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!
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.
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.
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…
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.
Today’s post is going to show a couple of days progress on the dwarf slayer that I’ve made. A few distractions came my way towards the end of this week, so I’ve only really had a good crack at moving things forwards today.
I took today as holiday from work to get a few jobs done today, fully intending to fit in a good long session of painting too. My plans were heavily jeopardised by being awoken in the early hours by a mouse in my bedroom. This little nightmare has been popping up for a few months now, and although it went quiet for quit a few weeks, it had been back with a vengeance this week. Lack of sleep is a nightmare. It all came to a head in the early hours of this morning where I caught the critter in a reebok trainer, and managed to transfer him into a plastic container (with air holes). After going back to bed for a bit, I then took the opportunity to set him free in a nearby field.
After releasing the rodent, I popped to town to do some jobs, bought a set of new models and I also took in the Thor: Ragnorok movie. I took a while to get into it (there was something about the movie early on that didn’t feel quite right – perhaps it seemed like it was trying to be too similar to Guardians of the Galaxy with all the jokes), but half an hour in I was hooked and really enjoying it.
Anyway I’ve distracted myself here haven’t I, so I should get back on topic.
Initial Face Layering
My most recent efforts have been trying to focus on the Dwarf Slayer’s face. I’m trying to push myself a little with this one, but I’m finding my technique isn’t quite there yet to be too clever. I’ve been back and forward over a few sections of the face to try and get an effect I like, and I’ve had limited joy with glazes of different colours that I was intending to add some visual interest.
By around Thursday I’d added a reasonable amount of contrast, even if it didn’t show up in photos very well.
As I started with a mixed base tone, I applied the lighter shade as a highlight, and washed the darker shade into the recesses of the face. The shadows are a little too subtle here, though I did remember to paint the nose and lips this time!
The paint guide referencing the old Citadel colours, so I spent some time listing alternative colours I could use that I have for the various stages.
On a non-dwarf related topic, I did a little work on the zombicide zombie I posted previously, all effort on the base. I filed and smoothed the edge (which had like an odd horizontal mold line), and added a layer of sand over the top of the citadel texture paint it previously had. It’s a little too course to look like a road base like I intended originally, so I may just now do it as a dirty, muddy field with a few clumps of grass on this one.
Also, having learned from being stuck for a day or two after finishing my last model, I thought I’d strip a few other old models for when this ones done. They probably aren’t going to be the ones I specifically work on next, but I think if I regularly strip old miniatures, I’ll have something that interests me to work on prepared. Those stripped last night:
an old 40k Bad Moon Ork Warboss
a shadow grey base coated Inquisitor Coteaz
the classic old school Durthu the Treeman
The Ork Warboss and Treeman are particularly old models, but are full of character. The paint on these must have been very think as the toothbrush used to clear off the paint is an horrific mess!
This afternoon I started on the Dwarf Slayer in earnest, laying down the basecoat for the skin. Using a 50:50 mix of Bugmans Glow and Doombull Brown, watered down to a reasonable consistency, I applied a couple of thin layers to all the skin areas. Or at least I thought to all the skin…
Following suggestions on my WIP thread on CoolMiniOrNot, I’ve revisited the highlights on the Mordor Orc, focusing on trying to add contrast. Mostly the cloth and leather were the flattest part in my opinion, so I tried to add a bit more interest to them. The metal areas were OK, so I’ve not done any more to them, but I did take the face and skin up a notch.
After a weekend of no progress, I was looking forward to getting back to the hobby desk this evening, only to wake with a seriously sore neck! It’s gradually worsened through the day at work, to the point where I was just really uncomfortable. Fortunately, I stopped making excuses long enough to crack open the paints and at least make another step forward.