Test Model

I mentioned last time, that I had commission work coming in that would cause the personal projects to get set aside for a while.  Well, here’s an update on what’s going on!

The main commission I was talking about is a pair of 75-pt Retribution lists with about 20 pts of overlap.  The inspiration for the paint scheme comes from Hampster Cage Studio’s midnight inspired and LED lit Hyperion, and (I think) the client’s Alma Mater, UFL.  This gave us a nice bit of contrast in a dominant set of complementary colors:  blue and orange.

The main scheme should use blue for armor and orange for cloth, and then invert that for anything with the Dawnguard label.  Including Imperatus.  Of course, Retribution has loads of glowy bits, so the obvious solution is to use the opposite color as the glowy bits.  So, there’s a lot of play between the complementary colors, and since the blue will be very dark and the orange rather bright, there’s also some contrast in value.

Inspiration for the primary armor color.

Inspiration for the primary armor color.

I chose a House Shyeel Artificer and Dawnguard Scyir as the test models for a few reasons.  One, they’re metal so if it all went to shit, I could just throw them in the soup and not worry about it.  Two, they each showcase the scheme in different ways.  The Artificer has lots of armor and cloth, but isn’t a Dawnguard model, so would show blue with orange.  The Scyir would show orange with blue.  Since they had opposite colors for armor, they’d also let me work out the proper recipes for orange and blue glowy bits.

Continue Reading

After getting back from the NOVA Open, I needed to work on something different than Warmachine and Hordes.  Different sculptors and model manufacturers have different aesthetics and that means they offer different painting experiences.  I needed a change of pace, so I dug out my Tau and started working on one of the new(er) XV-8 Crisis Battlesuits.  They redesigned these not long ago, and they are spectacular.  There’s detail all over, they go together really nicely, and offer quite a bit more pose-ability than the older models (which are about 15 years old):

Some of my first models, back from April of 2004.

Some of my first models, from back in April of 2004.

The Scheme

I wanted to do an urban theme this go around, as a way to practice weathering and to work on more interesting and complex basing.  The urban environment dictated a mostly grey color palette, so I got out a set of four colors and my airbrushes and started playing around.  For all of the “white” and “black” on the model, I’m using the following Vallejo colors:  Black, German Grey, London Grey and White.  Often, while working off the wet palette, I’ll mix the three intermediaries, giving me roughly seven shades from pure black to pure white.

I started with the legs, which had large areas of armor and joints/structure.  This offered a nice place to play with both black and white, and make them interesting.  I used the airbrush to do the bulk of the work and show me where highlights and shadows should go and then enhanced the extremes with brushwork.  After some edge highlighting, I was pretty happy with the factory fresh look I’d achieved.  This is the requisite first step before weathering.

Mmmmm, lookin' fine!

Mmmmm, lookin’ fine!

Once I’d ironed out the style and method I liked, I proceeded to screw it up on the torso.  Instead of using my tight beam Sotar for the final highlight of white, I used my Patriot 105 which had a larger, fire hose sized needle equipped.  It made grainy transitions and forced me to re-spray the white with the Sotar.  This made it too bright, and the white edge highlighting barely shows up.  Phooey.

Good airbrushing, bad edge highlights

Re-worked airbrushing, invisible edge highlights

As you can see above, I built an urban base.  Because broken asphalt + road markings + rusty pipes = urban, right?  That’s all you need!  The asphalt is just thick cork, and the pipe’s a plastic tube.  The rest is flock, paint and weathering pigments.  There’s a more detailed tutorial coming on how I do this kind of base, later.  It’s not difficult, but like weathering, it’s an annoying number of layers and lots of waiting for things to dry.

After getting through nearly all the edge highlighting, I really wanted to add a pop of color, so I threw down some green on the Tau icons and backpack.  These were all done by hand, using several layers and mixtures of the P3 greens. The small bits of color really pop off the more monotone armor.

tau5

tau6

tau7

 

The last pic shows the back of the model, and lack of highlights on the jet pack exhaust.  Like the glow effects from the green bits, I want to wait until after I do the weathering, since those glow effects would sit on top of the weathering effects.  Additionally, I haven’t picked out any of the typical “off color” armor panels that most Tau paint schemes are known for.  Since those will be a pain to do by airbrush (especially now, with the model completely glued together), they’ll likely have to be done by hand.  Getting the highlighting and shading on those to line up and fit with the existing armor will be oodles of fun.

All of that in Part 2, whenever that happens.  For the immediate future, this guy’s going in the display cabinet.  Next up on my paint table are some commissions!

 

Today, I have some crappy cell phone pictures of what I’ve been able to do over my lunch hours here and there this week. Mostly, it’s been applying the same treatment to all of the Scythean’s upper armor.

I didn’t try and get every panel of armor on the entire model because just like with the arm, I’m trying to see what it will look like in stages before I commit too much time to the experiment. Small steps, asses and then move forward.

Anyway, the pictures:

20140620_113146

20140620_113202

20140620_113211

Overall, I’m very happy with where this is headed. Unfortunately, the white is a decently tedious process, much more so than 2-brush blending the Coal Black shades and Arcane Blue highlights

Also, I know the pics aren’t all that great, but they’ll get better when we finish moving into our new place and I can settle into my new studio. Give me another week or two.

Looking forward, there’s still loads to do for this army in just two months. I have four more heavies to finish besides this guy, three of which need to be cleaned and assembled. I also have about 20 small based models, including a warcaster who will need special attention.

I’ll be honest, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed and I’m not sure I’ll get the army done in time for Hardcore at Nova Open. That’s not even including the handful of competition pieces I want to do for the conventions’s Capital Palette Painting Competition.

Obviously, Katya was the primary item on my work table last month.  As a result, I haven’t made nearly enough progress on my Aquablight.  Especially with the Nova Open just a little over two months away.

I’ve been focused on the one arm for a bit, trying to keep the scop e small while I worked through everything.  This is still a test model, so I’m still fleshing things out.

Anyway, I have the arm just about done, except for a few minor armor bits on it’s upper arm.   Please excuse the not-so-great cellphone pictures, we’re moving in a week or two, so most stuff is packed off somewhere.

Let me know what you think:

20140612_074704

And here’s what it looks like on the Scythean. This was alwo the only good way to show you more of the talon.

20140612_074806

I got frustrated with trying to work out a scheme on the Legionnaire, and so I revisited the original Blackfrost Legion article, and decided to focus on a beast, instead. This is a WIP, and it’s only an arm, but I think it nicely shows what I’m thinking of doing on beast armor. Let me know what you think

Scythean_arm_1

Here’s another angle

Scythean_arm_1b

I need to finish up my ‘caster for Feat of Service, so I probably won’t be back to this for at least a two to three weeks, but I’m still hoping to have an army done for Nova Open. Stay tuned for Legion battle reports and more painting updates after my move (to a new place with more room) in mid-June.