Friday, November 29, 2013

Super Dungeon Explore Vol. 9: Hearthsworn Fighter

Next up in the SDE hero parade is the Hearthsworn Fighter. I've always liked the look of this mini when painted up, but when decided on a color scheme, it occurred to me that actually painting him might be a bit boring, so I used the momentum from the Paladin to get right into painting this little guy.

The color scheme for the Fighter ended up being pretty straight forward. I decided to stick with a pretty traditional look for him, different tones of brown. This meant that I wanted to make what parts I could stand out, which meant going back to a pretty bright gold for his armor and a nice dirty blonde beard. 

At one point, I was worried that, between the Paladin and Fighter, I would have too much bright gold. However, looking at them together, and then at the rest of the more lightly armored heroes, I don't think that will be an issue. My goal with the heroes is not to move completely away from more realistic schemes, but to embrace the cartoonish style in a way that still compliments my painting style.

I've seen the eyes on the fighter done a couple different ways and it seems like the preference is to make his eyes more hidden. I decided not to do this however, as the whites of the eyes, followed by the warm browns, really brought something to
the model that I thought was missing when I did the initial pass. 

I'm not entirely sure where I'm going to go next with the SDE project. While the heroes are begging to be next on the table, I'm also looking at the dragonkin and mini bosses and looking for a good chunk of time to break out the airbrush and start in on them. In other words, I'm looking forward to a nice long weekend to get some time to paint. Maybe there's a holiday or something coming up.

More to Come.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

My Late Birthday Gift, to Myself

Over this last weekend, I received something of a belated birthday gift to myself in the mail, a set of Master Hybrid brushes from Games & Gears in the UK. The link is to their online store, but they also have an active facebook page.

I had pre-ordered the brush set back in September and have been waiting ever since. Even though I have painted models for a very long time, I have never really spent money on a high quality paint brush, favoring instead to go with GW brushes or whatever I can find at Hobby Lobby. When I started using these brushes over the weekend, however, I really started to understand what a good brush can do for you.

The Masters Hybrid brushes are double-sides, which means I actually received 6 brushes instead of only three in varying sizes. The good news is that, among the six brushes, there is not one I cannot envision using. They are also quite nice to hold onto, with a tapered body that fits very easily into my hands, which from time to time suffer from Carpal Tunnel. I am also very pleased that each brush came with it's own storage 'capsule,' which will make it very easy to transport when I bring my painting on the road.

As you can see, the brushes are quite nice looking and I'm very much looking forward to giving each one a try and breaking them in. Once I've gotten a good feeling out of the brushes, I'll probably update the blog again with a more complete review. 

More to Come.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Super Dungeon Explore Vol. 8: Royal Paladin

This is a pretty big day for the Super Dungeon Explore project. As an attempt to revitalize my painting after a long fall of little hobbying, I decided to break my rule and paint up the first of my heroes. My original intent was to save them all until the end of the project, but I think, having painted all of the Kobolds, I can reward myself a bit.

I opted to paint up the Paladin first, as he has been one of our most frequently used heroes. I wanted the Paladin to be distinctly knight-like, but I was worried that painting him entirely silver and gold would keep him from standing out against all those Kobolds he will shortly be surrounded in. Instead, I made his armor a bright ivory with gold trim. 

I recently discovered Vallejo Model Air metallics and I have made the switch over completely. I don't know the chemistry behind it, but it seems to me that most metallic paints look too chunky. I don't think that's the right way to put it, but it seems like the pigments in most metallic paints are just too large. The exception to this seems to be the Vallejo Model Air line, and they have a pretty good selection as well, though i have yet to find a perfect replacement for GW's old Tin Bitz. 

As always when working with gold, I undercoated with a dark brown first, which has the effect of making the gold look deeper and warmer. This is especially needed when working with the VMA gold, as the paints are very thin. 

I went with a very traditional look for the rest of the Paladin, bright blonde hair (i did this using more sandy colors and not yellows), bright blue eyes and a very deep royal blue for the cape and shield. I went back and forth between a very deep red and a deep blue for the contrast color, but eventually decided that blue would stand out much more against the various reds of the dragons and kobolds.

As for the Paladin himself, I used a lighter skintone, which I highlighted and then shaded with Vallejo Game Fleshtone wash. I kept the wash light, and really just enough to outline the Paladins eyes for that anime effect. I was excited, and secretly dreading, painting the eyes for these heroes, which is probably the more accurate reason for my leaving them until last. In a moment of bravery however, I dove in and got to work on them. They actually ended up looking pretty good and being less difficult than I anticipated. I am very pleased with how they turned out and somewhat less apprehensive of the ones still to do.

So, most importantly, did the Paladin revitalize my painting muscles? Yes it absolutely did! I'm back on track now and looking forward to SDE with fully painted models. 

More to Come.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Super Dungeon Explore Vol 7: Kobold Dragon Priests

The Dragon priests represent the last of the Kobolds to be completed. A small victory, perhaps, but now the SDE project looks much more manageable and like something I can finish by the holidays. Dragons, mini-bosses and, of course the heroes are left to go, but the rank and file horde "not that there are all that many models, are complete. This means that when we play, most of the models in play will be painted, which is great incentive for getting everything else done quickly.

I decided to go for two separate color schemes on the Dragon Priests. The first is the more traditional purple cloaked lizard, while the other matches more closely the earth tones I've already established with the rest of the kobolds. For the skintones, I went with a slightly bright mix of the same colors I have used before, thought being that there is a physical difference between a regular kobold and one chosen to be a Dragon Priest.

These guys are ready for the tabletop, though I am not entirely pleased with the lighting effect on their staffs. I'll probably go over them with the airbrush at some point to clean up the effect and make it just a bit more realistic. For now thought, they're looking pretty good.

More to Come.