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.
Working on the Base
With the model pretty much done, I started on the base. As is the modern way, I went with a round base over a square. Although given he’s an old school Dwarf Slayer may have suggested a square base was more appropriate, I actually prefer the aesthetic of a round base.
I wanted something a bit more interesting than a “flat and flocked” base, so I thought about perhaps making the Dwarf appear as though he was at the top of a cliff, about to launch himself without heed of his own safety onto his enemy!
To achieve this, I built up the base using milliput, and blended this into the base. I then added a further “blob” to the top to act as the over hanging part. I knew I wanted the model at the front of the base, so I thought I’d need something at the back so it didn’t appear empty. I chose to “sculpt” a small mushroom / toadstool. How’s that for old school (and very cliche)! Once this had cured, I liberally coated this in PVA and dipped into some sand.
This was airbrushed with a basecoat (my airbrush had a clog that was a real pain to clear, so this took a while), and then highlighted very subtly with a low amount of paint, lots of air under a high pressure. I then washed this down somewhat to make things more realistic and add shadow. Finally, a drybrush of a lighter shade was applied.
The mushroom / toadstool was painted simply. It was tough to get my brush in to it, so I went for simple and neat (as much as I can be neat anyway!), over trying to be too clever.
Once painted, I added more PVA and dipped in static grass to complete the effect of a grassy hill.
The model was then taken off the cork, the slottabase tab removed, and then pinned onto the base. A note for reference and for all you hobbyists out there; remove the tab before painting. I do not know what possessed me to leave it on, as cutting off metal tabs takes quite a bit of force, which you do not want to be messing around with after you’ve finished your paint job **facepalm**.
I’ve decided that after I’ve completed a model, I’m going to start writing a “retrospective” of the project, so I can outline what i thought went well, what didn’t, and what “puzzles” me to help focus on where to improve going forward.
What went well and I should continue doing?
- Pushing myself to try new techniques resulted in my trying to paint stripes. This was the part I almost didn’t do, because I didn’t feel my skills were up to it, and yet they actually are my favourite parts of the model!
- Same goes for the wood effect on the axe handles. If I want to try something, I should give it a whirl and not worry too much about making a mistake
- Realising I was spending too much time taking photos and posting WIP over painting in my limited hobby time and taking action to prevent me from losing interest. Deciding to focus on painting over posting updates. This helped me complete the project.
What didn’t go so well and I should stop doing?
- Leaving the tab on the model when I always intended to pin it to a base. I should make sure to do all model prep before undercoating
- Skin tones and greys and whites went on chalky. This could be to do with the paint (they are old and I think a little dried out), but also to do with not mixing with base coats / previous tones. I think I need to buy some replacement paints, and try mixing base tones better
- Rushing due to being uncomfortable, leading to clumsy mistakes. Easy one to fix here; take a look at buying a more comfortable hobby chair, and if I feel uncomfortable take a break
- Metallics. I need to figure out how to paint with these better. They did not go on well after the first layer. Either they need thinning better, or I need to use less on the brush. Either way they look messy on the axe blade.
What puzzles me?
- How to paint good smooth transitions on skin tones. I need to do some reading and watch a few youtube videos I think to understand the techniques better, and try a few out on some models
- How to paint good smooth metallics. Again some research is needed. I could run the metals through my airbrush as they are Vallejo air paints, however I think this would be messy, and I don’t fancy repainting over the paints.
Despite the retrospective sounding a little negative, I always focus on where to improve on something – I’m actually, really, really happy with this model, and I think it’s by far and away my best to date.
I’ll be looking to create a multi-photo image to upload to the CoolMiniOrNot gallery shortly, so we’ll see if the community agrees that it’s any better my previous models.
Thanks for looking folks