Sunday, April 29, 2018

Thru April 28

Have you ever heard of painting in a 'Sketch Style'?  As it turns out, I have attempted something similar in the past without naming it as such.  The idea:

  1. Prime black with spray or airbrush
  2. Prime or paint white, with spray or airbrush, from high angles and straight above
  3. Darken shadowed areas, dark-line or black-line to create separation of surfaces
  4. Glaze or paint colors
  5. Highlight
  6. Finish
As it turns out, Sketch Style adds a step between 3 and 4 above, essentially a white painting stage to generate more contrast.  Also, only glazes are used, preventing time wasted by painting full basecoats over the black, white, and greys already laid down.  So, the method should look more like this:

  1. Prime black with spray or airbrush
  2. Prime or paint white, with spray or airbrush, from high angles and straight above
  3. Darken shadowed areas, dark-line or black-line to create separation of surfaces
  4. Highlight with purest white, especially NMM 
  5. Glaze colors
  6. Final highlights
  7. Finish
The Dark Eldar commission group of eight commanders have been started this way.  First, I airbrushed them all with Stynylrez Black Primer.  (Don't ask me how to pronounce the name!)  The primer was thinned a bit with Liquitex Airbrush Medium and distilled water, then pushed through a cheap-o Central Pneumatic (Harbor Freight) AB at about 20 PSI.  I was a little worried about the mix and potential clogging or sticking to the AB needle, so I felt okay about risking the cheap one.  There were a couple of clogs, and cleanup took a while, but the result was good and worth it for the smooooth primer layer.

Step 2, with Stynylrez Snow White paint thinned only slightly with Liquitex Airbrush Medium and distilled water, at 20 PSI with a Badger Renegade Krome airbrush and a smaller needle than the Central Pneumatic.  This is a borrowed AB, so I don't exactly know the needle size, but I'm guessing it's around 0.2mm.  Still, the Krome performed admirably, clogging very little, a smoother trigger action, better flow control.  It just worked much better than the CP basic one.  Here's a group shot of this stage:

So, that it through Saturday, April 28.  Moving toward step 3, I may work with just two or three minis at a time, trying to give them individual attention and prevent getting bogged down in assembly line painting.


More for the Dark Eldar themed commission.  As commanders and leader-types, these will get more time & attention overall.  Six of the eight are Raging Heroes: Toughest Girls in the Galaxy (plastic-resin), one is GW Finecast and the other is GW hard plastic.  Let's name them off:

Dark Ryss SF

Slithiss SF



Shiveryah SF

Asharah SF
Lilith Hesperax (GW)

Yvraine (GW) with and without companion, while determining placement on base

TGG Blood Vestals - Start to Finish

NSFW Blood Vestals, start to finish March thru April 8.  Please forgive the poor photo quality, especially the too-bright 'finished' shots at the end.  The blue metallic armor looks great in hand and on the tabletop, but plays tricks with the camera.

April 8 - Everything Takes Longer than Expected, Including Blog Posts

Encouraged by a one-day turn for the Armorcast blasted tree stumps last month, I jumped on the Ral Partha skeletons and promptly slowed down.  While the colored primer was a great start, experimenting with overpainting in other bone colors and washing with various inks took some time.  In the end, the result was nice, but an investment of more time than it ultimately may have been worth.  Lesson learned: when speed is the goal, colored primer works fine.

If you're curious about the Blood Vestals, please see the commissions tab...

Keep painting!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Tiny Update

In the weeks since my last post back in January, I have been adjusting my schedule at the day job, starting some lifestyle changes, and really taking a good look at priorities and goals for 2018/2019. Today I unearthed my painting table AND remembered how to hold a paintbrush. Knocked out 5 small terrain pieces, just some old Armorcast resin burnt/blasted tree stumps primed black years ago.

Next up: more practice on some Ral Partha skeletons, maybe some zombies, and probably several overdue gifts. The goal is to get back into a painting groove and complete a commissioned group in April.

Here are the first 10 minis of the commissioned group. They're metal Raging Heroes: Toughest Girls in the Galaxy, Blood Vestals (Sci-Fi) planned for a Dark Eldar army with a bright, fun paint scheme.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Keep Moving Forward

The last two months of 2017 are a general blur in the rear view mirror, leaving a year-end summary in spreadsheets to crunch the miniature painting numbers:


More than 450 unpainted minis were sold, turned in to Metal Trade at Reaper Con, or otherwise removed from inventory.  The Mountain was further reduced by painting 18 minis, mostly early last  year.  Most additions came in using Metal Trade credit to shop the Reaper factory, plus filling in some boxed sets for Zombicide: Black Plague.  While it is nice to see the Mountain shrink by 209 minis, continuing that rate means another 11 years (2018 thru 2028, inclusive) to eliminate the Mountain entirely.  That's unacceptable.

Worse, that rate will be a challenge to maintain going forward due to Metal Trade credit remaining with Reaper, plus swag at Reaper Con, plus Zombicide: Green Horde KS fulfillment due this year, plus the Reaper Bones IV KS fulfillment likely due next year, and so on.  I could be looking at adding nearly 500 new minis before the end of 2019.

In other words, I need to seriously ramp up the rate of both sell-off and painting.  But, how?

Well, a one-time reduction comes from corrected accounting.  Previously, the unpainted total included small models that don't typically stand on their own, the small animals, familiars, objective markers and such one might use with a standard mini, vignette, or diorama.  Example: 10 of these vultures are now counted as Bits instead of Unpainted minis.

Making that correction starts 2018 off with a good, albeit rather artificial & singular, reduction of 160.  The new total stands at 1990, oddly matching the year I married my beautiful, loving, understanding, and very hobby-friendly bride.  :-)

Looking ahead at 2018, I've already moved 320 miniatures into the sell-off pool, leaving them unpainted.  If that works out, and I paint just 20 this year, then I'll have a total reduction for 2018 of -500 minis, more than enough to offset the influx of Z:GH and Reaper Con.  On the other hand, that will probably not be enough to maintain or improve the -209 annual rate.  As previously noted, I think I need to be more aggressive with both the sell-off and painting plans, but again, how?  And why?  What are my goals, here?

Well, this is where I stop writing in the blog and go back to over-analyzing priorities & goals for games, contests, and sales.  Hopefully within a day or two, I can post again with some realistic goals & plans that don't conflict too much with each other.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Weeks 15 thru 19 - 6MMRPC

Blurred.  Not just my photos, lately, but my memory.  Another whirlwind of marching band season has come and gone, plus a trip to Reaper Con, and many other changes...

Weeks 15 thru 17 - is that right? Geez, time flies! While Reaper Con and RL kept me away from painting as a method of Mountain reduction, I did manage to complete a 'project'. At Reaper Con Metal Trade, I exchanged 160 older minis for 52 newer ones and some bits, so there's a net change of -108. Take out one more for updating/finishing a contest entry to get to -109. Add back some from swag bags, classes, the auction, and a few vendor purchases for an overall net change of -82. Seems liked pretty good progress for a 4-day event, no?

Week 18 - family medical issues, both major and minor, kept me occupied and too stressed to paint. Bought a board game, expansion, paints and a couple of minis at the FLGS owner's retirement party. Yes, I screwed up my Challenge numbers. "But it was for a good cause!" And retail therapy. :-)
Week 19 - Today, I cleared out most of a mountain of boxes and shipping materials, making room to sort & photograph minis for further sales. Between last night and tonight, I found my workbench and cleaned mold lines, prepped and assembled 8 minis. Only 3 of those are mine, though, the rest I'm...uh...holding for a friend. Yeah, that's it. Holding them for a friend. ;-) Actually, I'm painting them for a client, so they don't help my Challenge numbers.

Thursday, November 16 - this week so far I have prepped 10 commission minis through assembly and gluing to bases.  Tonight was something of an adventure, setting up a Dremel drill press for drilling partial slots into scenic resin bases.  It was a lot of work, but I think it beats clipping off the tab, then drilling and pinning one tiny foot - yeah, there is usually just one in contact with the base. 3 of those have some putty on the bases for better attachment and stability.  With luck, tomorrow evening will see the rest of the putty work done, then priming and painting can start Saturday.

Hopefully there will be more of an update and some photos Saturday!