Tuesday, February 28, 2017

On The Table - Deathwatch And Hard-edge Highlighting

Putting in some work on the last three Deathwatch Marines that I have planned. Not to say that they will be the last for this army by any stretch.

I have developed a new way of doing black armor that has sped me up considerably and gives a good result. I base the mini with 1:1 Dawnstone and Abaddon Black then dry brush with Dawnstone. I then wash the entire mini with Nuln Oil. This also takes care of my silver metal areas as well. Rather than using Nuln Oil to wash a second time, I find that I can get darker blacks and shadows as well as breaking up the mono-tone of grey on black. After the washes there is no touch up and I go right to hard edge highlighting.

Both of the sets of legs in the picture at at the same stage in painting but the ones on the right have a hard edge of Dawnstone.I posted this because I found the contrast (ha ha black and white puns) between the two striking. Hard edge highlighting takes me forever, it is hard to do and it can very easily go wrong. I think that it is totally worth it though.

The mini on the left is totally table-top quality but the little extra effort of the hard edge highlighting takes it over the top. It also takes what could be a very dark and shadowy model and makes it brighter. Painting dark colors in a bright and vibrant way is a skill that I have cultivated and this will come in handy with my next unpronounceable commission.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Vyndica - Dark Eldar Warriors 6/10

Three more down. This project seems to be taking forever. I don't feel like I am getting more than two or three done per week. Don't get me wrong, the end result is turning out well. I am just frustrated at the speed.

I would really like to do commission painting more, but I can't make it worth my time. Each of these minis is taking about 5 hours each for me to finish. An average Space Marine takes me about three. I am charging $80 for 10 minis. That is $8 each and about $1.5 per hour. That may seem low, but I am making that watching Netflix and drinking soda. The main downside is that time is not being spent painting my incredible backlog of minis of my own to paint.

Regardless, these three are done and that makes it more than half way done!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Vyndica - Dark Eldar Warriors 3/10

Wow, I finished these guys on the 21st and am just not getting to write about them on the 26th. There was a wife-birthday and a pretty fierce work week in that time span. Now it is the weekend and it is time to blog and paint!

Even with working on the bases, it took me about 10 days to finish these 3 guys. That is a little slow even for me but that also included getting base colors on the other 7 minis and working on other projects. Hopefully the next three will go faster.

I am pleased with how they are turning out. The client is out of the country on deployment so he is hard to reach for input on the details. Hopefully I have a product that he loves for him when he gets back. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Finished - Deathwatch Marines

While two months is not a record for something gathering dust on the painting table, these three really seemed to languish. I started and finished several other projects while these guys were waiting. The Ork big gun, Nate's Haemonculus, the whole Hellion commission. I even started the three Warbuggies before putting the finishing touches on these minis.

Regardless they are done. The good news is that I've already written about them a bunch now so there are only a few details left out.

Since the last time that I posted about them, I really only finished the backpacks and pauldrons. Before that, I was trying to think strategically about Black Shields. I am still not sure that I understand how to use them the best even now. And way back when, I was griping about points.

Aside from the Black Shield, I picked the other two Chapters at random. The Black Templar shoulder pad was painted before this project even started. The idea was for him to be a Veteran. In the Black Templars, their Vets are Sword Brethren and they get to paint their cross and trim red. I have no reason to think that this change in color would survive the transition to the Deathwatch, but it makes for more variation in shoulder pads.

Vyndica - Dark Eldar Two-Stage Highlighting

In the last 24 hours I have made some progress on the Dark Eldar commission. Progress is still slower than I would like. I have a giant commission coming and need to clear the table.

I am going to take this opportunity to define some of my terms and painting process.

After priming the models and cleaning them up a bit, I based the minis in Xereus Purple. I don't have a good word for the major colors that I paint all over the mini as a base coat but there should be one. After that, the other base colors need to be painted. That was Sotek Green for the feet and shoulder guards, Ironbreaker for the weapons and Rakarth Flesh for the loin cloths. This is indicated by the top picture. If you just do base colors, this is flat painting.

After that, the whole mini gets washed in Nuln Oil... twice. Purple is really forgiving and loves black wash. Dark Eldar need to be... well, dark. Middle picture shows this. If you stop after things are washed then there is no word for the muddy mess that you created.

After the wash completely dries, the purple needs to be highlighted. This is a hard edge highlight but a very thick one. You have to be careful to stay out of the recesses to keep the deep shadows. The easy parts are the segmented armor plates. The hard parts are where there are no hard edges to follow like the curved helmets and the calves. There you just have o use your skill. Good thing is if you mess up, Druchii Violet wash fixes any places where you might have over highlighted. The figure in the middle in the bottom picture shows this well.

Here is where things slow down a bunch. A true had edge highlight is made with Genestealer Purple. It is very important not to "trace" the mini. A hard edge highlight should be of variable length. Thickest in the middle and tapering to nothingness near the sides. I keep trying to find good pictures of someone really messing this up but this is the best I can do. Less is really more when it comes to hard edge highlighting and this is where a painter's skill comes in.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Step by Step - Toxic Bases

My last Step By Step was almost two years ago and the Chaos Deamons post is the second highest rated on this blog behind the Thousand Sons post (inexplicably). Given this and the fact that I promised Flayed Ewok that I would post a how-to, I would say that it is time.

Formatting has plagued all of my Step by Step articles. I feel that it stems from them needing to be picture-heavy and coordinating those pictures with text. Either there is no skillful way to do this or I am not skillful enough to get it done. Regardless, all the information will be included in this post however ugly it may look.

What you will need:
Flat GW bases
A rough file
Gorilla Glue
Cotton-tipped applicators
Wood, PVA or Elmer's glue
A small bottle
Basing sand
Spray paint (here Krylon flat black)
A drybrush
Paint for painting the sand (here 1:1 Abbadon Black and Dawnstone, Dawnstone, Nuln Oil)
Paint for painting the toxic sludge (here Celestra Grey, Temple Guard Blue, Gulliman Blue)

Sunday, February 12, 2017

On The Table - Warbuggies

Painting progressed on the Warbuggies. this is my first time doing stripes and crosses on such a large scale. I am going forward with the "dukes of Hazard" theme but nothing more overt than blue crosses on orange background with some white to be added later.

At this point, the base colors and patterns are down. The whole mini will be washed Agrax Earthshade then drydrushed either Ironbreaker or Runefang Steel. Then the real work begins. the red aread need to be layered up to orange. No ide how many layers that will take but the last two colors are going to be Wild Rider Red and Troll Slayer Orange. How bright the blue ends up being will depends on how bright that orange ends up being.

I have been mulling around how to "fix" Warbuggies. Their current rules are crazy. AV 10 vehicle at 25 points does not seem to represent what they are on the table top. It is cool that they recently got Outflank as a special rule in the most recent Codex but 25 points seems steep for them being so paper thin in the armor department.

Vyndica - Dark Eldar Warriors

I have another commission through Vyndica Paint for Flayed Ewok. He seemed pleased with my previous work on the Hellions and now we are doing 10 warriors. He expressed interest in doing themed basing and "toxic blue" was the only direction that I was given. I had had the idea of using Gorilla Glue as a kind of puffy paint for water effects and mix that with painted sand.

I still need to do a "step by step" post so he can continue the effort on the rest of his army. I kept it simple but it still turns out pretty well. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

On The Table - Ork Warbuggies

It is not all Power Armor here at Tiny Metal Men. We do a little of everything. I've wanted to start work on these heavily converted Warbuggies. I was inspired by these conversions but ultimately took thinks my own way. I am not completely satisfied with how they came out. I did not intend them to all look like trikes but they did despite my efforts. I also wanted to use a biker for the driver of one but skipped that. I have far more Defkoptas than Bikes.

I re-purposed one old Wartrakk into an updated model. I had to replace the driver because that ugly old Ork had to go. I had to make a platform for the gunner to stand on so he could shoot over the head of the new bigger driver.

I magnetized most of the guns. I don't need everyone to be able to swap out weapons. The Wartrakk can of course mount a flamer in addition to a twin-linked Big Shoota and a Rokkit Launcha.

I can't wait to start painting them. I think that I'll use a "Dukes of Hazard" inspired theme but skipping all the Confederate flags. I am going to use orange as a main color with blue accents and white sparingly. Depending on how successful this is, I may do the Bikes in the same colors. 

On The Table - More Deathwatch

It has been slow going on these three guys.

I think that the furor for Deathwatch has died down. I've lost almost every game that I have played with them and that is not helping.

I got really excited about Black Shields and made two that were loaded out. In game play, they under-performed and that made me sad again. I made this more low-key version but I think the results will be the same.

I also got excited about the Infernus Heavy Bolters. I want four of them in a Drop Pod ruining my opponent's plans. I have not done this quite yet but I think, given the track record, that I will be disappointed again.

This was not meant to be a morose post regardless of how it sounds. I am pleased with my Deathwatch army and am looking to expand it further. 

Painting The Roses Red

I had previously griped about how the GW Deathwatch dice had the sexy Chapter symbols on the "1" side. I have since played two games with them and it is unbearable. When you are taking Terminator armor saves and that Ultramarines symbol comes up, I get extra cranky. I felt it starting impact both my satisfaction with the dace and my fun with the game.

I had some inspiration at the last game. I knew that I could replaces the 6s with 1s and thus effectively change the symbol faces to 6s. It just needed to be done. We'll see how this changes my satisfaction.