Dreadball has a team of teleporting turtles. But the entire team is male, and they keep their females secret…until now.
I should have put a reference model next to Bertha, but she’s a head taller than a ymargletter, and twice as wide. (Only don’t talk about her size). It’s late, and I need to be asleep right now, but I had to assemble something from my giant box of Deadzone models before I was satisfied.
I spent this evening desperately trying to clip 50 sprues of Deadzone terrain so that it would all pack nicer and not give my girlfriend a little freakout when she gets home from her event this week. I watched Voyager, for gods sake, and they made peace with the main horrible enemy of the show! I think I’ll succeed…it all packs down into the original game box.
Question for my diligent readers: How should I do my rebels bases? I still have a bunch of that metal sheeting I was using for my Dark Eldar, but I haven’t settled on anything yet. What do you think I should do?
Today I spent most of the afternoon applying layer after layer of paint to my plaguebearers.
I started with a Sotek Green base, then highlighted up3-4 layers up with Sotek+Ushapti Bone. This was really pastelly in the end.
I had a Secret Weapon gift certificate, so I picked up a few items, including 4 of their washes to try out. I mixed the Soft Body Black 1:1 with water and applied it liberally across the models. This stuff you have to be slightly more carefully with than the GW washes, as it will create tide marks more easily. It’s also slightly glossy at the end, which isn’t great.
On 3 of the models I mixed more water in, such that when you pulled your brush through it, it was transparent. This looked great on the model while it was wet, but didn’t look like anything after it dried. If I wasn’t doing a unit of 24, this probably would have been the right way to use this stuff – just with a lot more layers.
I wanted something else…so I mixed the Soft Body with some water and Fortress Grey and painted that into the crevasses of the models. This is just a slight tint of grey in some areas, which I like. Part of the inspiration for the colours of this unit is the bases that I’ve been painting – they are on completely different coloured bases – and I wanted to have that similar colour between units.
After that step, I went back and re-highlighted the tops of the muscles. Sotek Green, then Sotek+Fortress Grey, then Sotek+Fortress+Ushapti.
Right now, I’m feeling like there is just a single colour on these models…which there is. I’m thinking about bright orange swords…anything to make the unit more bright!
Painting these today, I’m going to be glad when they’re done. I remember now why I haven’t done a new army in years – painting model after model of the exact same thing is incredibly boring. I’m driven to finish it, and painting in a factory-line is the most efficient, but I just want it done, so I start getting sloppy at the end of the assembly line.
This guy has a funny story.
Funny, “Oh hell..”. I had finished the conversion of Skulltaker. Carefully filed off the Khorne symbols, created a little Nurgle crest on his chest, done my best putty work on the neck and making sure the head looked awesome. Everything was exactly how I wanted it.
Except that he was supposed to have a banner. Damnit.
If you look at the model, you can see that there isn’t really a great place for a banner to go. I had a little panic moment – what was I going to do? I took to the internet to see about solving my problem, when an idea came to me from my Ork Warboss in Mega Armour – attach the banner to his backpack (or something). I quickly found this stunning example of nurglings (scroll down 5 photos). I sculpted a similar work of art, stuck it on an Ork shoulderpad, glued a little Goblin banner in it’s little LEGO-like hand, and BAM, instant BSG.
Despite the accidental nature of this conversion, I think it’s fantastic. A touch of whimsy in an otherwise Very Serious Army.
It’s been a few weeks since I wrote. I haven’t felt the muse tug at me to write, but have instead been working on actually getting some damn progress on these damn models. I felt as though the plaguebearers would never be started, let alone finished, so I hunkered down and I now have some middling progress to report on.
Considering that these same models inspired me to write a 3-part series on glue, I’m pretty stoked at where they’re at. Just some Rhinox Hide on the back bases, a black base border and some Sotek Green, really, but it’s more than that. They look harmonized. They look like the heads belong on the bodies, where that wasn’t the case before priming. They look like they might be Plaguebearers, and that’s all the difference. I played a game of Triumph and Treachery last week, and one of my many opponents said after deployment “Oh, those are plaguebearers? Oh, no.” even though I had mentioned their religious choices earlier in the evening. Muskie told me in the comments, months ago, that my worshippers of Nurgle looked a little Khorny. Now, in a slightly more greenish hue than mostly red and some metal, these could be plaguebearers.
I’m overjoyed at making progress.
In the meantime, Adepticon moved my cheese. I had a perfect 1200 point list written. When it was done, the Chaos Gods themselves would join hands and circle round it in song and praise. Then Adepticon threw a wrench in my plans by making my tournaments a mere 1000 points. The same perfection is no longer possible. I will have to make do. But know this – the Gods will have their due.
Part of my plaguebearer project (which…not only haven’t I written about for a while, but I also haven’t worked on for a while) is to have half of the unit in the daemon/rocky bases that my horrors are on, and the other half is in the mortal world. The mortal world is cobbled, so I set about making my own cobblestone!
Milliput, the same stuff I’ve been making my stegadon and Old Blood bases with, because for a few bucks you get a ton of putty. It works similarly to the GW green stuff, in that it’s a two part epoxy that you knead together, but it’s a lot more grainy and flaky.
I started by taking a ball of it and spreading it evenly across the base, ensuring that I got it into the corners and edges fully. I had to be careful to avoid pulling it up from the base once it was on there.
I used the knife edge of my GW putty tool, along with a healthy amount of water to smooth down any fingerprints in the putty. I also cut away and pushed up the edges so that they didn’t extend over the edge of the base. It should also be relatively flat, but it doesn’t have to be exactly flat for my purposes. This is “the old world”, so uneven stones are to be expected.
Again, making sure the putty knife edge is wet I pressed it into the putty in lines. Make sure they are straight across and relatively even. After I had cut a line, I twisted the tool slightly to both sides to widen the cut a bit. This is important, because otherwise as you cut, my cut lines will push closed again.
Take the tip of the knife and cut perpendicular lines into each segment.
After you’ve done all of this, you’re mostly done, but you have a few clean-up tasks to do.
When you cut, you’ll have shifted your lines around, and with my knife in particular some of my bricks ended up with pinched corners. I pulled the knife lightly back through some of the lines, and used the flat to smooth down places where I had accidentally cut to much.
The edges of the putty are probably also pushed out over the edge of the base a bit. They look a little pillowy. I took my knife flat and pushed it all back, and then re-cut the very edge of some of the cut lines to ensure that the cut lines extend all the way across the base.
I wanted to do this, because I have a big unit filler planned and I’ll need to do some custom base work on it to meld the rocky bases and cobblestone bases together!
I still hate painting humans…
A new mercenary called Sue. Nothing about this paint job really makes me happy, so I’m kind of glad it’s over with. Right now, as I write this, I’m considering coating his coat in Badab Black and being happier with that. Or maybe I’ll sleep on it and see how I feel in the morning.
I haven’t updated recently on what my miniature photography setup looks like. It’s changed a lot since I first started, and will continue to change!
A flat, empty surface.
I’m glad that my kitchen table has been cleaned, and has stayed clean for a while now. Previously I had to move books or other things around to find the space to set my stuff up. The more effort you need to put into doing something, the less likely that you’ll do it.
An ok camera.
My camera is a Panasonic GF3. I bought this one because it was small, and had the ability to use interchangeable lenses. Intermediate features on your camera allow you the control to make things look the way you want them to. A point and shoot gives you no control and the camera will tell you what your photo will look like. Sometimes that works out! Sometimes it’s frustrating. That’s why I started using the phone camera for Work-In-Progress photos, because I gave up the need to have control over all of my photos for the sake of get ‘er dun.
A lens that can get in there.
The macro lens for my camera system is about $1200. I don’t use that one. I bought an inexpensive adapter to another camera system ($80), and an inexpensive ($230) macro lens in that system. The focus time is really bad, but I’m tending to manual focus these days anyway. Not like the model is going anywhere. The macro lens is nice because you can get really close to your model. Some other lenses may have a focus distance that works for you, but most of mine need to be at least half a meter away from my model. That’s to far away to get good detail! I’ve always wanted to take photos that are right in your face, big, with the detail easy to see. Sometimes I get to much detail…but I think it’s worth it.
This is one of the more important things you should get. You can use a dinky little Gorilla Pod (or a really awesome big one!) or a nice expensive tripod, but you need to have one if you’re controlling everything else! If you can’t control how much your camera moves, your photos won’t turn out as well, particularly when you start setting the shutter speed lower, in order to get brighter photos. There is no reason to hand-hold your camera!
I have a 3-legged tripod I got from my mom, and I have a couple medium sized Gorilla Pods depending on where I’m shooting. I tend to use the tripod now, just because I have the space setup such that I can.
A couple of cheap lights.
I bought 3 desk lights from Canadian Tire. The important part is to make sure that the bulbs you use are the same temperature. This is easy to do if you buy all your lights at the same time! If you have to replace a bulb though, check the side of the packaging or the bulb itself for a number that looks like 3000K or 5000K. Bigger is a cooler colour, smaller is a warmer colour, but if you’re using your cameras White Balance properly, it shouldn’t matter.
I used a pair of grey jeans for my Astronomi-con booklet photos. I found a white-to-blue gradient photo on the internet. I opened it up in Paint.NET, resized it big enough to print and then had Staples print me out a few copies of each. You can see this in the photo above – one sheet is good for a single model. I tried to cut a second up, but I’ll get shadows where the two meet. I try to use this in my photo editing software, but it isn’t great at times. This is definitely an area I want to improve on! More interesting backgrounds (terrain) and bigger backdrops will let me take photos of bigger armies!
A light box/soft box.
Lights are harsh. You can compare the photos I take with my phone camera to those I take in the soft box. The light is dramatically uneven on the camera phone, with strange shadows appearing in places. For these, I’m just pulling my painting light down and taking a photo. The soft box scatters the light, removing the harsh shadows and glare. This is another area I want to improve. I want to get some frames with the mesh in them, so that I can place my lights behind them, and adjust their position rather than being forced to put everything in the box.
Taking photos of bigger armies is my next goal!
This guy is like an entire series of painting seminars in one model. I painted a Force Weapon design, based on some Grey Knight swords. I painted some NMM, while trying to make the robotic hand look entirely different from the well-used bronze of the rest of his metal. I painted OSL from the strange orb in the middle of his palm. I finally got Mr. Wappels shaded basecoat working out ok on his base. It’s glorious.
Here’s some photos!
I used the same technique on his scales as I did for my Blood Bowl Kroxigor. Mephiston Red, Badab Black, Blood Red edges, then Ushapti Bone (watered) edges, then Sunburst Yellow (watered) edges. In the middle I went over it with Lamenters Yellow to try to make the Ushapti slightly yellow, and the red slightly orange and I think it’s ok. Part of the problem is that the scales should look worn and old, but there is a very fine line between worn, and just crappy looking. Sometimes I get it, sometimes I don’t.
The yellow was really simple. After I had finished darkening the green, I painted some Sunburst Yellow into the cracks. This was probably the wrong way to go about it – since I stood the dangerous chance of painting straight yellow on my nice dark rocks. But it worked out, and then I watered some Blazing Orange to glaze over, and it worked great!
This was a lot of work. And I almost gave up at one point because it wasn’t working, and then, suddenly out of nowhere, it started to come together. Back and forth. Back and forth. I’m disappointed in how the photo makes the edges look, but with eyes, even from up close it’s pretty nice looking! (Actually, I bet the photo is just shadows on the wrong spot…could probably have solved it by shooting from a slightly different angle).
I’m not certain I got NMM correct, but I did an ok job and it had the effect I wanted in the end.
The OSL is…Warpstone Green, then lighten that with Ushapti Bone. Then water the crap out of my last highlight colour and be very careful not to let the colour pool in any area. I also used the GW Glaze Waywatcher Green, but I’m to impatient for that…I think I’d need 6-7 layers of that stuff to see a difference.
I’ve been sitting on that carnosaur rider model for a few months, and Pete’s been telling me that I should have my Old Blood on a Cold One for years, so here we are. Finally a model worthy of being the Chief Lizard of my guys!
It’s unfortunate when I get behind on my writing and ahead on my photos, because I don’t quite remember what was going on in this photo anymore. There is a very real chance that a lot of this was just black and dark yellow washes over the model. I purposefully didn’t do anything to the blade or the gauntlet, for reasons you’ll see later.
The base worked out much better than it has before, and I think it’s because of the pits I carved into the putty. Last time I had used the Sotek Green and highlighted up by adding Ushapti Bone to it. Then I did exactly as I had done for my Horrors, and used a black wash on it until it wasn’t bright green anymore. After this was done, the base looks like hardened, pitted stone. It has a greenish tinge to it, but overall it’s a dark colour that someone could look at and say “yup, that’s black”. I think I added some Codex Grey as well.
I’m hoping to have some awesome photos of this guy very soon, because he is turning out amazing, I’m really happy with him!