Sunday, October 26, 2014

Finished - Black Knights

Done at last. Done at last. Sweet Emperor, I am done at last. 

I've written about my experiences with painting "more faster" with these Black Knights before. The basics are the client asked me to paint a lot of minis fast for the same fee that I would have accepted for painting a few minis very well. I typically paint every mini as well as I can regardless of if it is a Tactical Marine or my HQ. I may spend a little extra time on more important minis, but for the most part they are all painted to the same standard. 

With these guys I ended up doing some things that were not specifically required to have them painted to the standard that we agreed on. For example, I probably could have gotten away with only painting the metal silver but through that might look too plane. I added in some gold areas to break up the monotony. Also, while painting these Knights, I thought they looked a little too clean and near for being resurrected, undead horrors so I added a two stage rest to certain areas to add some age to the mini. I only used red rust but was tempted to use some green patina to the gold areas. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

On the table now - Khorne Helbrute

 I am taking a break from comission painting. I was inspired yet again expand The Cult Troop Project to a larger scope. Initially it was supposed to be the chosen number of each type of CSM Cult Troop. Then it was some Daemons of each type to go along with the CSM. Then it was Daemon Princes. Then Greater Daemons. Now I am going to do a Helbrute for each Chaos God. 

The Khorne one was easy to decide on. All close combat. I was inspired by this Helbrute with Bloodcrusher face. It was difficult to find the original artist as Man-boy "Genius" likes to post other people's work rather than do his own. I wanted two close combat arms but did not want two Power Fists. The Power Flail is an awesome appendage that reduces enemies Attacks. That's advantageous for a Helbrute because close combat attacks that could hurt a Helbrute (Power Fists, Smash, etc). Unfortunately it does nothing for Melta-bombs. 

Typically, the Power Flails are left arm weapons but rather than turn this Helbrute completely around, I tried to convert the Flail to the other side. I did this by turning it upside down and mounting it under the right shoulder plate. This took quite a bit of green stuff and some luck but it all worked out. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

On the Table - Black Knights

 Just finished the second set of Black Knights and I've hit the wall. I ran out of steam after just 9 minis (which is about right for me). I had to take a little break before finishing the last 5. I work on the Khorne Helbrute for a little bit to refresh and unwind. 

The client requested that the minis be painted fast but did not care if they were painted to my best standard. That is not how I normally roll but I bit anyway. Now that I am 2/3rds of the way through, I am regretting that choice. Rather than zipping through them, I ended up painting them a little better than we negotiated and it took longer than I anticipated. In the future I don't think the "more faster" is a plan that is going to work for me. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Army Feature - Trevy the Great's Space Marines

I saw Trevy's army up for grabs on Bartertown. While I was not in a place to drop what he was asking for a fully painted army, I was impressed with his cohesive color scheme, pervasive conversions, his composition, the detail painting and the extra work he did on his basing. It is clear that he put a lot of extra time and effort that he did not have to into this army. The end result looks good on the table.

Now if this were a BoLS Army Showcase, after that paragraph that took 7 min to write, there would be a giant copied and pasted section written by the person that painted the army followed my 5 or 6 pictures posted with no thought, insight or analysis. But that is not how we roll here at TMM. We use effort!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Finished - Gravity-bearer

I finished the second Combi-weapon Bearer so it is officially now a thing. For my second attempt, I chose a Combi-gravity from the Sternguard plastic set. I wish I knew the names for the side-by-side vs the over-under Combi-weapons but I do not. I would love to be consistent with my conversions, but there are a lot more over-under weapons than side-by-side. 

As for painting, I used Agrax Earthshade to shade the robes rather than Sreaphim Sepia which accounts for the differences in color tone. I chose to paint his cute little feet blue to match the Gravity effects. I know that I paint my Plasma weapons blue too, but I don't care. The Gravity weapons are visually distinct from Plasma weapons enough. 

For the value of this mini, I would put it on par with the other Combi-bearer ($30). The conversion work was a lot less than erasing that evil metal helmet with a Dremel. It mainly consisted of clipping off the sword and re-sculpting the mini a little. 

Painting Veins with Agrellan Earth

I am going to try something new. I saw this article on BoLS about using the "cracked earth" technical paint to quickly and easily paint veins on wings. Now for the most part BoLS produces nothing but garbage, but this may be closer to compost. For starters, notice the article is titled “Painting Veins the EASY Way” with the emphasis being theirs. The focus on BoLS is for fast, easy, and low effort and how you can dry-brush, net-list or rules-lawyer your way to the middle. It shows in everything they produce, but there may be something interesting here.

Even though Caleb Dillion does not understand how to capitalize properly or how to do an aside, he hints that, with flesh tones and layering of colors, you could use generic crackle medium to compose a variety of effects. It would be interesting if there was a technique that allowed for those effects without the effort, but I am dubious.

I was going  to use this on an in-progress Bloodthirster but there is no way that I am going to experiment on a almost finished model. I painted this base Mordian Blue and let it dry. Then I covered it Agrellan Earth and let that dry. Then I covered it with Mechrite Red. You can see the results for yourself on the top picture. 

Then in the middle picture I thought that if I colored the Agrellian Earth with Mechrite red and put that over Mordian Blue, that might work. Nope. When diluted down, the Agrellan Earth does not crack. 

In the bottom picture, I just painted Agrellan Earth over Mordian Blue. It makes these tiny cracks but still looks like dried cracked earth. 

In the end I call this a fail. I'll try again with crackle medium but I think my Bloodthirster's wings will have to be painted the old fashioned way with effort, hard work and skill. (See how I brought it back around?)

In the end, I can say that Agrellan Earth is really only good making a cracked earth base. That makes its utility really low. If you are going to base your army in this manner, Agrellan Earth is the easiest way to do that one thing. If you want to do anything else with cracked textures, then a crackle medium may be a better bet. 

Paint for Minis - Black Knights

I made another arrangement for painting minis for gear. I traded a Battlefoam Shield Bag with pull and pluck for 14 Black Knights painted to a table top standard and fast. Now, I do not do those last two things very well. I always try to paint my best and it takes a lot of time. I thought I would have been able to blow through them by not painting them as well, but I was wrong. I still have the urge to give them crazy detail but am trying to fight it. I tried to dry brush the bone parts but it did not turn out as well as when I paint in layers. 

It took about 10 hours to get 5 horsies almost done which is still pretty fast considering that each mini should be taking me 6 hours each if I was taking my time. Toraman and I did not hammer out a deal very well which is the big stumbling block in this new business. I need to come up with a better formula for making these trades. 

I think that 2x retail for trade value is a good starting place. I actually think my painting is worth a bit more than that, but I don't think people will give me a new Land Raider for painting 10 Marines. 

I don't think that I should try to paint average and fast again as that is a lot of work and little money. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

On the table now - Bloodcrushers

 The Blood Crushers are coming along. I made a mistep on the basecoat step by starting with Mechrite Red and then giving a light dry brush of Evil Suns Scarlet That made for a base color that was not easily to be touched up. After I ashed the recesses and brass areas, I tried to touch up the read areas but my touch ups were brighter than the unwashed red areas. FML. 

I also noticed that while painting the Defkoptas, that the Agrax Easthshade was cracking in areas where it pooled and leaving a white film when it dried. I tried to take some pics but was not successful. In either case, a little Nuln Oil fixed it but it is a pain to need to wash something twice. This pot did move across the country with me so maybe it got too hot or cold. Regardless, I am halfway through this pot so may just bear it for now. 

I also tried a purple lighting on the eyes and vents on the chest by painting those areas White Scar and washing it Leviathan Purple. It did not work out well even after I touched it up. I need to make better friends with purple as I have with blue.