Monday, March 19, 2012

Playing Catch Up to the Puppet Parade

About a month to Adepticon 2012. Hmm...Last year, Adepticon was my deadline for completing the Space Hulk project and I still haven't gotten back to that. My wife and I went to Chicago last year and even though I was only a spectator, we had a great time. We did a lot of shopping (hence the picture to the left), ate some great food and I immensely enjoyed becoming completely entrenched in the hobby for a couple days.
This year, the goal was to have Puppet Wars complete by Adepticon, but it doesn't look like that is going to happen. With all the craziness between my job and family, it looks like I'm putting off going to Chicago this year. That's okay though, as I still don't have a single crew painted for Malifaux anyway.

On the bright side, the weather is beautiful again and that means I have a chance to sit on my back porch, let my dog play in the back yard and work on cleaning the rest of my Puppets so I can get them built and primed before the weather gets too hot. The Puppet collection is, for the time being, complete. I have at least 2 of every puppet model available and the only model I'm missing is Lucius (sorry Battlefoam, but I think that bag is kind of a rip off).

I have managed to get some pictures of my most recent puppets, so let's take a look! This latest group of completed models means that I am 25-30 percent complete with the puppet project. 30% if you count only the models I have that I know will stay in my collection. If I count all the models I own,including those I may eventually sell (extra teddies and 3rd copies) thet number is more like 25%, so not a bd place to be.

Anyway, on with the parade!

Puppet Wars

First up is the Ice Golem. This model posed a challenge, as I wanted him to look like he was supposed to look like he was made of ice and snow...wait….yes… So I wanted to make his body look like fabric instead of snow(or, at least, dirty snow). I kept his face nice and dark for the charcoal eyes effect, but decided I wanted him to be drooling this icy stuff. I'm pretty please with how he turned out.

I had a lot of fun painting the little Bayou Gremlin. Nice and simple, clean paintjob for him and he looks great.

The Sorrows are up next. I have been looking forward to painting this guy since I started the project, so I kept with the traditional color scheme (very neverborn). After finishing this model, I felt the highlights were a bit too sharp, so I washed the entire model with a very thinned down Umber Wash (Devlan mud). This really toned the model down a great deal and I will be using this technique on many models from here out. It really adds a bit of weathered look to them and makes them feel shabby and run down.
Another easy puppet and pleasure to paint was the Hog Whisperer. This may also be the first, EVER, model I painted from primer to finish in one sitting. A rare feat, and while this model is nothing too special, he fits in very well.

The Parade continues with the Siliurid. While I wanted to stick to the traditional scheme with him, I thought the all green was a bit drab, so I spruced him up with some extra colors and really made him feel cobbled together. Again, a light Umber wash really brought down the highlights and muted the final colors very well.
Still with me? Good! I have decided to keep three Rotten Belles as I love the model and this is the first of them painted. The fun, and challenging, part of painting these figures is that I have spent years trying to learn how to paint convincing skintones. Now, however, I am trying to paint skintones that look like only representations of skintones. It's an interesting exercise and it makes this entire project a lot of fun.

Next up is the Judge. This is the only model I have not really enjoyed painting. I don't know, I just didn't find him very interesting and I think the paintjob shows. He's not bad, but he just doesn't pop.

The December Acolyte, on the other hand, was a model I thought I would not enjoy painting. However, I totally did. He is another of those models that looks simple, but come across very well when painted.

Finally, to round out the group is Master #3, Marcus.

This is actually a pretty plain model and that is why I love it. The colors are very simple and muted, but he has that fire that really makes him stand out. I've only rarely had to paint flame effects, so I was pretty nervous about getting him taken care of. I think the flames worked very well and then I tried my hand at lighting effects. This is ABSOLUTELY the first time I've tried anything like this and I think, for a first effort, it turned out quite well. I'm still looking at him, but I may go back at some point and tone down the orange highlights on his face, just to make the effect a bit more subtle.
He was also my next attempt at painting bones. I wanted to avoid the Bleached Bone skeleton look that is so easy to settle on with bone, and instead go with something more like polished and treated bone you would see in a museum for example. Marcus is also serving as a first test for some techniques to use for my brother's Tomb King Army. I don't think we're there yet, but I'm on my way. More work to be done.
That was a longer update than I'd expected, but no worries.

To end, I just wanted to thank everyone who's visited recently and really helped keep me motivated to keep going. I appreciate the comments and always welcome more.
More to come.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

House Goliath Update and some Terrain

After what seems like a month, I've finally had a chance to sit back down at the painting table and get some work done. I'm only just now approaching the original milestone I mentioned a few posts ago, getting to a full 20 puppets painted, but I've been able to get good work done on another set of bases and I've even had the chance to do a little work with Necromunda.

While I'm catching up with the painting queue, and then with taking pictures, I thought I would give some updates on other projects I've been working on over the last several months.


Since trying to get my blog some attention, I've received a lot of feedback about the Goliath Gang. The gang ended up somewhere in the neighborhood of about 30 or so models including the original Goliath releases, the new Goliath release and a number of kitbashed fighters using Chaos Marauder and Ork plastics.

Unfortunately, the Goliaths ended up coming together at kind of an unfortunate time for me. I built them, primed them, started painting them and promptly lost interest in Necromunda for more than a year. In its place came Space Hulk and then Malifaux and now Puppet Wars.

This left me with only a test model painted.

Part of the reason I may have lost interest in the Necromunda project was the Goliaths themselves. These guys are tricky to paint. A lot of skin, a lot of green hair (which I've determined will look like it's been colored, badly) and a lot of black leather. I think I was simply intimidated by them. (there is a second test model painted, as shown in the picture at the beginning of the post, but I don't have a single good picture of him and he has since had an unfortunate decapitation.

The good news is that I've been developing skills this whole time. With all my new tricks, techniques and tools, I've found my happy place when it comes to painting flesh. I'm looking forward to getting them back on the painting table. Now I just have to decide whether to leave them primed black or re-prime them back to white, which is what I've been working with in my other projects.

When I looked over the pictures I had of the test model, I noticed they were both a bit darker than I like and, for some reason, the guys barrel wasn't drilled. I don't know why this is the case, but I am very inconsistent on this. No worries though. In the end, they will all be drilled out and looking good.
In an effort to beef up the post, I'm going to throw in pictures of the other project I was working on at the same time as the Goliaths. This is my most recent terrain. My terrain building prior to Malifaux, was focused on small pieces that are easy to store and mostly durable. The thing my tables have often missed are those patches of difficult terrain or low lying cover, so these pieces will fill that gap rather nicely.

While I haven't had a chance to work on any terrain lately, Malifaux has started to get me eager to build again. Maybe this summer I'll be able to start terrain work again. Like painting, it seems that whenever I return to terrain building, the stuff looks better and better, so I can't wait to get into it and see how older and more experienced eyes put a piece together. (Does that sound dirty? Hmm....)

More to come.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Real Life

The last couple of weeks have been difficult for me and my family. Let it suffice to say that, after a long two weeks, my family is once again healthy, happy and ready to get back to a normal routine.
In the midst of difficult times, it occurs to me just what place this hobby has in my life and where its value lies. I have often made the case that this hobby is something like meditation for me, a welcome stress relief and a good way to spend a quiet weekend or a relaxing evening. Over the last couple weeks, I have come to appreciate this even more.

My brother called me the other night and we talked at length about his new Tomb King's army for Fantasy. We have both always loved Tomb Kings, played them in Warmaster, and finally one of us took the dive to get an army. Our conversation was about color schemes and paint techniques and products any respectable painter should have in his tool box, but, more importantly, it was a welcome distraction.. The conversation gave us both a couple hours to think about something else and, shortly, will give us several more hours making this army a reality. We may even make a team effort out of it. Not a bad way to bond with a brother some 500 miles away.

I'm reminded of when my daughter was born, and a few tense days and nights waiting in the hospital. My daughter was born in the midst of playtesting for Puppet Wars and so, in the dead of night when we both couldn't sleep, my wife and I passed the time playing games. There is something invaluable and comforting about having such a distraction.

I am thankful to have this hobby as part of my life. Like most hobbies, it is an escape and a way to make what can sometimes be a hectic life a bit more bearable.

More to come,