Another trio of minis managed to get painted. I'm still trying out new techniques - I'm not sure if I can call this last batch a success or not. I guess I learned things for better or worse.
The first mini was a version of Mad Max, Rex, Dark Future Hero. At first I thought the mini was just Arnold from Terminator 2, but after seeing the torn/missing sleeve on the leather jacket the right light bulb went off. I tried a couple of new things with Rex. His skin was just white primer with Citadel Reikland Fleshshade. It turned out pretty good but there was still a little too much primer showing through. Instead of just painting everything leather straight black, I painted it grey and applied a Nuln Oil wash with some black drybrush/highlights.
None of that worked at all. It looked like crap, and I managed to get careless with my brush and a couple of grey and black streaks were on Rex's face. Cover up with a layer of (thicker than I meant) black on the leather, some various flesh paint for his face, and Rex was usable but his skin tone was off. Still, I couldn't really improve with what I know.
Next up is Noy James Bond, Daniel Sterling, Secret Agent of GUARD. My intent was to be simple with this one. Grey suit, nothing fancy. I tried a couple of shades of grey to get some highlighting to show up and it mostly worked. Again I used the Fleshshade wash, this time without messing it up. The problem here is that he ends up looking grey - in his face, not just the suit.
Lastly is my mandatory female, Candy, Anime Heroine who looks a lot like the Anime Hero Sugar. Again, Fleshshade for skin. I had a mostly dried up pot of Citadel Sky Blue that I was able to use thanks to my wet palette - it revived the paint pretty good! Very thinned out and then a drybrush of the blue managed to keep the details in the mini sculpt showing. The gunmetal drybrush on the gun just looks grey in the picture though. Of the 3, I'm least frustrated with this one.... I think that's the best way to put it.
I was also practicing more on my secret weapon bases. They've got great detail and I was concentrating on not covering that detail up. For Rex and Bonnie and put down a thick layer of Nuln Oil wash in the cracks & crevices to bring them out, then applied wash layers to rest of the base - a combo of the flesh and earth shades, then topped off with a thinned out Nuln Oil to darken it all and bring the highlights down. It worked best on Bonnie's base where to looks like she's on broken up marble.
Daniel Sterling ended up on a flight deck base. I washed this with grey (maybe 1:4 paint:water) which started out looking like crap because the wash was so thin it wasn't covering enough. I kept with it though, and kept applying washes after the previous has dried. Once the washes gave everything the proper grey tint I was going for, the whole base was drybrushed gunmetal to bring out the steel plating feel. Nuln Oil again, but extremely light, to tone things down a little and shade recesses, with a follow up gunmetal drybrush to try and bring out the top highlights. For all the work (ie multiple layers) that went into it you really can't see that much. The saving grace here is that I didn't completely mess it up.
The next batch up are all space marine themed. No skin to worry about, and they'll probably end up on standard bases to flock.
I got in another good week of leisurely painting. Last week I primed 3 more figures to paint so they would be ready when the urge struck. Having primed minis along with a wet palette that keeps me from at least feeling like I'm wasting dried out paint has made it a lot easier to just pick up a brush when the mood strikes - and then put the brush back down when the mood is over.
Once again I felt I'm getting a little better still, but still making lots of mistakes. The skin tones didn't feel right on any of these. I was trying to give Doc Savage a little more of the "man of bronze" feel, and Chop Saki the Asian tint he deserved. I think you can see what I was going for, but it's just not there.
Doc Savage's leather boots and white shirt turned out well. The leather look is really just poor painting that lets more of the white undercoat on the primer show through, while the shredded white shirt is just primer with a very light dark wash - the dark wash I apply first to help bring out the details that I'll eventually paint over (thanks Kevin & your Black Wash).
I had forgotten the bases for Doc and Bonnie came from the Secret Weapon "Urban Streets" line. I just thought they were rubble. Actually they're whatever you paint them up to be, but when I bought them I had intended to go the route in the painted examples where the painted lines are in the rubble. Now I'm pretty sure that's a more advanced route to go. Bonnie ended up with black-rock rubble, while Doc got more of a stone base.
While I've primed 3 more to paint next, I've got to ready a box to store these things in. Foam core box inserts! I'm not sure if that will have anything blog worthy or not. We'll see.
I've been lax in my hobby painting. I've wanted to, but the gumption to follow through has been lacking. This past week I finally took some leave from work and decided that I wouldn't lounge around and waste the time away. I had lots of little projects I'd been putting off for one reason or another. This was my time to finally make some headway.
I've been stocking up on minis to paint for a while (fine, years). I don't get minis to play with a specific game, I just some one (fine, some) that look like they would be interesting to paint and don't worry about a game. I don't claim to be a good painter, but I enjoy it and I enjoy watching the techniques of people that are a lot better than I am. The drawback there is that a lot of times I'm too intimidated to actually get the paint out and start on a mini. But the only way to get better is to mess up a few along the way - that just might be one of the reasons I've got a closet full of random minis to paint.
Instead of trying the assembly line method that I used when I was painting Dust figures I'm instead focusing on quality of details instead of just trying to crank everything out. With that, my plan is to prime 3 minis, finish painting them, and then move on to 3 more. I grabbed a handful of packaged minis in the closet and ended up picking out 3 from the Reaper Chronoscope line. The 3 I started out with were:
Over the course of a week I went through and took my time, playing around with various washes and finding out that different brush lengths really do make a difference - long brush bristles aren't bad like I thought they were! I made mistakes, then I would see if I could turn those into happy mistakes and discover something good along the way.
Overall, I'm pretty happy with how these turned out. Janus the cybertech guy is my favorite of the batch, probably because he turned out the closest to how I originally imagined. I played around a lto with skin shades, which had him looking like a zombie for a little while. That turned into some happy mistake discovery afterward. Those discoveries could have been happier, but it turned out ok for the level I'm at right now.
I picked 3 more to prime to work on next. Karate Guy, Not Doc Savage, and Chick With 2 Guns. The first thing I did was follow something I saw another painter do, which is apply a light dark wash after priming. The purpose of this wash is to bring out the details so you can better see what you're painting - a big plus for old eyes! I also decided to try out some of the Secret Weapon bases that I'd picked up to get away from the normal grass/rock flocking I always do to the bases afterward.
I don't think I'll get all 3 of these done in a week, but I've got them ready to work on when the mood next strikes. Maybe I should get out the calendar and schedule that mood, just ot make sure I don't get in another rut.
For Christmas I'd like to stop waking up at 4 in the morning. This has been going on for the better part of 2 months, and at least 5 times a week I'm lucky to sleep past 4.
Work has been busy (it IS that season, after all) so there's been a little extra stress there. I started a regimented workout routine, for which my body likes to remind me that I'm old and out of shape and it would rather not do that, but I don't listen to my body. I'm aware of all of this, so there's no reason to keep waking up so early.
Especially since most days this leads to me really wanting to take a nap when I get home from work. Regardless of whether I take that nap or not, it doesn't appear to affect what time I wake up.
Today is my 2nd anniversary at Dealnews, where I've survived 2 Black Fridays without bringing the site down.
That last part was a bit more of a challenge this year, as I actually had relevant code that had to be published to the live
site on the busiest days of our year.
This time last year I was still learning. A year into a new job, in a language I thought I knew well as I'd been using it for over a decade, and I was still fumbling about. Joe had told me after 3 months that it usually takes new hires at least 3-6 months to get comfortable with the way code works at Dealnews. I still remember the day I finally didn't feel like an idiot - I'd been there for 14 months. That means for the last 10 months I haven't felt... well, I can't say stupid because there have been plenty of instances of that. Maybe it's best to say that for 10 months I've felt like I've finally started to earn at least a little of my keep.
2 years in and I still enjoy going to work and the work I do. The company is changing a little - but all companies do over time as they grow and evolve. So far none of those changes have appeared negative to me. Oh, one's coming as we're scheduled to change offices to downtown Huntsville. To a building I know well as it's the ole YMCA where Spiritus was. It's only negative to me because it doubles my commute and there's no good way back to avoid the traffic jam that is Madison. The move keeps getting held up because the bank currently in the building has federal regulations as to where it can move, and anything with "federal" in it is going to take more time. In the interim, I get to keep my current commute.
Now to see what happens at 3 DealYears!
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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