It’s been over a month since I lasted posted a blog entry, partly because of a distraction having to bird-sit for a few weeks in May, but since then just a bit of a lack of motivation having fallen into bad habits. I did pick up a paintbrush once or twice, painting the Ork Boy heads, and their bases.
For the fourth day in a row, I’ve managed at least an hour of hobby time in the evening. It’s now become part of my routine, and it’s becoming quite therapeutic; bang on some youtube videos, set things up, do some painting, then clear it down. No more leaving the wet palette set up, and no making excuses!
I may not blog every day, or update my CMON WIP thread daily, but that’s more to do with preferring to spend time painting, and hobby time over taking pictures and writing about it. I’ve also given up on being too transcribed with describing the paints used, as it was all getting a little too much documentation and note taking, and I’m enjoying it a lot more not worrying about keeping track of everything. I suspect I will regret this however when I start to paint the next batch!
I’ve also decided to do away with the “Read More” links on the blog. I think it’s more fun to see the pictures straight away, and besides, who wants to click when you don’t have to.
What’s Been Done?
Worked on highlights and cleaning bits up, and when I look at all of the together, I’m really happy with them. Up close and personal shows the usual flaws, but I think I’m getting in the swing of things.
Also added an undercoat layer on the bases, which are separate (they’ll be removed from their current bases once I’m done with them), and pinned the heads onto paperclips on corks ready to start them.
Although I still want to do far more on the guns, the straps, and clean up the transitions on the red armour, I’m also going to start progressing the faces, just because it’ll help with motivation.
I’m enjoying the batch painting process, though five at a time may be a bit of a push for me personally, but I quite like the methodical repetition, it’s almost a bit like meditation!
Enough rambling, and on to the photos:
And finally, the mob together…
And there we are!
No painting on Saturday, this weekend, but I managed to get some in this morning. I decided I’d block in the basecoats on the model today, as it would help me get the colour balance right.
I’ve been experimenting with painting using a much larger brush than I have done in the past, the theory being a good brush with a good point will mean it doesn’t make it any harder to paint, but having more paint carrying capacity on the brush will mean I don’t have to worry about the brush point drying during painting, which is something I’ve been finding recently.
I’m not yet sold on the red armour plates, but I’m going to persevere with it for now, the plan is to weather them with chipping on the edges to add some interest to something that’s otherwise quite flat. The copper pistols don’t work, so I’m going to redo them in gun metal instead.
Also tried to take some better photos for a change, as I’m fed up of having terrible photos. It takes longer to take them, and then sort out the white balance, but I think they look sufficiently better to be worth while. I’m going to read up more on photography tips going forward to try and get better. No point neglecting that aspect of the hobby! If I get the hang of it, I may re-photo all the finished models I’ve done and re-upload them.
On to the pictures:
And now a mob shot:
I feel like I’ve finally turned a little bit of a corner with the motivation to paint again, and I’m looking to paint for at least an hour in the evening. It’s feeling far more productive, and more relaxing than just doing the zombie TV binge watch and internet surfing I’ve been doing for the past few months!
I’m hoping to build, paint and complete many more models now, so I actually have a collection of completed models rather than just piles and piles of plastic on sprues in various boxes.
I’ve been continuing with the work on the skin of the Ork Boyz this evening, with a focus on adding some muscle fibres to them. The skin tone is turning out darker than I had originally intended, but I’m starting to like how it’s moving along. Photo’s after the jump.
I’ve been experimenting with washes and glazes to smooth out highlights and provide a kind of mellower skin tone with these models. I’m reluctant to use the term “realistic” (they’re green!), but I’m enjoying the way various shades of brown interact with the green to provide a more muted appearance. This is definitely not what I originally had intended, I was planning to go really bright and vivid, but I’m now veering away from that for something that looks a little more natural. I will have to push up the contrast however as at the moment, I do think it looks a little flat, particularly on camera.
Today I’ve taken a few quick snaps of all five of the Orks I’m progressing, with a focus on the one side that shows the skin most effectively. I’ll be painting the faces along the same lines, but I’ll be doing them completely separately from the model themselves as I plan to really go to town on them.
Also managed to stick a few initial layers of colour onto the red leather shirt, it wasn’t quite as browny-red as the Orks I did a few years ago (which I really liked the colour choice), but I believe I’m using the same recipe – I wonder if the paint pigment has settled a little and it needs more agitation to mix properly. That or my notes on colour usage weren’t as complete as I thought!
On to pics – again, taken with an iPad in the hobby room and not in the light box (using some plasticard just to make it easier to avoid the camera getting confused with backgrounds), so not the best photographs, but it wouldn’t be a Droid Workshop post without an apology and terrible snaps now would it?
More progress planned for tomorrow.
The past few days I’ve been spending an hour or so painting in the evening, focusing on the Ork skin. As with all well planned paint jobs, I’ve found that I wasn’t happy with the recipe – although the colour was vibrant, the highlights were too stark, so I’ve been re-working the skin via glazes and washes.
I’ve been holding off posting as I wasn’t happy with where things were, but in the interests of being active, I thought I’d post where I’d reached.
The refined skin recipe so far as applied so far:
[table id=3 /]
This has wiped out the highlights in the photo below, but I prefer the tone of the colour now in comparison to how it was (no photo of the prior stage I’m afraid!):
Please excuse both the iPad taken photos, and the fact that the Agrax Earthshade is still wet, but I wanted to catch the Liverpool vs Roma Champions League match, so I rushed!
I think the next step is to re-apply the highlights, and maybe add some muscle fibres in to add some interest.
On Sunday, I thought I’d switch over to painting some 40k, some Ork boyz to be exact. After painting a Mordor Orc, and trying a more realistic, muted palette (yes, yes I know, how is an “Orc” realistic!), I fancied trying something a little more vibrant.
Before I continue, I ought to set the scene a little. Although I’ve always liked the Ork aesthetic in the 40k universe, I never really had any interest in painting them at all – that is until I picked up the Assault on Black Reach boxed game many moons ago. I purchased this because I saw it as a cheap way to get a bunch of Space Marine models, and the latest rulebook (although I never intended to play, or have ever played the game!). This boxed game came with a ton of Orks too, I thought I could use them as practice, However I found that they appealed to be more than I expected, and I quickly placed a few orders for some other units that I liked the look of. I really like the appearance of a big horde of Orks, so I very much wanted to get a sample of each type of Ork unit and model, just for the flavour. I painted the first model, using it to decide the colour scheme, painted the next following a process that I could use to batch paint, and then batch painted the next three for a set of 5. I then started the next five, and then… well that’s exactly where they remained. For a number of years, until one day I’d added too much primer to my airbrush, and rather than waste it, I decided to respray the 5 half finished models, and start again.
Well now it’s time for the Orks moment in the sun!
Trying Something a Little Different
Rather than start one new model, and figure out the colour scheme, I went back to my painting notes (yes I took notes!), and decided I’d follow a similar colour scheme, and batch paint the five at once. This meant I’d have to put some forethought into what I wanted to do, and I hoped that batch painting would stave off both boredom of looking at the same model for weeks, and perhaps be both more efficient with time (which I don’t have much of), and paint.
There’s only one place to begin painting an Ork in my opinion; it’s green skin. This will set the tone for the whole model, so I wanted to make sure that it would have contrast and depth, but also the colour needed to be vibrant. I decided I’d do this in a very structured way, and see how it went, so to that end, I decided on the following Ork Skin recipe:
[table id=2 /]
As you can see, I’ve certainly not skimped on the layers! The initial idea here is to keep mixing to the minimum, however depending on how it goes, I may decide to switch things around a little, but this was my starting point.
Step 1: Priming
Priming was done a few months ago, following my now standard approach; first a solid covering of Stylanez Black, followed by applying Stylanex Grey from a 45 degree angle for a zenithal highlighting effect, before finally a top down spray of Stylanez White. All were applied through my airbrush for a quick, easy and smooth coat. I particularly love this primers, and I think they both settle and cover beautifully.
Step 2: Preshading
With the priming already done, I had a good idea of where I wanted highlights and shadows to appear. I’ve taken this approach now on a good few models, and found that the subtleties of the priming layer get almost completed wiped out by the basecoat, given how good coverage you get from the citadel base paint range. To that end, instead I decided to take my next new step; I started with a wash of Biel Tan Green all over the skin. This would act as a very, very thin glaze, with the strongest colour settling in the recesses, but with it being so thin, where the black and grey of the undercoat was most obvious, I’d get some initial highlighting effects.
I have in the past actually painted models completely using washes (we’re talking back when I was 15 here), and if I had an airbrush in those days, this might even be a reasonably sufficient approach to complete models entirely (considering my skills back then), but I’m looking for more these days.
I also added a similar preshade to some of the parts I intend to paint red; however, I decided at this stage I would no longer paint anything other than the skin, and would focus on one part of the miniatures at a time, rather than than to try and get all the baselayers in place. We’ll see if that’s wise with my level of brush control as we progress!
Step 3: Basecoat
This is the first “proper” painting layer. Now the slight variation here is that the basecoat would not be applied to the whole of the skin. Rather, the basecoat would only be applied to areas of the skin that weren’t original black (and tinted green via the wash). This would leave some deeper shading in some areas to bring some more contrast, and save having to go in and brush in shadows later. This approach may prove a little too rough in the final product, but I’m interested to experiment and see what the effect is for the time being.
I thinned the base paint Waaagh Flesh down with a drop of airbrush thinner, just simply to add a bit more fluidity to it, but without adding water. This made for quite a nice thin, but pleasing viscosity, and I applied the paint pretty quickly across all five models.
At this point, I decided to call it quits for the day, and took all five models downstairs to the photo-booth and took some pictures. With painting five models at a time, photographing them seems a lot more worthwhile, than the setup and resizing of one models pictures, but it does mean there’s way more pictures here than in a normal update! Obviously with only preshading and a basecoat applied there’s not much to write home about here, but it looks like progress, which is always nice!
You may not quite see the effect I was going for with the basecoat layer and the pre-shading as it’s quite subtle at this stage, but I’m going to persevere and see how it turns out.
Hard to tell at this point, but I’m hoping that the approach might work!
Basic Black Reach Orc Boyz
These were the almost the last miniatures I completed, painted from back in 2013. I’m putting them up here firstly so I have some content, but secondly because really I think it’s always important to have a starting point to look back at, even if you’re not that happy with the results.
Even though it was a number of years ago, I wrote down details of the process so I could remember.