Finally, after starting this model in June, the Minotaur is considered complete!
As per the last few days, I had a short 30-odd minute painting session after work between World Cup football matches.
Today’s focus was on adding some highlights to the minotaurs left bicep, particularly working on the inner side that faces the front of the model at this point.
No Posts != No Progress
Rather than posting this week, I decided to spend my hobby time actually painting. I was finding taking WIP shots, transferring them to my PC, balancing the levels and then resizing and uploading them to both my CoolMiniOrNot WIP thread and writing a new post was too time consuming. Although I want to be active on this site, and I want to maintain a WIP thread to get feedback from the painting community, my time is just too limited to do all three at this time.
Work is busy with a number of projects I’m managing, and although I’m leaving on time, I’m tired, and it’s tough motivation to get back onto a PC to write blog posts and sort out photographs. That combines with training I’m doing four out five nights a week to keep fit, as well as still preparing healthy meals is meaning something has to take priority.
I decided to post less frequent updates, and instead do more painting, and it paid off – the Dwarf Slayer is now complete.
I didn’t do a whole not more on him, other than highlight the stripes, and paint the front of the trousers and belt that was obscured due to his huge belly! Once this was done, other than touching up a few areas I’d accidentally chipped, that’s all I did on him all week before moving on to basing.
Up to Ten WIP Posts for one Dwarf?!?
So I’ve now reached ten separate posts relating to one dwarf model. Talk about a slow painter! Shame the results don’t seem to match the time spent haha
Truth is I’m actually quite happy with how this one is progressing. I’m learning a whole host of new things, and I’ve certainly tried a lot more techniques than I have previously. Although I’d like to paint more quickly, at the moment I’m just trying to paint (and post) regularly – so as I don’t have a great deal of painting time, I’d rather make sure I do a little bit as often as I can.
First Excuses for Lack of Updates…
I’ve had a busy week, unfortunately not with the brush. As a Product Owner / Project Manager, sprint change-over week can be a little hectic, particularly if you have a few projects ongoing and you need to demo work to customers. Although it doesn’t culminate in working additional hours, it’s just hard to keep motivation to hobby when you’ve had a heavy day and you want to commit to doing fitness training in the evenings too.
Now for Progress
Although I’ve been busy, I did still manage to get a little done over the past couple of days – I’ve just preferred to paint over taking photos of progress and posting.
All of the work has been Dwarf Slayer related, and mainly confined to working on the remaining axe-haft, and getting a start on the axe-heads. I’m a little surprised at how messy my metallic painting has been, I had thought this would be the quicker and easier part!
Wood Grain… Still
Worked a little more on the wood grain this morning. Firstly applied a wash of Agrax Earthshade to tone down what I’d done previously. Once dried, I then highlighted up again with diluted Skrag Brown and then Deathclaw Brown. Both paints were still in their original GW pots, so some transferring into dropper bottles was necessary, which always eats into painting time.
Today I fiddled with my camera settings after yesterdays horrific photographs, and they’ve come out better, so hopefully the effects are easier to see:
The front view (where I started) doesn’t look quite right to my eyes yet, but it’s certainly starting to move forward, and looks far better than the plain brown on the right axe haft, so I’m pleased with the decision to push on and attempt the effect.
Not much progress to talk about today, I need to make sure I don’t lose too much momentum, but work and life gets in the way sometimes.
I decided to push myself a little on this one, but trying to do a bit of freehand wood grain on the axe hafts. This isn’t something I’ve tried before, and is something I’m a little apprehensive of doing – I think that’s a good thing though!
I added a smooth(ish) basecoat of a dark brown on both axe hafts, and then began working on the one by adding in a few thin lines of a lighter shade. I’ve also got as far as adding the first couple of highlights to this to add some more definition. It’s not my cleanest work so far, but it’s a start to something new.
A pre-warning with this one, the photos are horrific. I’ve had a real difficulty getting a good picture in daylight! After figuring out some reasonable settings for shooting in the darker evenings with the lights in my hobby room, I’ve had to adjust the levels in GIMP to bring the overexposed picture down to something passable, but it’s still not right. I didn’t have the time this morning to re-take them, so I’ve had to say “that’ll do”|
It’s really hard to see the wood grain on most of the axe haft on the left (the dwarfs right axe), due to the pictures, but hopefully you can see what I’m starting to go for.
Late Update, Slow Progress
I didn’t post yesterday, but I did paint. I’m really enjoying the process on the Dwarf Slayer, and I think I’m learning a lot.
With most of the flesh parts “done”, other than some skin visible through gaps in the beard, I moved on to working on to highlighting the boots and pouches, and started on the wrist bracelets. The boots, pouches and one of the wrist bracelets are the same grey-brown leather. The highlights a touch rough, I find this particular colour difficult as it comes out very, very chalky. I’m going to do some extra mixes to try and even things out, and will probably glaze these on to make it smoother and cleaner.
The other wrist bracelets were started, one in gold, and the other blue. I really like the blue, it’s come out quite nicely.
Arms, Beard Clasps, Boots and Pouches
With the beard, face and first arm at a point that’s largely done, I decided to push on and work on the on the remaining skin, and make a start on boots and pouches. I’m getting to the point of this model where I’m quite happy with what I’ve done so far, so “the fear” is setting in.
What is “the fear”? It’s the worry of ruining a partial paint job that’s going quite well. The only way to get over “the fear” is to push through it, else you won’t complete the model. This is a position I’ve been in before, and why when I was younger I struggled to actually finish models. That means I’m going to push on, past this stage as I know ultimately it stops me getting better.
With “the fear” recognised and rejected, I pushed on with the next stages…
Boxing and Painting
Last night my some of my friends came round my house to watch Anthony Joshua’s latest boxing match, which meant Sunday mornings painting session was disrupted with a need to clean up empty beer bottles and pizza boxes. I set my alarm, so I could get up early and tidy up before getting down to business.
After rushing around, it came to my attention that today is the day that the clocks have gone back an hour, so I actually didn’t need to get up as early!
Once cleared up, I popped to the office and got back on the case with the Dwarf Slayer.
I’d got as far as basecoating the hair when I’d left it last with a quick shading wash, so the first thing to get going with today was some initial highlights. This was a bit tricky because the hair strands are just so fine, so I started with a quick drybrush, to help me identify where best to place the layered highlights. I then layered on some further highlights, focusing on the parts of the beard on the belly as this part of the hair stuck out furthest.
Once satisfied with the highlights, I went back in with various washes, and selectively added them to recesses, and around the area I would expect to see shadows. I’m pleased with the effect this had, and it looks interesting.
Taking a quick photo, I wasn’t quite happy with the shadows on the face which were a little to strong in various places. I worked back in a bit of the basecoat, just to clean this up a little, and added in the eyes. The pupils are a little small, and not quite central on both, but I’m OK with where they are.
Finally, I moved on to starting the skin on the models right arm, using the same steps and recipes for the face.
I’m not an experienced photographer. In fact I know very little about taking photos, and it normally really shows. If you want a good photo of something, do not give me the camera!
As a good photo can make all the difference, and a bad one ruin a good paint job, this is another skill I need to work on. I have a friend who has photography skills (but not specifically in miniature painting), so at some point I’ll ask her for some tips!
Having said the above, with sufficient time, I can at least take a passable picture, and that will have to do for now.
It’s subtle, but from this view you may get a hint of a bit of red in the skin tone on the nose – I was going for a bit of a ruddy nose to try and add so extra variation to the face. It’s not something I’ve tried before, so it was good to do something a little different.
I experimented with my camera a little, taking advantage of ther being some daylight to work with. After a few attempts, varying between heavily over and under exposed, I took this last set and with some level balancing using GIMP, I was happy enough with The pictures that they show enough of the shadows and highlights to put up.