After the Gotham police disaster of the last post, I didn't have high hopes for the companion box I primed at the same time: Lieutenant Gordon & Detective Flass (Year One). Still, once primed something has to happen. Onward!
While not sticking to the color scheme of the box, I went close enough to count, in my eyes. From the onset I wanted to make the varsity jacket standard yellow/black Batman colors. Normally I would have painted yellow arms and black torso, but this time I erred on the side of easier clean up of errant brush strokes. I even went so far as doing the skin last instead of first on both of these minis. Much like the previous batch of police, these 2 received tweaks to their bases. Flass even managed to get a completely different, bigger base more fitting his widened stance. Although I pinned and attached the bases to these two at the same time as the previous batch - these are straight! Probably because both feet are modelled to completely touch the ground.
Flass received my go-to of Citadel Drakenhoff Nightshade on top of white primer for the stonewashed denim look. This is the one technique I seem to get to work consistently. After the previous post, I needed some good consistency. The yellow and black on the jacket worked well, although the black lettering for Gotham High on the back could be better - both for how the paint bled in, and the print of the model could have used some cleaning up that I didn't see earlier.
I'm a little disappointed with the speed paint job on Gordon's clothes. Too much pooling in crevasses again. On the other hand, his hair and glasses feel spot on to me. I managed to paint the glasses frames and the skin behind the lenses without messing up everything else - such as smearing everything on the rest of the skin. While the pics don't really show it, each lens in the glasses have a dot of Mod Podge Dimensional Magic to really make it feel like there's some glass in there.
A 2-mini completion post. Better job than the last post, yet still not as good as I originally hoped. At least more things went right this time.
Next up is some scenery/post-apoc buildings. I'm not sure if I'll work through one with enough to post something interesting, or get bored and sidetracked with something else person-sized to paint.
After years of accumulating minis for the Batman Miniature Game, I finally grabbed a pack (or two, but that could just be a teaser for later) and started with a trio of Gotham Police. I had high hopes, but also a little trepidation before starting out because as far as I know I've never made anything from Knight Models.
Instead of going step by step with what I was doing or tried, a simple comparison of the pics below with the Knight Models site shows that I didn't get anywhere near the quality I might have hoped, but it was a good learning experience.
Resin Minis - I miss metal minis, and for whatever reason I'm still having problems with these printed minis. They required simple assembly - arms and heads. I've yet to find how to get resin pieces to fit flush. Arm gaps are pretty bad at the shoulders.
Wrong Speed Paints - The blue(s) I picked for the uniforms and vests are too dark, and the pooling in the wrinkles is way too deep. I usually do this at least partially intentionally as I like the looks, but not this time. It really covered up the details this time. Especially on the badges - the badges don't look good.
Pinned the Minis - This part went awry lots of ways. The minis were printed with the bottom to fit in slotta bases, and the included slotted bases had a brick texture. A brick texture with a big gap in the middle for the mini to fit in. I liked the brick bases, and it was going to take some finagling to fill in the gaps after fitting in the mini, so I decided to just fill in the gap completely and then pin the mini to the base. Great idea! Problem 1: While I'm pretty good at gilling in these gaps with putty/plastic, I'm not so good with leveling and smoothing things out. There wasn't a gap, but you could tell it used to be something. Problem 2: This was my first time pinning resin, and evidently I don't know how to make the pins straight. Each one of these minis ended up crooked. And crooked in a way I couldn't straighten up. Problem 3: I tried painting these with a pin in 1 foot/leg before attaching them to the bases. They wiggled and spun enough that I feel blaming at least half of the resulting paint job on that is valid. This was my biggest lesson learned - when it comes type to apply painted brush to mini, that mini has to be stable in my big elderly man-hands.
As much as I complain above, it wasn't all bad. Granted, I can't find a silver lining to write as an example, but they're not total crap. Maybe the silver lining is my skills have generally improved over the years to where I recognize all the things that went wrong here instead of thinking that painted = done and good job. Jerry asked me the other day if I paint things to play games or for the process. While I paint things so that they may be played in games, I don't really expect them to be played. So truthfully, it's the process. I paint something, and after it's sealed and had pictures taken and posted here, it goes in a box or on a shelf and is quickly forgotten as I move on to the next thing. But I do enjoy that process, even when things go wrong.
Next up will be Lt Gordon (or I might promote him to grey headed Commish) and a baseball bat wielding lackey. Honest, that's next. They're even 70% painted already.
Thanks to annual company shutdown enforced PTO, I found myself both with some open time and in the right mood to finish up the Water Tower and Hulkbuster from last week's post. And by finish up, I reached the point where I could only see things going downhill if I kept trying things.
The water tower was not supposed to be completely rusted. I started with a light Vallejo rust wash in spots on the top. The wash really showed brush strokes too much. For some reason, I thought of applying the wash to the entire thing, and that didn't make anything better. For a cover up, I had some Rustoleum hammered copper spray paint. That's not a color that any water tower has ever been seen, you might say. But, if the metallic sheen is toned down to a matte finish - more rust! Hopefully evenly coated, non-brush stroke showing rust. And it does look that way! At least to me, it does. Add in some dark rust/orange/brown more-rusted spots and you've got a water tower you wouldn't want to drink any water out of. The legs got a silver base coat and then a mix of random Nuln Oil and Rust washes, and some Typhus Corrosion spotted on the base as well as a cou0le of random spots on the tower itself. There were more parts included in the kit for the tower - a ladder, some cross wire supports for the legs, but I left them off for potential better miniature game play-ability.
Hulkbuster is one I just gave up on. I was using Army Painter metallics on top of a black base coat, and I just could not get even coverage brushed on. Sometimes it was going on too thick (like nail polish) and smearing around. Other times, too thin and just not covering anything. There's still black primer showing in spots, but hopefully that'll look like dark recesses and not unpainted parts. I think using the metallics with a matching base color would work better for me. Alternately, I could follow the video that used a metallic silver base and then contrast paints on top.
With the start of a new year, I have a couple of hobby goals I'm working on for the year. One of which is to work on more scenery (like the water tower) along with my randomly primed minis. Maybe not with every batch, but I'd like to find a good rhythm to work them in as I've got a closet full of buildings and vehicles sitting unmade.
To wrap up the year I finally got around to opening one of the packs from Marvel Crisis Protocol that's been sitting on the shelf for a year. Or maybe three. The Hulkbuster pack has always been at the top of my list to open up and paint, but horror stories about various kits and microscopic parts to glue together has always given me pause. Un-pause, and I've finally moved forward!
There's an Iron Man and Hulkbuster in the box. Iron Man was pretty straight forward. Hulkbuster was... confusing. I had to consult YouTube for help as the instructions weren't clear on the orientation of some parts. Even the videos I watched weren't clear on the orientation for those torso-parts where I was really confused. The action-angle of stomach/chest/shoulder where things are twisted and bent, without a slot A for tab B to definitely fit in, this is where I knew I would glue things in backwards, upside down, inside out. Luckily, the videos helped and everything ended up glued where it should be.
Once it was time to paint, I used YouTube for Hulkbuster, using Army Painter metallics. Although the video is just painting Hulkbuster, regular Iron Man was going through the same treatment. I deviated from the videos by not using a coat of speed paint on top of the metallics. Evidently I like my armor extra shiny. Additionally, I used a different YouTube for the Arc reactor glows to go with a blue-glow more than green-glow.
While I started with priming Iron Man and Hulkbuster at the same time, I quickly turned to mainly painting the very much smaller Iron Man more, and finishing him up. The metallic Army Painter paint requires a couple of coats to get proper coverage and smooth things out - this stuff has the consistency of nail policy. Granted, this is my first time to use this paint and I'm obviously still learning here. With Iron Man finished, I decided to work on Hulkbuster from the bottom-up so as to focus more on getting details and coverage instead of the eventual hurry-up-to-get-done that usually comes with using 1 color at a time. Hulkbuster boots took about 6 passes to get the coverage I was happy with. Well, happy enough.
What was I saying about hurrying up to get done?
Hulkbuster is still in progress. Most of the legs are done - maybe 70%. This is one I'm definitely going to have to take my time and not rush. Not rush to the point I may throw in painting other things to completion while working on this one here and there.
Speaking of other things, one of the semi-impulse purchases I made during Christmas sales was an O Gauge Water Tower for train layouts. O is the comparable scale that fits with 28-32mm gaming minis, and for some reason I've always wanted a non-homemade water tower, probably because my homemade water tower isn't very good. But now, a legit water tower can populate my zombie infested town ship! This is another currently in-progress kit. Getting circular parts to line up on multiple levels was the challenge here, and I knew going in that any gaps or problems with alignment would turn into rust damage. As progress went on, this rusted tower kept sticking in my head and I decided to overdo the rust. This is the step I'm currently on, which boils down to "how much was too much, and how do I backpedal?" This kit is probably about half done now, and still needs a lot of detail work added.
At some point in the past couple of years I picked up the pieces of the Gale Force 9 Aliens game because (1) it had cool minis and (2) I knew if I waited everything would be out of stock/production/license moved on. The first wave promptly sold out upon release, and then a 2nd printing with updated rules came along. There seemed to be a small buying window for everything, except the Alien Warriors. Maybe they just made too many of the 12-Warrior sets, but I kept seeing these pop up on sale almost everywhere for $15-%17. So I picked up a set I mean a couple fine I got 4 boxes. And being me, those boxes sat on a shelf for a long, long time.
Then one day I had an urge to paint something relatively simple besides zombies. That will come back to bite me in the ass. Simple, not zombies.
My first thought when I bought these kits that required assembly was to use magnets to adhere the tails to the bodies. The tails look rather fragile, so magnets would help there plus make things interchangeable! The problem here is that my tiniest magnets are still of larger circumference than the tails. So, glue it is.
Assembly is pretty straightforward. The body (torso, legs) is left & right sides that just fit together. Head and spine slide in. Arms and tail variations have a universal fit between all bodies. The front of the feet are part of the base, and then the back of the feet on the legs glue in. I thought the tail was going to be fragile, but the small 2 points of contact between the body and base - too thin and angled for pinning - won out there.
I used plastic cement for the body halves, head, and arms. I went with (thick) super glue for the tail and attaching to the base, hoping for a sturdier bond. I actually tried plastic cement once, and the body and tail eventually drooped regardless of how much support and drying time I gave it.
I had some aspirations for more than just a black/grey paint job. I while back I had watched a video using Turbo Dork paint that seemed spot on. I decided to test it out on one of these Alien Warriors.... and it looked like crap. The swirls of blue didn't... swirl right? Since the video used and Alien queen instead of these itsy bitsy warriors, the smaller scale and paint seemed to not be working for me. That was ass bite number 1.
Everyone knows Aliens are slimy and shiny. That equated to a glossy sealant coat when I thought about it. I started out testing 4 Aliens with various things - including the Turbo Dork paint scheme. Black primer with a dark grey drybrush seemed to be working out ok, and I had a couple of different variations on how hard/much drybrush I applied. On 1 with a little too much drybrush, I added what ended up being a little too much Nuln Oil wash, and everything was "streaky". Ok, don't do that. Out of the 4 I had 1 that I like well enough to move forward with, and then I gloss coated everything. At that point, from about 2 feet away, I had 4 shiny black(ish) blobs with no details visible. The gloss and sheen just covered everything up. Bite number 2.
With lessons learned, I basically went to my tried and true routes, even going so far as to re-prime the 4 that were mostly finished - and I always wondered how much detail in a mini is loss as you add more and more layers of paint and sealant. Turns out, it's very noticeable.
In the end, I went with black printer and dark grey drybrush that I tried to keep a light hand on. There were more than a couple of times the brush wasn't dry enough when I started, but that turned out ok. Citadel Iron Warriors went through multiple rounds of bringing out little bits - teeth and what looked to me like bands showing through the skin. Nuln Oil wash after that and the bodies were done. The grate for the bases got a coat of Iron Warriors, then a Nuln Oil wash to tone it down. Sepia wash was randomly added to show some rust, which worked really well. And then I added some Typhus Corrosion to a few bases randomly, most of which ended up with a little Nuln Oil added on top later. I'm not really sure why, but I went back and painted the rim of all the bases silver and then added (yet again) some nuln oil. It makes a subtle difference between the top and side of the base, but I like it even if I may be the only one to ever look close enough to notice.
And with that, there are 28 Alien minis ready to drool and spill acidic blood to and fro.
As always, correct spelling is optional in any blog entry. Keep in mind that any links more than a year old may not be active, especially the ones pointing back to Russellmania (I like to move things around!).
Tags have been added to posts back to 2005. There may be an occasional old blog that gets added to the tag list, but in reality what could be noteworthy from that far back?
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