Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Super Dungeon Explore Vol. 14: Deeproot Druid and Angry Bear

The SDE project continues. Here's a depressing trivia fact for you. It's been nearly 1 year since I began painting the Super Dungeon Explore minis. Granted, in this last year I have painted fewer models than in any other year of the last five or six but still, I hate how these projects just get drawn out for so long. The good news is that if I actually looked at the number of hours it's taken me to paint all the SDE models to this point, I would probably not be as hum drum about my progress. A lot happened in 2013 that took me away from the painting table.

This year, I have come out of the gate very strong and I will have the SDE project wrapped up shortly. There are so few models left to go now that I believe I have crossed over the hump...the momentum of completing the project will carry me over the finish line now.....and just in time too, as I have been increasingly eager to get back into playing Malifaux and just as hesitant as ever to play with models that aren't painted.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. Today, the Deeproot Druid and Angry Bear join their fellow heroes on the table. I mentioned in my February post that I was painting the druid and bear together to make sure they matched. Even though they are never going to be on the table at the same time, they will almost always be photographed next to each other, so this ended up being the way to go.

In that post, I also mentioned that I was using a lot of Bleached Bone, and you can tell, there is quite a bit on these guys. While this ended up being the major color for the fur on these guys, I also broke up the monotone using Vallejo Model Air colors Hemp, Light Brown and Sand Yellow. I've recently found a local store that stocks the Air colors and I think I will eventually transition over to them as my primary paint source.

I remember back in another post that I was talking about how I was nearly done with gold on the SDE heroes, with the Paladin and Fighter complete. As you can see, this was clearly not the case, but I think I have a good thing going with my gold recipe. For these models, I base-coated with Vallejo Model Air Golden Brown, which I followed with Model Air Gold. After this, I shaded with a couple layers of Sepia, and then picked out the highlights with gold again. Finally, I went back over the lightest highlights using gold mixed with just a bit of Model Air Steel.

When it came to the Angry Bear, I wanted to spend time making sure he looked alive. A lot of the examples I have seen online of the bear make it looks very statuesque and not alive. I used the same techniques for his tongue as I did for the treasure chest. I also took care to pick out the rest of his mouth in a separate color from the tongue to make sure it pops.

With a lot of extra space on his base, I took the liberty of using some of the extra bits that came in my copy of the box. A shield and broken spear from a couple of kobolds really added a nice touch.

At the risk of sounding too self absorbed, I am really pleased with the way these models turned out. I'm very tempted to bring all of the heroes out for a group shot, but I am going to wait until the last three are done. In the meantime, my wife has decided she will only play as the Druid now, as he has the perfect combination between angry and cute.

More to Come.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Super Dungeon Explore Vol. 13: Dragon Whelps

To follow up on my last post, the Dragon Whelps are ready for the table. As the first models painted using an airbrush, I am very happy with how these little guys turned out. I will admit that I picked up the brush to add some final highlights and some shading. For the claws and nails, I went with a deep brown, highlighted with a bit of red. 

The eyes on these little guys were done very simply, highlighting from oranges up into bright yellow, with a micron pen filling in the iris. I also used a Sepia micron to add the freckles on their cheeks for a bit of added cuteness.

I am going to continue my practice on the airbrush with the rest of the dragon family, before eventually working up to Starfire herself. 

More to Come.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Learning to Airbrush

About this time last year, I was finally getting my airbrush up and running. All of the supplies had been gathered and I was beginning to experiment with using the Sotor I picked up to undercoat and varnish models. Up until now, that was the only thing I had used it for. Over the weekend, however, I decided to start learning how to paint, actually paint using the airbrush.

I've mentioned in past posts that the first models I was going to experiment with were the Super Dungeon Explore Dragon Kin. As these models are not very complex in terms of detail, I thought it would be a forgiving place to start. Specifically, I started with the Whelps. These chubby little guys are pretty straight forward, and I thought the large amounts of skin on them would respond well to even some novice airbrush blending. 

Here is my result so far. Overall, I think this is a good first attempt, though there is clearly a long way for me to go. I've only just begun to explore the extremely fine end of the Sotor 2020 and I'm still dialing in things like the consistency of my paint and the PSI of the compressor. More difficult for me will probably be getting used to holding the Sotor in my hand and getting a feel for exactly how to move the trigger and where to point the nozzle.
That said, I managed to get a basecoat and highlights on both of the Whelps. As of the writing, they have been glass varnished in preparation of a little shading work, but they will not be as shiny in the end. 

As for coloring, I decided the Whelps would be a darker red than I've seen a lot of others use. I wanted to be sure they stood apart as an entirely different creature from the Kobolds and look more like the plans I have in store for Startfire...Deep reds to contrast with their fiery environment. 

Well, back to work.

More to Come.