Thursday, November 19, 2009

Painting with a limited pallet

I find that most of the time, the thing that separates the great painters from the good ones, and even the poor ones is the continued venture of learning more. It id very easy to get into a rhythm of using the techniques you are already very familiar with.

Using only the techniques you already know will make you a better painter at your level, but it really won't bring you up to the next level. The way you bring your painting up a notch is to find something you don't think you can do, and figure it out.

Well, when a renown painter like Jen Haley wins the P3 Grandmaster painting competition, that's not so much of a surprise. But what I find most interesting is what she said about experimentation in her diorama.

But the blurb she wrote about her diorama was that she was experimenting with a limited pallet. The whole diorama was painted using only five paint pots- there was just a lot of mixing of paints and blending between the colors. The result was a diorama that looked fantastic, where all of the colors were unified in subtle ways.

Unfortunately, Haley's diorama isn't posted on the internet anywhere. You'll have to look in No Quarter 27 to see it. However, she did post her entry that took best in show.

So, I decided to try out painting with a limited pallet on my Calandra Truthsayer. I only used 5 paint pots on this mini, and that includes the base.

The five colors you see here are the only ones that made it onto to the mini. Anything that doesn't look like one of these colors is actually a mix of two or more of them. For example, the grey armor was actually brown and blue mixed together, highlighted with the fleshy pink (a client of mine gave me the idea of highlighting non metallic metals with pink).

The colors are Morrow White, Sanguine Base, Rynn Flesh Bootstrap Leather and Exile Blue. The skin was a mix of Rynn, Bootstrap and Sanguine, to give her a slightly fleshy pink tone. When I wanted to ink the leathers, I created a purple wash out of Exile Blue and Sanguine Base. Like I said before, the greys are created by mixing Bootstrap Leather and Exile Blue- the metals have a little more blue in them, and the browns (like on the base) have a little more brown.

I had a wonderful time with this exercise, and I am definitely going to try it out again. Also, Calandra was a joy to paint, and I am definitely going to be painting her again in the future.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mordheim Cult of the Possessed

One thing that I've always been fond of is Game's Workshop's Specialist/Fanatics line of games- especially the smaller scale games. That is where GW relegated things like Blood Bowl, Necromunda, and Mordheim.

Mordheim is an interesting game because of the way that it incorporates all of the core rules for Warhammer Fantasty Battle, but makes all of the fighting forces into small warbands with fairly poor stats in Fantasy Battle terms.

Anyway, here is a Cult of the Possessed (Chaos) warband that I was recently commissioned to paint for Mordheim. The colors were not entirely my choosing, and the bases were left alone because my client had his own plans for them:

Friday, November 13, 2009

Collaborative World Building for RPGs

A little while ago, a friend of mine decided to start up a Dungeons and Dragons, and I was inclined to play because he is an excellent game master.

We tried something new for this game- the Dawn of Worlds world creation system.

The GM and all players sat down together and created a world. We started with an outline of a map, and from there, created our game world's history through the ages. Each of us took turns sculpting a little landscape and creating different races in a system that worked beautifully. I highly reccomend using this collaborative world builder over a GM made campaign setting if only because the world was instantly three dimentional for all of us players.

I have to say, that collaboration in creating the world made for a spectacular experience. When we started playing, we all felt like we had a detailed and interesting world to play in. It was kind of like starting up a Dragon Lance, L5R or Iron Kingdoms game with a group that knows the history, has read the novels and knows the setting's details.

Now, we did do some strange things with our world. The race of goblins was born when the hobgoblins made treaties with the halflings and eventually interbred with them. The dwarves have built their civilization with the minotaurs and live in peace with one another (and have for so long that all dwarves and minotaurs see one another as brothers).

That is what led me to want to convert and paint up a minotaur fighter featured below. The base mini is an old Games Workshop minotaur, the shield comes from a Reaper ogre, and the rest is all just green stuff.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Privateer Press announces new Warcasters

With Warmachine Mark II on the horizon, Privateer Press has promised that each of the main factions will be receiving one new warcaster and one new warjack, along with a lot of other potential goodies.

We've seen the new Warjacks for Khador, Cygnar, the Protectorate and Cryx. Shortly after that, we got to see the artwork for Mark II stuff (all are prints by Andrea Underzo). In the prints, there was a new guy:

This is Kommander Strakhov. From what I can tell, he is accompanied by assault kommandos, and he might actually be a former assault kommando. But right now, all we know about him for sure is that he looks like this.

Just yesterday, we received another preview of a warcaster. This time, for Cygnar:
Captain Kara Sloan is her name, and again, we know almost nothing for certain. However, I rather think that she is going to do something with the long gunners.

And that makes me wonder about the new Tier system that Warmachine Mark II is using. Honestly, the game looks like it might end up getting rather bloated from all of the available units in each faction, but what Privateer Press seem to be doing about that is making each warcaster lead a specific kind of force (always one that is very fluffy) and give the player bonuses if he is playing it.

It is possible that these new warcasters are here to fill out the different forces. Maybe Cygnar did not have a long gunner warcaster before, and maybe Khador did not have an assault commando warcaster. It would make sense.

But this is all just speculation right now anyway.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Back in Stock

If you didn't get one of these the first time around, you're in luck. Schlock minis are back in stock!

Based on Schlock Mercenary by Howard Tayler, Sculpted by Melissa Mayhew. Schlock Mercenary Copyright Howard Tayler 2000-2009 and used by permission of Howard Tayler.

Well... what do you do with your tenticle pink?

So, I recently finished a commission for some Khadoran Winter Guard all dressed in Pink and White.

This is actually the second commission I've done for this same force, but I unfortunately did not get any pictures of the Iron Fang Pikemen (there used a lovely cupcake design on their banner instead of the Khadoran triangle emblem).

It has become a strangely common practice to paint Warmachine and Hordes minis in Pink. I think this is largely due to Devilsquid's efforts on the Privateer Press Forums to raise breast cancer awareness, and people like Igor K. who revel in the irony.

These are more of the revel in the irony kind of minis. There is just something wonderful about painting minis pink. Something terrific an ironic and everything great.

But there is something distressing about this also. I only have one pot of the much maligned Tenticle Pink left. Of course, this pot has lasted me many years (mostly by being one of the least used colors in my box- I honestly can't blame whoever chose to discontinue it).

I guess that really only means that I'll have to find a different way to pull off those bright pinks. I'm sure it won't be that hard.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Another set of Praetorian Imperial Guardsmen

Here is another set of Classic Praetorian Guardmen- this commission follows several others- you can see those here and here.

Overall, I think these paintjobs are very focused on the faces of the Praetorians. They are rather expressive and characterful minis, and they have such nice style in that Imperial Underdog kind of way. Here is a good shot that shows off the face quite well.

Anyway, this banner bearer comes from a time before banners were part of the sculpts, so it is entirely composed of greenstuff and freehand.

This squad of Praetorians were converted to wear carapace armor- that way they can be used as storm troopers or veterans.

My client is responsible for the conversion on this old school sentinel. Yeah, when this guy was made, the sentinels had assault cannons rather than the mediocre multilazers they now use.

It was a simple case of swapping out the sentinel driver for the upper body of a Praetorian gunner. I think they designed sentinels that way on purpose, because this way every Imperial Guard regiment can have sentinels attachec wthout a lot of work.

And, of course, where would any Imperial Guard regiment be without their tanks?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hm... what is Ex Illis?

The guys at Bastion have a strange new idea for a hybrid game- a hybrid between computer games and tabletop miniatures games.

How they've described it is this: you use your iphone or blackberry or laptop to run a program that does all calculations for you, and pulls all random numbers for you and even calculates movement for you (so you don't use dice or a ruler).

I'm not 100% behind this, honestly. I wonder if gamers love the sound of dice too much to give it up. I mean, if I'm just glancing at my phone and it tells me that my troopers are dead, it isn't the same as failing 15 saving throws in a row. Those fickle dice gods, how I love and loath them.

Anyway, they have pre-beta sign ups right now, but I think that the full release will be on Friday the 13th of this month. I'm sure they're just flaunting their lack of superstition here. But if the dice gods can't hurt them, Jason probably doesn't stand a chance.

I have had a chance to look over some of their miniatures, and they are rather nice. They are all plastic, and have some strong detail for plastic minis. I'll wait to hear what everyone thinks of the game, but I do think I ought to paint up this Angel that I have.

Monday, November 2, 2009

We are out of Schlocks

So, we released the Schlock Mercenary miniatures on Monday last week, and we completely sold out on Wednesday.

Of course, we are getting more in stock, so we'll make sure to let everyone know when the second wave arrives.

For everyone who has ordered a painted Schlock, they'll be mailing sometime this week, so don't panic. The hand painted Schlocks are painted to order, and I really hadn't counted on painting so many all at once.

This blog entry is half a week late, but I've had a lot on my table. I should probably get back to painting.