by Bob and is part of their limited Deadland Noir Pulp Collection.

This figure was a real pleasure to paint.

Over the next week I will be posting more frequently than normal so I apologize in advance for that.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Warlord British Paratroopers-Test Figures

One might expect that my continued interest in painting figures for Operation Market Garden is due to the work of Cornelius Ryan in A Bridge Too Far.  Admittedly, it is his work that introduced me to the historical events that took place in an operation that cost so many lives.  However, it is the work of Geoffrey Powell in his book Men At Arnhem, that has moved me the most and has convinced me that I must see this project through.

Because I have no experience in painting cammo, I chose to first complete three test figures  Although I am not entirely pleased with the results, it is a start and I know I can improve with practice.

Figures are 28mm and are from Warlord Games.

I shall paint a few more advancing figures to work out the bugs in my technique before tackling my PIAT and light mortar teams, the only defense these troops had against the might of German tanks.  

Just prior to the onset of the Analogue Winter Painting Challenge, I purchased It Never Snows In September by Robert J. Kershaw.   Please feel free to recommend any books that you feel might be of help to me.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Hasslefree Moderns-Painting Dark Skin

Finally I have completed the last two miniatures of the five figure Hasslefree Moderns team.  I like to think of them as hired assassins.

At the end of the post, I will include a walk through on how I approached a darker black skin tone.

Figures are 28mm and were sculpted by Kev White.

 I have included a group shot to show the five figure team together.

To aid in the discussion about skin tones, I have included a close up shot of the females face.

All paints used were from Reaper Miniatures.  

I photographed the paints as some people do not use Reaper and may be able to find comparable colours by their favourite manufacturer.  From left to right are:  Nightshade Purple, Dark Skin Shadow, Dark Skin Base, Dark Skin Highlight, Green Ochre and Twighlight Purple.

Normally I would use Dark Skin Base as my base colour. This time however, I used Dark Skin Shadows as my base and worked into the shadows by adding increasing amounts of the Nightshade Purple until I was using pure Nightshade Purple in the deepest shadows.  

I then applied thin glazes of Dark Skin Base and worked up to Dark Skin Highlights to create two mid tones.  From there I added increasing amounts of Green Ochre to the Dark Skin Highlight until I reached the highest highlight.  For this I used pure Green Ochre.  All layers were applied as thin glazes.  Although this is time consuming, it does allow for smooth transitions as one works up such a steep gradient.  

Finally I added three thin glazes of the Twighlight Purple.  That final glazing step unifies the layers and helps to provide depth of colour.

I want to take a moment to discuss the difference between painting Caucasian skin and Black skin.  The basic principals are different with a black skin as the gradient from shadow to highlight is very steep.

This can be illustrated by looking at these paint samples.  At the top is the darkest and lightest colours for a dark Black skin and the bottom is for a warm Caucasian skin.  A fundamental difference between Dark skin and Caucasian skin is where the contrast occurs.

In Caucasian skin all the contrast occurs when going from mid tone to shadow. The transition from mid tone to highlight is subtle and is to be kept very soft.  The opposite applies to Dark Skin.  In Dark Skin, all the contrast occurs when going from the mid tone to the highlight.  The transition from mid tone to shadow is less exaggerated.  This is due to the differences in the reflection of light in the respective skin colours.

Those principals can easily be seen when looking at photographs.  Notice the depth of shadow in Cillian Murphy's face and subtle transition from mid tone to highlight.  However, when looking at Omar Epps, we see the opposite is true.  While there is little difference between mid tone and shadow, there is a great deal of contrast between the mid tone and the highlights.  

I realise this is quite wordy, but I hope that it is of help to some people when they are painting character figures.   

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Hasslefree Moderns

Currently I am attempting to acquire techniques that will help me produce more realistic skin tones.  I chose to make my first attempts using these Hasslefree figures as they are simple sculpts with clean lines.

Rather than rely simply on the Reaper skin tone triads, I have used Crimson Red, Burgandy Wine, Winter Blue, Pale Lavender and Old West Rose to work down into the shadows (all paints used are from Reaper). A more complete description of the technique can be found at The Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.

Figures are from Hasslefree Miniatures, are 28mm and were sculpted by Kev White.

These are the first three out of a team of five.  The other two figures are being done in a deep ebony skin tone.  When I post those figures I will endeavour to do a detailed description of how those skin tones were achieved.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

US Airborne Bazooka and 60mm Light Mortar Team

I am working on a small project for Operation Market Garden, which will include figures from the US, Britain and Germany.

These figures are to represent the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment at Nijmegen.  They are from Warlord Games, Bolt Action and are 28mm figures.

This project will likely take me a year to complete as I am continuing to paint figures from multiple genres.  At the moment I have some British Paras on the table and am working on the cammo patterns on the Denison smocks.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Black Scorpion-Billy the Kid

I've long wanted to try out some of the Tombstone figures from Black Scorpion and picked up this sculpt of Billy the Kid and the Outlaw pack.

I won't be painting the Outlaws until I get a better grasp of glazing different colours over fabric as I will use that technique to add interest to the dusters.

Billy the Kid stands at about 25mm and was cast in resin.

The casting was a bit rough and there were a lot of mold lines and flash on the figure. However, he has plenty of attitude.  He was painted rather quickly for me, in a single sitting. Something I rarely do. So for a speed paint, I think he's not half bad.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Counterblast/Reaper-Landing Party

Hello Fran and Dez, welcome to my super-secret, members only, private blog.

A landing party consisting of figures from Counterblast and Reaper.

From Counterblast, sculpted by Patrick Keith.

From Reaper, sculpted by Bob Ridolfi

From Reaper, sculpted by Patrick Keith

From Counterblast, sculpted by Patrick Keith

Well that's it boys. Make those comments good, as they're the only ones I'm gonna get!