Friday, 27 June 2014

047. Terrain - WIP Mechanicum ruin (1)...

Over the last two nights I started work on the Mechanicum Ruins I showed at the end of the last post - this one here:
Not much to look at to start with
Not a lot going for it at that stage.  I put down my usual base colours - Scorched Brown, with dry brushed Bestial Brown and then Bone.  I noticed where I had gotten messy and gone onto the metal plating, I was getting quite a nice rust tone look which is what I was hoping for in my later steps.

With James Wappel's 'experiment' tagline running through my head, and this post here by the Beard Bunker to compare to, I got cracking with my colours.

I started off mixing some Tinny Tin and Scorched Brown with a touch of Chaos Black and laying down a base coat over all the tread plate and decking.  I followed this up with a sporadic Scorched, Bestial and Vermin Brown dry brushes, as well as a final light Firey Orange dry brush.  By sporadic I mean I didn't dry brush the whole piece, just odd sections, spots and runs - not all colours were overlaid over each other either - some spots got all four colours, others three or only one.

The final step was an extremely light dry brush of some of my last little bit of Boltgun Metal (I don't know what I am going to do when my older colours start to run out - I'm not 100% sold on some of the 'newer' replacement tones.
Where I stopped for the moment - getting there at last - much improved from the start position.
At that stage I was pretty pleased with my result, but according to the Beard Bunker recipe, a wash was needed to tie it all together, and frankly I wanted something to darken the edges of the dirt areas that had spread onto the tread plate.

I mixed my wash from my acrylics rather than using the left over bits of Devlan Mud I have kicking around.  I used a mix of Chaos Black, Scorched Brown and Catachan Green of all things - it seemed right at the time and I was still 'experimenting' - mixed heavily with some flow aid.  I then liberally applied it everywhere and then watch as it contracted and created unusual stains and adhered to certain details and not others as the flow aid dried up.

The result was unexpected, but one nonetheless that I am happy with.

The smiley face stain in the lower left was unintentional
I left it off there while I consider the colour of the building proper.  I'm thinking standard dirty Mechanicum Red with another wash to darken/dirty it on the exterior, and either the same on the interior, or a blue-grey or grey-brown/drab.

After this piece, I have one more piece of scatter terrain kicking around on my desk (a weapons/ammo cache) and then its back to miniatures proper with my four Ork Lads and some more Tactical Marines I think.

Cheers all,


Sunday, 22 June 2014

046. A little bit more terrain...

I finally managed to finish of the little barricade I'd started previously.  It mainly involved sorting out the ruin/rubble, re-layering the sandbags, picking out the detail pieces on the reverse side and applying a few washes and some basic highlights, then flocking to match the rest of the pieces I've finished.
Barricade front
Barricade rear
I set up a small fight scene just because - the quality is poor but its too cold for me to consider going outside and setting up a shot on the table in the shed.  I need to get some bigger pieces done now.
For the Emperor - Waaaagh!  - Horrible lighting I know, but worth a giggle nonetheless
To which end, I have this piece as a test piece.  When I built my GW ruins kits I built each kit into two opposing corners which together formed the four wall outline of a square building (very original I know).  This piece is the odd one out as it was made from spare panels and so does not have an opposite corner - as such its perfect for experimenting on.
My first piece of 'large' terrain I plan on tackling
What I am aiming for with this piece is something like this over here and this one here.  Brilliant aren't they - yep, they are - so brilliant in fact I'm going to naff the ideas and processes and see how they look on this building.

Cheers all,


Monday, 16 June 2014

045. Another short, sharp post - Wappel Magic...

Kid Muppet (minus a sock) admiring the loot - dice danger was noted by the missus and dice removed prior to ingestion by the little lass
Evening internet.  I have another short, sharp and to the point post for tonight.  A package turned up from the land of the Yanks today - a package containing DVD's made by the blog-o-spheres very own James Wappel.

Aside from being a prodigious painter of all things miniature (seriously go check out his blog), James ran a successful Kick Starter last year.  He'd been amazing me for some time with his ability to start with something a 3 year old would have been proud off, and through his 'shaded basecoat' technique, pull a brilliant model out of nowhere.  No matter how many times I see him post WIP and end result shots, I can't get my head around it.  See here for example - how does he go from that first stage to that end figure - MIND BLOWN!!!!

To solve that, he's made some DVD's - I got stumped up for 4 of them, but got a fifth one thrown in as a strecth goal:
-Shaded Basecoat Technique
-Glazing Away
-Hiding in Plain Sight - Painting Camo
-Standard Non-Metal Metallics
-Weathering and Battle Damage

I hope to have a shufty at them over the next couple of weeks and start a few trial pieces to give the techniques a go.

Real posting to resume soon.

Cheers all,


Saturday, 14 June 2014

044. Hobby space mess...

Mess and stuff strewn all over the place
I'm a lucky hobbyist who has his own space in the house for my hobby stuff to live in - its the spare bedroom.  Its basically the room decked out like my old bedroom from when I was a kid - everything the missus won't let out into the rest of the house lives in there and it includes my old study desk which is now my painting spot.

The problem I have is I am inherently messy and lazy.  Rather than tidy up properly after each session, I tend to leave things where ever they end up, and work around that the next time I go to do some hobby.

The above photo is where I am at tonight - most of the paints have been randomly left on the desktop rather than in the rack, and have now started creeping down onto my stool top meaning I paint/work off the edge of the bed (much to the misuss' horror when I have a spill/paint drop).  My tools and odds and sods (including a number of terrain projects) are scattered across the table, the floor and the cabinet under the window.

I went in there tonight to do some painting and realised I need a clean up before I can do anything hobby.  And then I need to not let this happen again!!!

While I have cabinet space, drawers and more cabinets on the opposite wall, what I think I really need is more vertical space in front of the desk to store things I am working on, but not currently working on, if you know what I mean.  What this means is shelves.  I'm off to convince the missus this is a good idea, and then to talk my old man into making me some.

Edit: 15 minutes of effort later and we are ready to start painting again.
Much more productive space 
Cheers all,



Sunday, 1 June 2014

043. Blog template changes, terrain (old and new)...

After my last post I started playing with the settings on the old blog template and decided to spruce the old template up a bit, moving things around and having a bit of a play with some of the settings.  If anything isn't working or looking right, be sure to let me know so I can have a crack at fixing it.
So big, so angry...
On to the meat of the post, terrain.  After last post I got stuck in on the statue piece.  The plinth and outer walls came together quite quickly - a dry brush is a perfect tool and technique for terrain - and I was quite happy with it all until I washed the plinth which muffed that and I never really got it back to a state I was happy with - but live and learn and all that.

I did try a few things out with the base itself, namely making some washes from various green and tan and brown shades and liberally washing them around the place - some were too subtle, and others too strong requiring another drybrush to knock back some of the effect but I gained confidence as I went and got some decent stains/effects happening which is what this piece was all about - a bit of experimenting.
Quite happy with how the shield weathered - the lighting is effecting the edges - that's not a paint effect
I got  out some of the AK weathering stuff I had sitting around, as well as some powders.  For the post tops I had used the Iron Mr Metal as a base colour which produced a really nice metallic grey effect, I then washed this back a bit and on the corner posts applied some of the AK Track Wash and Rust Effect which played out very subtle.  On the middle statues I went an alternate route and used some rust coloured powders.  As a first time powder user I admit I made a bit of a mess of my workspace, but remembering some of Mr Justin's (of Secret Weapon fame) advice re adding and using older colours and layering I started to get some nice effects going.  On pieces this size it probably isn't noticeable, but again, as an experiment, I'm happy with what I have found out.
I tried to make the little statues around the outer wall look rusted up
The statue itself was another story.  I mentioned in one of the comments on the prior post that patience is not my strong suit and this piece demonstrated that.  I again started with the Iron colour as a base and it went on really well.  I overbrushed with the Bronze and developed some really interesting tonal differences (I wish I had been taking WIP shots to show) across the statue.  When I went in with the Copper (verdigris) look it started to fall apart - some of the statue looked exactly like I was after, and other parts it did not.  I think this is to do with the surface of the statue itself - some of it is really smooth, and other parts detailed or pitted (like beaten metal).

I got to a stage that I was not thrilled with, but could accept, and then rushed on to the next part with oils/AK like I had done on the small test plinth I'd messed around with last time.  Big cock up - I forgot to seal the prior layer - and even after I remembered and sealed it, I still got no joy.  The thinner used to move the oils and AK product around started doing funny things to the base paints which in itself was giving interesting results, but otherwise was cocking up what I had spent the first night setting down. 

Even after sealing and going again, the washes and effects were not behaving as expected (or as previous tests had shown they should).  Things were beading rather than flowing around detail, or not adhering where it should.  I'm not sure if this is something to do with the Mr Hobby paint used for the base layers, or simply a result of my frustration leading me to rush more and more.
The backside is not what I was looking for but that's ok - every experiment teaches us something
In the end the statue beat me and I called it a day.  It's not what I had set out to deliver, but its at least something that won't look too ridiculous on the tabletop either.  This is a learning piece - I got to test out my powders on something that is not that important, as well as some quick and easy methods to help paint terrain and add some interest to otherwise flat exterior surfaces.

I finished off the base with some static grass like I had on other terrain pieces I had finished a while ago, as well as with some scenic leaves, and a little bit of realistic water effect to suggest the last of the pooled/stagnant water sitting on/near the surface. 

On older terrain, I pulled some pieces out from the shed to see how I had been finishing things off before.  Here's a few of some of the scatter pieces I'd done in years past.  I'd also finished some craters, and started some other smaller pieces which I'll show off in a later post.

A stack of barrels and an exhaust port
Some fuel cans - probably full of more of that leaking green stuff
A debris pile
An unfortunate Marine from my old 'Silent Guard' Chapter lies buried amidst the rubble
A pumping/pressure station - those tools were left behind in the hasty retreat as the front line swept ever closer
The reverse side - still just a pipe
Terrain is one of those things we need if we want to game effectively - a board would look fairly uninteresting without some form of terrain cover.  While I may not be 100% happy with the final result on the statue, it has given me confidence to tackle a few of the larger pieces/buildings in my collection.

I will be finishing of the barricade piece from my last post and then going back onto some minis I think.

Cheers all,