Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Casualty round success

So once again I was able to pull it out and get my bonus round submitted to Curt's competition. I made a conscious decision to go very basic with the techniques because I didn't want to mess anything up. I probably should have used some of the Tamiya Clear Red I bought, but I was afraid of over doing it. Here are some bonus fancy pictures I took, that I did not submit to Curt. If you'd care to leave you thoughts about the pictures, all critiques are appreciated.

I also took these with a larger depth of field, but I like the softening of the background and edges for a vignette.

Here is what I wrote to Curt:

"I am proud to submit my entry into the casualty round this week. Not because of the skill displayed, but because I knuckled down and did it in two days after procrastinating like all get out. Most of you can pump out figures without breaking a sweat, I am well known for never finishing anything.

These three figures are 28mm scale and come from two manufacturers. The two on the ground come from the Conquest Norman infantry set that I won from Mike at Trouble at T'Mill. The standing fellow with the arrow in his chest I can't remember what he was but I bought him in the early 90's with some equally accoutered crossbowmen. His slotta tab says OUCH!

The paint scheme was yellow and blue, I used a burnt umber ink wash and then drybrushing of the base color. Again not winning any awards but serviceable. We're going for completion here. The standing figure is on a 20mm square plastic slotta base, while the two ground casualties are on custom plywood bases with angles that would make Cthulhu proud. If you ever need a 40mm x 39mm base, I'm your man. The groundwork was my normal airdry clay, texture gel and sand. The only modification to the process was the application of a bead of glue near the edges of the plywood. This helped to keep the clay from lifting up from the edges as it dried.

I'll finish with a little about this weeks photography. While I did continue to use the Aperture priority setting at f16, I altered my normal protocol. I used a tripod and infrared remote and set up next to a window with decent natural light. I also used my new flash diffuser, but in the end went with the straight daylight shots. The flash tends to highlight the flaws and the daylight ones seem to show how they look in person better.

Thanks for looking."

Although I cleared up my usual mistakes and omissions with my submission I did forget to mention that the shield was hand painted. To me it was obvious, what with the shaky lines and all.

Just to compare, here is the first picture with all the same settings, just using the flash with diffuser.

I like the boldness of the colors but I felt that the flaws showed more and there was still a bit of shininess off the matte varnish from the flash. What do you think?

Since I could not identify the metal figure, here he is without paint.

I tried looking it up on Stuff of Legends but if my initial assumption about the range is wrong, I'm not sure how to track him down.

I should have some more stuff to show you soon. I didn't paint as much as I'd like yesterday, but I'm making steady progress.

I'd like to finish today's post with a big thank you to Edwin King of The Depressive Diplomatist. After seeing my son's painting efforts he contacted me about sending him some plastic figures. The Mantic skeletons and orcs are just up his alley and "Woohoo" and "Jackpot" were uttered. This thank you should really be its own post, but I just wanted to acknowledge Edwin's generosity before something flew by and caught my attention. I hope to have progress reports of my son's painting before long. I'm going to try and let him do what he wants with these and just support him, rather than micro manage him.

Friday, February 21, 2014

I am a world class procrastinator

Well I've done it again. I've put off working on the casualty round until the last minute. I only cleaned the figures yesterday and need to get them done before 11pm Saturday night my time. Fortunately it is another small project, consisting of only three figures. We shall see what I can achieve.

I have a lot of figures half to almost completed for the Talomir campaign. Steve and Ruarigh have fought out the invasion of The Abyss by Mirish, with Mirish being victorious. It hasn't been posted to the blog yet, they may be waiting on me. The main reason I'm holding off on fighting the battle is I don't want to mix up the started figures with the strictly legal figures for the challenge. I've put too much work in not to get any points.

Since I posted about Anonymous posts I have been deluged by 20+ emails from various blogs. I have unsubscribed from the posts in question. I am considering whether or not to take the extra step of making an exit comment, just to get across the point. I don't know. I personally wonder if it is worth the effort to block out anonymous comments. Obviously some of you do feel that it is.

And if you are looking for the followers widget it can be found at the bottom of the first page of "More Gadgets" when you go to add a gadget in layout view. I read about it here.

I also think that I mentioned a review in the last post, and then didn't really review anything. So I'll owe you one.

I actually started writing this this morning. I planned on posting during the day but got caught up in things. The casualties are based and primed now. I hope to color block them while I watch Game of Thrones Season 3 with my wife.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Wrasslin', Review and update

Hi All,

The family went to WWE Live on Saturday night and it was quite fun. My wife had won some tickets from work so she and my son sat in the company suite while my daughter and I sat with the unwashed masses. While there was some body odor in evidence we actually sat between several women, one of which actually smelt quite nice. Any how there was chanting, trash talking and great athleticism in addition to the sheer spectacle. It was quite a bit of fun even if I have no idea who most of the wrestlers are any more. My only gripe would be the one guy who stood up 100 times during the matches who was of course one row down and right in front of me. I let it go because he was obviously really into it and I figured it wasn't worth raining on his parade.

Obligatory crappy cell phone picture.

The stuff I ordered through Amazon has been coming in, in dribs and drabs, but I think it is all here now. I read the entire Walking Dead Vol 3 in one sitting and am reading Conan Vol 2 in spurts to give myself a break from various tasks.

The flash diffusers arrived and I hope to give them a go in today or tomorrow. I have a ton of chores to do and I have to play X-Wing with my son or suffer the consequences.

Painting Update:

I have been painting a lot, unfortunately nothing is finished. It is also cutting into my planned challenge painting. I am pushing to finish those 1/72 figures for the Treyine vs. Stygustan battle for Talomir Tales. I need to get to work on my casualties and prep the figures for the last stand so that I'm not down to the wire for that one as well. I just need to stay focussed.


Of course it is a total side track, but somewhat relevant as I am painting the figures for it in the challenge (sort of). I dug through some old boxes and found notes and letters pertaining to my Orc army from the 90's and the Mighty Empires Play by Mail campaign I was trying to do with my highschool gaming buddy Charlie. This is the campaign and setting I want to revive, perhaps this year finally. Lots of good stuff. It made me realize that I did actually own, and may still have, Warhammer Armies (3rd Ed). As of right now I don't know where it is located, but the notes on the armies can only have been done with access to the book and I was the only one who invested in Warhammer at all. I think a couple of my friends bought a blister pack or two, but they decided they didn't like painting and collecting figures or modelling terrain. So thus ended my foray into Warhammer.

Charlie's roster on the left.


Anonymous has started up again, and by that I don't mean the hackers (or whatever that group is). Anonymous comments have been cropping up again on many blogs I follow. I like to be notified of follow up comments to posts in case there is an interesting discussion going on. The Anonymous comments are almost invariably spam of one sort or another.

For the love of all that is holy, stop allowing anonymous comments. Seriously. In the almost 3(?) years I've been blogging I can count on my fingers the number of legit anonymous posts I have seen across the hundreds of blogs I follow. Otherwise they are just trolls and spammers. My new policy is to immediately unsubscribe a thread that gets an anonymous post.

Also I would like to encourage everyone to add a followers widget to their blog. While follower count is a little bit of a false ego boost it does have a couple of advantages. The first is that the number of blogs followed in this way seem to have no limit, where as manually inputting them does. The other reason is that many blogs have a blogroll of the blogs they follow so you get advertising on their blogs if they can follow you easily. As a corollary, always follow back.

Welcome to:

Jay from Finely Diced Gamers, a blog about board games from the look of it. I already see a couple that have peaked my interest. And of course I love Risk, although getting my family to play seems a bridge too far.

The Lord of Excess, who has no less than 5 blogs. The main one seems to be The Excessive Gamer. The foremost topic is D&D edition wars. For me it's AD&D (1st) if you must know.

Just a reblog from Oldschool Gamers on FB.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Retail therapy and what I won.

As you all may have noticed I have not been as timely as I would like in updating the blog and reading and commenting on all of your blogs. Part of it is that I am actually somewhat busier than usual and part is that a little of the wind has been taken out of my sails after my latest blood work. Although I feel more or less fine, and my kidney function is approaching normal, my Creatine Kinase levels are off the charts. I'm talking more than 10 times the normal upper limit. So I have been asked not to exercise for another 3 months. This has caused a fair amount of stress in the family as we don't really know what is going on and reading about it on the internet doesn't have much of bright side. But as far as I know I haven't had a heart attack or a crushing injury and don't have muscular dystrophy. I go back for more tests next week.

End sob story.

So I figured I would do the rounds of the local hobby shops for some retail therapy. For me right now that is the Hobby Bench. I went to the one on Bell Rd and 43rd Ave here in Phoenix. As per usual I spent way too much time drooling over kit. I had intended to buy some green stuff, but all they had was putty in a tube, and bought some Tamiya Clear Red and some Model Master matte varnish. I then went to Hobby Lobby, because I thought I had seen green stuff there before. Of course I couldn't find any, so I bought some Vallejo matte varnish and some more Anita's Earth Brown, since I use that for basing. The last stop was Best Buy to see if they had flash diffusers similar to what Dave D showed on his blog here. They didn't, so when I got home I ordered what I couldn't find from Amazon. I could have saved myself  a lot of time but I guess it distracted me from my worries.

The reason I'm buying all this varnish and photo accessories is that I'm trying to figure out my shiny figure issue and work towards taking better pictures.

And to wrap up my rambling, what I won from Joakim at the Miniatures Man.

The squares are 1" (25.4mm)

The whole Chainmail thing from Wizards of the Coast passed me by. When you say Chainmail I think of the old mass battle rules in the little brown book. The figures are pretty cool and seem to scale well with my other 28mm figures. The female Paladin is pretty huge, giving me a Brienne from Game of Thrones vibe.

I hope you all are well, and that I'll have something of interest to post again soon.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Heroes, Cthulhu and my son's painting

So I managed to get my entry in to Curt on time, but the more I look at it the more disappointed I am. You of course can read all about it here. Voting is by comment only now, so it is possible I will get fewer than the one or two votes I usually get. Thanks, by the way, to whom ever has voted for me. I am under no illusions that I am any where near the caliber of the other participants, but it is nice that someone appreciates my take on the subjects. Any how, here is what I wrote to Curt.

"A dude and his mutt. In the wasteland some times your only friend is mans best friend. The Stranger and Max the dog are again from Aberrant's Warlands range here. These were both white metal and the only trouble I had was with cutting them off their slotta base tabs. The dog's rear right leg almost broke off and was not level with the rest. So I went through my bag of rocks and found one that would work on the base.

Again an embarrassingly simple paint job, once I decided on my palette. For the dog I wanted to try and capture the look of the dog from the movies. I had always thought it was a dingo, what did I know, but apparently the breed is a blue heeler. Primed black, camel belly, gray dry brush. Some washes and a little more dry brushing and we're done. I did a little with the eyes and mouth, but nothing to write home about.

For the Stranger the hardest part was to not do him in the iconic all black. The jacket and boots I would leave black but I decided to go with Navy blue pants and brown leather holsters. I also tried the rust technique on the various pads and plates spread around on his body. My main aim is to try and get some visual interest and not just paint it black and drybrush that and call it a day. I'm not real happy with my work on his flesh. I tried to mix up my own wash, but it's too subtle.

Well anyway that's an awful lot of text for very little work. I hope you enjoy the nostalgia of these figures as I do."

You'll note that, like a bonehead, I forgot to mention that the figure were 1/72 (20mm) scale. I also made the faux pas of sending my photos in at 300dpi, although they were the legal 1000px across the top. I'll be paying more attention to this in the future. Also for some reason my entry is listed as by ScottS. I'll let him know shortly.

What I really don't like about the stranger figure is the fact that I couldn't do a good wash to get the shading I wanted. I'm sick of GW Flesh wash,  and I mixed up some new ink washes a la Les Bursley, but didn't like the flesh color I achieved. Too light so it was more of a highlight in the recesses. I then made what I thought was my grunge wash, a mixture of the Raw Umber, Burnt Umber and Black washes I had made previously. It ended up too subtle so we are left with what you see.

I'm still beavering away at the figures for the Talomir game. Another report is up on Talomir Tales here in which Ed himself plays out a battle between Treyine and Tropilium. I feel like I'm making good progress on these and should have them table top ready soon.

Before I forget I also want to welcome new follower Mattias Darrow of Amateur Hour a blog where he displays his talents. Not so amateur in my humble opinion. He seems to have only 12 followers right now, which is criminal given his talent. Check him out, you won't be disappointed.

Imagine my delight when I saw this drawn by my very own little cultist.

He is also becoming a little painter. He asked me if he could paint some skeletons so I gave him some figures, paints and ink wash and taught him how to dry brush. The result is this.



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