Thursday 30 June 2011

Into The Woods part 5

The Nerdlord is Finished!
I've put him onto a temporary base untill such time as I have all the other elements for his senic base ready.


Into The Woods part 4

I've adusted the colour of the shirt and I think it looks a lot better in a warmer tone (more screen accurate too!). I need to tidy it up and sharpen up the details in general but that is just a matter of spending more time & effort on it.

I've worked some lighter browns into the hair so it is less of a solid colour.
I've highlighted the trousers using blue/grey tones to contrast with the warmer grey tones used on the boots. The trick here is to use increasingly fine highlights. The final highlights are very small & precise and pull the whole thing together helping to sharpen up the definition of the paint job. I work with diluted paint building up layers of translucent colour - this helps to make the colour graduation subtler. Back in the day when I was competing in the Golden Demon contest I used to work with a lot more layers and tonal variations. It takes a lot more time that way but the effect is worth it.
I have worked in a similar way on the jacket but I've overlaid that with some fine stippling (painting with dots of colour) in three tones of brown. Hopefully this gives a tweedy texture to the paint job.
Not too much left to do now. It is mainly a matter of getting really obsessive over the tiny details and refining them until I'm happy (or go totally cross eyed).


Into The Woods part 3

A little more tweaking of the face. Next I basecoat the shirt and the inside of the jacket. I may well work on the face a little more at a later stage but for the moment it’s OK.

I have shaded & highlighted the shirt. Then painted in the braces, bow tie & stripes on the shirt. I then base coated the trousers & boots and gave the boots a dry brush of a black/brown mix. That sounds very straightforward but it involves lots of going back over adjusting and retouching things.
I treat miniature painting as a process of gradual refinement and just keep on going until I’m happy with the level of finish.
Now I thought I was going to be clever and play around with adjacent areas of warm & cool tones to give some contrast and interest to the finished model. So much for that! It is now blatantly obvious that the base colour of the shirt is far too cool and in fact it looks blue. I will have to warm up the colour of the shirt with some subtle washes and probably retouch the highlights after that.


Into The Woods part 2

I tend to work in distinct mid-tone/shading/ highlighting stages in only the most general way. It is a good way to get started but I usually just keep tweaking away at the paint job until I’m happy. I usually work on an area at a time for example the face, the shirt or the trouser. I will work each area up to a finished state before moving on to the next one. I almost always start with the face. It sets the whole tone and character of the model.
I don’t use an overall undercoat of any sort. That would just add another layer of paint to clog up the detail.
I have base coated the face in a dark flesh tone (a mix of dwarf flesh & scorched brown). Next I paint the eyes and this is the most fiddly/frustrating bit. I then start to build up the mid-tones and highlights to give some definition to the features. This usually involves lots of going back over and adjusting things to get a defined face.

I've further refined the face and built up finer sharper highlights. The final highlights really pull things together and help define the features. I work in lots of stages building up thin layers of diluted colour. The more stages the subtler the result. It is important to thin down the paint as acrylics can build up a rough grainy surface over successive layers and at such a small scale this gives a very crude appearance and clogs up the detail.
I have also blocked in the hair with scorched brown and then given it a wash of diluted black. I will probably highlight the hair later but I want to get an impression of the overall tonal/colour balance before I do that.  


Starting a new project - Into the Woods.

During the later half of last year I began a miniature painting project that started out as a single painted miniature but rapidly grew into something more ambitious. The minis are based upon characters from the BBC TV show Dr Who and I chronicled my progress on the Galifrey Base Forums (the posts are written with a non mini painting audience in mind).
Recording a step by step progress has proven to be a really interesting experience. It focused me on how I go about painting a miniature. To put it very simply I’d have to say that I pretty much make it up as I go along and the stages below are fairly arbitrary.
It was during this project that I really felt that I got back into the zone for mini painting so I have decided to recreate my posts here to illustrate how I approach painting a mini.
Here is my take on the Nerdlord II figure by Heresy Miniatures.
STEP 1 Preparation
This is the most boring bit but it’s important not to cut corners at this stage. Clean up the casting by removing any flash or mould lines. I usually do this with a combination of a scalpel (scrape rather than cut) and very fine emery paper. Once I’m happy I give the model a scrub with a little washing up liquid using an old toothbrush to remove any dirt or grease before painting.

As I intend to mount the finished model onto a scenic base rather than a standard slotta base I have removed the tab from between the feet. I then drilled (VERY carefully) up into one of the legs & superglue a Wire pin in place. Once painted I will use the pin to attach the model to it’s base.
I then pop the pinned model onto a cork so I have something to hold onto when I’m painting.

Wednesday 29 June 2011

Getting things started off on the right track.

It seems like a good place to start this blog off by featuring a piece of ancient history and my one claim to fame. My Nurgle Predator - winner of the Slayer Sword in 1990.

I am both hugely proud and immensely fond of this model but if I'm honest time has not been kind. I can't see any way that I'd win a Slayer Sword if I turned up at the Golden Demons with this baby in 2011. And that is all part of the challenge and excitement of the hobby because having taken a few years out I find myself in the position of trying to get my painting skills both up to speed and up-to-date. There is some truly wonderful miniature painting going on in the big wide world and I want to see if I can get myself back on top form.

I want to use this blog as a way of recording my progress both in the development of my technical skills and as I develop my own personal style and identity as a painter.