Monday, 4 February 2019

Sloppity Bilepiper Part 4

Apologies for the lack of regular post on this blog but with all my old routines gone my painting and posting is more than a little erratic. In truth I’ve decided to focus my hobby time on painting with social media and blogging taking a back seat for the time being. This is working out very nicely for me as I’m getting a little more painting time and, most importantly, I’m enjoying myself.

In my last post I had just about finished the Sloppity Bilepiper but I'd yet to paint his base. With the luxury of a little more time I’ve now done that and it feels so good to have completed a project. The process has been fairly intense as there was a lot of going back and forth to tweak some of the details.

As the Bilepipe, his nurgling companion and the base came together many of the tones, hues, textures and finishes were adjusted to balance out the overall composition. It was all a bit fiddly and in some places very subtle but it’s really helped to tie the elements together. It’s been a satisfying experience to finesse a project without any deadline pressure.

The base incorporates my first use of resin water effects for creating the puddle the Bilepiper is stepping in. Admittedly it’s a cautious use of resin but I wanted to start off with something straightforward before getting more adventurous. I can see myself doing more water bases in my future.

I’d initially intended to keep the slime and drips to a minimum but as the project developed I realised this was not the right mini for that approach. He is after all called a SLOPPITY Bilepiper and that suggests more than a little sloppyness. So out came the microbeads, UHU glue and plenty of gloss varnish. My Bilepiper is now appropriately sloppy and is pipes are oozing bile!

In contrast to the slime I wanted to add some rough textures for the mould and corrosion. In the past I would have used my old friend baking powder but I’ve finally found what seems to be a perfect replacement. Chinchilla bathing powder, a mixture of mineral sand and calcium powder, has the right texture and best of all takes and holds colour very well! Fingers crossed it will, unlike baking powder, be stable over the long term.

So there we have it, the finished Sloppity Bilepiper. I started this as a ‘quickie’ after Mark came home from hospital but, as usually happens, the project drew me in and I’ve invested a lot of time into it. But I think it’s been time well spent because I’m very happy with the finished result and painting the Bilepiper has helped me get into the swing of a new painting routine!

Saturday, 22 December 2018

Sloppity Bilepiper Part 3

I’ve finally painted all of the flesh tones on the Sloppity Bilepiper and that’s enabled me to move on to painting the marotter. In doing so I’ve resolved the over all colour scheme and balance. The marotter is painted in muted tones but it features the same yellow/purple contrast with a green spot colour as the rest of the mini. In particular it’s the blue/green of the verdigris that gives a pop to the overall scheme at the moment.

I’d considered dialing down the slime effects on this mini (shocking – I know!). But the clue is in his name; so as the paint job comes together I will need to build in more slime, drips and goo. I must make sure my Bilepiper is suitably sloppity.

There are a fair few details to tweak here and there. In the most part that’s because I started this project with a fairly lose idea of the overall scheme. In spite of that the mini is suddenly looking a lot closer to being finished!

Friday, 30 November 2018

Sloppity Bilepiper Part 2

I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again ‘I don’t enjoy painting sub-assemblies’. The problems that can crop up, when glueing and filling already painted parts, play on my nerves. However, there are times when painting a model in sub-assemblies is the best solution. It’s something I’ll do when it’s the only way to get clear access to areas of a mini that, although partly covered or obscured by the addition of other parts, will be visible on the finished piece.

The Sloppity Bilepiper is an example of this scenario. On first inspection I thought it would be possible to assemble the entire mini before painting. However, I realised that the upper torso and the area featuring the pipes would be tricky to get at and might, as a result, look a little under painted. Although these difficult areas are often in the shadows I would rather paint them as such by choice rather than omission.

With the decision made to work in sub-assemblies, I first painted the head and the main body separately before I glued the head onto the body. The next element to deal with was the bag of the ‘gutpipes’ and the arm holding them. This was all fairly straightforward as the only visible seam was in the crease between the upper arm and shoulder.

All of the seams, visible or otherwise, on the sub-assemblies were filled with a 50/50 mix of water and PVA woodworking glue. I’ve used this mix before when dealing with a visible seam between painted elements of a mini, most notably on my Megaboss. It can take a few applications to fill even a small gap as the mix shrinks when it dries. However it’s worth the effort as it dries to a semi transparent matt finish that camouflages visible seams most effectively!

When I talk about PVA wood glue this is the stuff I'm reffering to.
It's been a stapel item in my toolbox since I was in my teens and
I've used it in one way or another on almost all of my projects!

My troubles started when I turned my attention to the pipes! I base coated the pipes and then applied a wash and highlight before glueing them in place. This meant that any really tricky areas already had a ‘basic’ paintjob. While no part of the pipes proved inaccessible they were extremely fiddly to paint.

I rapidly found this part of the mini very frustrating. A problem made worse by boredom. I’ve never been very good at painting multiples of the same things because I quickly get bored and once I’ve painted something I like to move on and paint something different. It’s an issue I have to deal with on most projects at some point. A typical example would be the soul stones found on GW’s Aelves and Aeldari minis.The pipes really shouldn’t have been that much of a problem, but they very nearly got the better of me and I very quickly began to hate them!

In truth my frustrations were more to do with the upheaval and disruption following Mark’s stay in hospital and his ongoing recovery. As we tend to take things on a day-by-day basis I’ve not been able to establish a regular and consistent routine. I’ve come to realise just how much I like to plan ahead and organise my days and weeks. It’s going to take a while to get everything back to ‘normal’ in the mean time I’ve had to work my way through a tricky patch and remember not to dwell on problems and frustrations. After all mini painting is my hobby, not my job, and I do it for pleasure!

Once the pipes were (finally) painted things took a definite turn for the better. I’ve been able to get back into the habit of painting every day. Even if it’s only for a short time it’s made a huge difference and I feel like I’m making steady progress. Better still I’m really enjoying the project again and I’m feeling pleased with what I’m achieving. The Sloppity Bilepiper is a mini with great potential and I’m beginning to think that I might now be able to do it justice!

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Sloppity Bilepiper Part 1

After all the upset and upheaval that happened over the summer it feels very good to be painting minis again! I’ve not been able to establish a regular routine for my painting as yet but that’s to be expected. With Mark at home recovering (and not yet fully able to enjoy his retirement) life is still a bit topsy-turvy for us both.

Bearing this in mind I decided to start a ‘fun’ project that would not require too much concentration and time. Horticulus Slimux and Mulch most certainly will and I’ll need to be fully back up-to-speed before I return to them. As it happens I already had a Sloppity Bilepiper assembled and base coated because I’d intended to paint him before the Isharan Tidecaster grabbed my attention. The Sloppity Bilepiper is the perfect mini for my current needs.

As well as being a fun miniature it hads the advantage of providing me with some familiar Nurgley subject matter. That meant that I could just dive right in and get painting. I’ve used the same techniques on the Bilepiper’s flesh tones as I used on all my other Plaguebearers. The only real difference is in the colour palette I’ve used. Instead of featuring green as the dominant colour I’ve experimented with a yellow flesh tone. Yellow can be used as a happy cheerful colour and it somehow seemed appropriate for a creature infected with the comedic fever of the Chortling Murrain!

In practice the colours used vary little from the combination of red/pink, blue and yellow over a Rakarth Flesh base that I’ve used before for my ‘human’ flesh tones (see below). The difference is in the proportions of those colours. I’ve built up a series of glazes going from yellow (Games Workshop Iyanden Darksun) through red (Scale Colour Antares Red) to a dark brown (Scale Colour Black Leather). This gave me my global shadows and colours. I then built up the highlights over the glazes using a combination of Iyanden Darksun and Flayed One Flesh (Games Workshop). In addition to the highlights this stage is where I build up the textures.

With the bulk of the highlights and shading done I then went back to fine tune everything with further glazes and highlighting. At this point I’ve use a little of the red from the Scale Colour Inktense range to increase the saturation in some of the shadows and mid-tones.

Fingers crossed this project will help ease me back into a more regular painting routine and serve as a stepping stone to my bigger projects.

Monday, 27 August 2018

The finished Isharann Tidecaster

Apologies for my absence! If you’ve been following me on Facebook you may have read that my partner Mark has been very unwell and in hospital for the past month. Obviously Mark is my top priority and I was effectively ‘offline’ for the duration.

Thankfully Mark is now much recovered and back home where he belongs. My hobby time is still limited but it’s time to start the ball rolling again. So without further ado here is my long delayed, but finally finished, Isharann Tidecaster!