Since the last batch of Walking Dead turned out pretty well, I decided to try the same route on another batch. 9 more primed, mainly 5 from the Made To Suffer expansion which WAS NOT ON MY PROGRESS SPREADSHEET. For someone who prides himself on organizational skills, that spreadsheet has been my bane.
I strayed from keeping to reference pics this time. This is obvious when looking at Bruce, who I neglected to make black. Besides not noticing, I still have a problem with those brown skin tones so I don't feel too guilty. In trying to up my painting game after becoming a little more confident with my "eyes looking close to the same direction" technique, I tried to give everyone eyebrows. Face detail, that's what I'm working on. Mixed results on that front.
Martinez, with the headband, was my hero to focus on this time and he turned out well. There was an errant dab of paint on his elbow when I was touching up something - I have no idea what. Instead of trying to get the skin tone to match back up, that dab turned into a recent wound with some extra blood laced scratches around it. I'm all about covering up mistakes with grime and gore, after all.
Dr Stevens was the one that turned out better than I expected. I tried to keep his coat Primer White, and mostly did, although one of the final steps on him was to apply an off-white drycoat to cover up some bleeding from other colors. Plus, the stark whiteness of the primer was a little too much.
It's never until I take pictures and look at the details that I see just how much better most people's painted minis look. If nothing else it shows that I'm looking at the right people to learn from.
A while back I posted a few pics of the 4Ground Tobacconists Shop that I wasn't very happy with. Nothing wrong with the kit, I just did a horrible job on it. This bothered my subconscious enough to ponder what to do, and after nigh on 2 months I have an improvement I'm not as disappointed in. The shop is now a semi-derelict building for lease. It even has graffiti (applied via clear mailing stickers). It's still not something I'm proud of, but now I'm not ashamed of it.
Over on the progress spreadsheet, taking into account that 5 of the minis from the expansion weren't present previously, there was another gain of 1% on the Realistic list. 251 painted minis, and 345 total. Mostly for the fun of painting. Why let games get in the way?
Next up - continuing progress on the Walking Dead minis, the Fear The Hunters expansion is up for priming. There's 5 minis in the expansion, so that leaves some room to see what else catches my eye to reach the target of 9 things to prime.
When it comes to minis for the Walking Dead game, I try to find reference pics to paint by. I'm not good with color choices so going by what someone else has that already looks good helps. In addition, using a "good" template helps my skills along.
This time, I had 3 goals. The ever present first goal of "Don't glob on paint and make them suck" was foremost. Second was "try to make some eyeballs that don't look retarded." Finally, "Change up skin tones" was a direct result of the last batch needing too many coats of paint & wash to not look from pasty death to rotted death.
The packs of minis this time didn't contain 1 "Hero" and 2 zombies. I guess they've released enough zombies? Except for Zombie Duane, son of Morgan, Distraught Father, added in to Morgan's pack of 3, the packs I opened up all had 2 "Hero" minis.
Walking Dead reference pics (from Mantic Games) that I used for reference:
Over the course of 2 weeks, even though there were 9 minis lined up to paint, I eschewed the assembly line method of picking a color and using it on every mini that could use that color. Instead I did what (I've heard) works better - start at the bottom/hard to reach level of the mini and work up. Normally that means "skin". If a hand is holding something, that isn't necessarily true. I started with Abraham, for some reason I wanted this one to turn out the best, to make sure I took my time on. Skin, red/orange hair (easy to do with the Citadel orange wash), green camo clothes. Everything was something I'd done before, although camo painted uniforms were more of what I painted in the 80's and 90's.
Since I was trying to vary skin tones, thanks to the Juan Ton Soop incident of last month, there wouldn't just be a base skin tone and flesh wash applied. 4 black (African-whatever, I've never tried to be PC here, just ask Juan Ton Soop), 1 Latina (fine, a little PC), and the rest are normal white guys. I always have a hard time with black, as I'm wary of going too dark (covering up features) and often end up too light (hey, nice tan, bro). Even the white guys are normally too white, with me depending too much on the flesh wash.
Taking my time helped. When things didn't look right - of course the first 2 passes of my black guys were all too light - I tried to find a shade to LIGHTLY APPLY to see if it made things better. Most did. Some, of course, did not. By the time I was done, Jud was the only mini I wasn't at least halfway happy with. Jud's skin was too... sunburned is the best way to describe it. And there had been enough layers of paint and wash that he'd reached the tipping point of having enough detail showing to be presentable. When you don't make the cut, you get experimented on! Jud, welcome to the tattoo needle! The tattoo needle is really a pen tip, but that doesn't sound as ominous. Some light scribbles and Jud, whoever he is in the comics, is now a tatted up rough looking dude.
The rest stuck pretty close to the reference pics I was using. Abraham turned out the best, as I'd hoped. Eugene, holding a radio, ended up better than I expected. Almost everyone had eyes that ended up looking in the same direction. Morgan's eyes look a little weird, but I was trying to go for the "distraught/crazed" look and went a little too crazy. I knew my attempt to fix it would screw it up, so Morgan remains "super distraught and crazed".
For once I haven't noticed any obvious mathematical formula errors in the painting progress spreadsheet. I also haven't bought anything since last time. This means, for the first time in a long, long time, the spreadsheet shows PROGRESS! +9 painted! +1% progress!
There's another batch of Walking Dead minis awaiting priming so they'll be ready to paint when the mood strikes. It's rainy, humid day and I've learned that priming when it's raining leads to runny primer covering details. In keeping with the Walking Dead progress, I pulled out the Greene Family Farm scenery expansion and thought it might be nice to make their barn. There's also plenty of other, prep-work tasks I've got to keep me busy so I can have something cool to show later. Plenty to do!
A little random painting got finished! This batch of minis was "random Chronoscape just to relax and show some progress." I hereby mark that as a success! This batch of 5 non-related minis included:
As there was no reason to paint these other that "fun" and getting over the disappointment of how the last batch of minis turned out, I was in no hurry to get these painted nor had any formula or pattern of how they should look in mind. Once again I returned to my best working method of using washes as much as I could. I also thinned out the paint, a lot. Instead of using water, I remember I had thinner medium. Thinner medium is a horrible name, and I had to have 2 people explain to me as to why to use it. Thinning with water, as I've done for years, works but it's inconsistent in how it thins the paint. Thinning medium thins evenly. All paint has thinner in it. Whenever I dole out some paint and there's unmixed, usually milky/murky fluid - that's thinning medium! The color is called pigment by those that know more than me, and when you put medium with pigment and shake vigorously, you get paint. That was the explanation that stuck with me.
As I had years ago painted Chan Li, who I affectionately call Chop Saki because I've never been convicted of being politically correct, I thought I would reverse the clothing color scheme and see how my skills had improved on the new Chan Li. New Chan Li would not be called Chop Saki Jr as that's too obvious. No, he is instead Juan Tahn Soop. Chop Saki had a good skip shade - just enough of a yellow tint to look Asian. Juan - Juan ended up with a sunburn. The Pale Skin base was too white. I tried some shades of brown and orange to get away from that, but it did not go the right direction. Sunburned and dirty Juan it is, in the end.
Dr Dread, as I mentioned above, I didn't see as Dr Doom but just another robot. He started out with a yellow tunic as I was using some bits of yellow wash on other figures and the yellow wash works well on clothing and hair. After it was pointed out to me that this was really Dr Doom, I wondered how well a green wash would cover up the yellow. I've got 4 Citadel green washes/shades, and the brightest (Coleia Greenshade) covered the yellow just right. I think there may actually be some yellow highlighting that comes through in a couple spots that looks natural.
There's more shifting of numbers than what actually got done on the progress chart. Some of the "to paint" Walking Dead packs only had 2 minis instead of 3. More importantly, when calculating the percentage of what's been done, the total to calculate against should not just be what's left to paint, but also include what's been painted. You know, the TOTAL! Kind of a downer that I hadn't made almost the 50% progress that had been shown, but that always felt overly optimistic. Now I know why! Obviously, I can't do math.
After all the ups and downs of this spreadsheet since trying to keep track of my progress, I think I really am at 33% of what I want to get done completed (13% overall).
Already primed and ready to see what progress I can make over the next week or two are 9 Walking Dead minis. Now you can easily figure out how I came to find that some WD packs had 2 minis in them instead of the 3 I was used to.
After being called out by Bob for lack of content, I provide a minimum of interesting content. Interesting to me, at least.
As part of Getting Shit Done, I'm trying to dedicate an hour per night to the menial tasks needed before I do something cool. An hour per night is really turning into an hour every other night.
One of my hobby projects is to re-do my map tiles I've been using for the Walking Dead game, which will realistically serve any 28mm game that comes along. Why re-do them? I have lots of reasons!
Originally I printed my tiles at 7½" square. Why? I have no idea, that's just how the first batch I'd printed ended up sized. They were supposed to be 6". The basis for them were 7" tilesets from Fat Dragon games, but there's a 1" row missing from the end print so I know that I tweaked and resized them. 7½", while I fine and usable size, does not scale well for modularity if you want to use anything but 7½". Case in point - I want to make bigger tiles for the MDF buildings that I'm adding in. Sure, I could just use 7½" and stick multiples together, but in the long run I'm lazy and would gripe and moan every time I had to pick out the right combination of tiles to fit together for this specific building.
As such, everything is getting resized to 6".
I've oft complained/admitted to my inability to cut a straight line. The foam core the 7½" prints are adhered to show that after enough of them are lined up. This is my chance to try and compensate. Instead of cutting foam core, I'm instead planning on mounting all of this on cake boards. Lots of cake board sizes! Let somebody else cut those straight lines!
I've currently got the basic road with sidewalk graphics files complete. Next is to add in some versions with ground clutter to spice it up. Also needed is the grass (instead of sidewalk) version of each which will get glued to the opposite side. I generally take my time tweaking graphics so even though all of this could be whipped out in an hour it'll likely take me a couple of weeks.
I'm not in a real big hurry. I'm supposed to be having fun with this!
The last time I showed any minis I'd painted was Dec 30th. Close to 3 months and nothing noteworthy to show on the hobby front. Sure, I've spent most of the last 3 weeks sick. But what kind of excuse is that?
Pitifully, it's a good enough excuse for me.
To quell this pitiful trend, a batch of Reaper cowboys were primed. Why cowboys? No real reason, other than I picked up a batch of cowboys however many years ago. Maybe my zombie apocalypse will have a time travel scenario? Maybe I'll turn the whole thing into a Westworld game? Most likely, I was just tired of flipping past them in the box of Reaper minis and thought it would be a good chance to lessen some of those I flip through later.
Overall all this batch came out about average. I could have done better. I could have done worse. Painting faces under cowboy hats is hard. The details on the minis didn't really pop for me - after the fact I feel that I should have gone back and touched up little details here and there, but honestly I'm not sure what they are.
On the overall painting progress chart I'm once again farther behind than when I started this batch. Thanks to a Miniature Market birthday coupon I caught up on the Walking Dead expansions I'd been missing/putting off. For the 5 I add to the Painted list above, there's 21 Unpainted Walking Dead minis added to the list.
In addition to these minis, 4Ground Tobacconists store came together. I had some issues getting this one together. One of the door pegs broke off as I was squeezing it into place. The windows and their cardboard frames fought me. I also wasn't paying attention in the beginning and glued one of the windows in backwards to where the text is facing inside the store. The door that fought me skidded around when I wasn't paying attention, and I ended up mounting the front door in the back. There's a good chance there might be a little fire/riot damage to this building before it gets any play use.
Another random 5 minis are sitting ready to be primed now - no cowboys this time.
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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