Saturday, July 30, 2016

More Super Dungeon Explore w/ an Airbrush Warning

The above picture shows one of each villain from Super Dungeon Explore: Von Drakk Manor.  There are actually many more skeletons like the ones seen on the left.  Total model count for this expansion is 43.  To save time, I relied on my trusty airbrush.  Unfortunately, the airbrush did not provide the instantly amazing results that I have come to love (and rave about on previous posts).  With the vehicles, buildings, and [sparsely detailed] space marines that I've airbrushed in the past, the minis could be considered 60+% complete after the airbrushing was done.  That is not the case with smaller and/or more detailed models.  Despite the fact that I've upgraded my airbrush to the much more precise Hi-Line Iwata ($200), small details are hard to paint and splatter is much more noticeable.  The skeleton on the far left, the green-glowy bases on the witch and flying skull and the smokey "feet" on the grim-reaper mini are examples of the bad aspects of the airbrush.  I was hoping to get a smooth fade, but the results came out less snappy than I like.  For contrast sake, the three characters in the middle were painted without any airbrush and they have the snap I like.  Unfortunately, these models also took the longest to paint.  Long story short: I've found that airbrushes should only be used to  base coat smaller minis to provide the foundation and guide for your hand-painted shadows and highlights.  For example, the giant bat in the back row was based with the airbrush, to include shadowing and zenithal highlights, but significant brush work went over almost ever inch again to clean up edges and add more contrast.  Despite the fact that I'm still brush-painting every inch, the pre-blended base coat provided by the airbrush saves a lot of the normal brush-blending-effort and is quicker over-all.  The model below is a similar case of where I based with the airbrush to get a difficult [to brush paint] purple and brown fade, but I still went over that coat with brush work using thinned downed paints to smooth the splatter.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Back to Super Dungeon Explore

Super Dungeon Explore: Legends is due out at the end of this year and I have a LOT of minis that still need to be painted.  All of the Base Set and Caverns of Roxxor minis are complete.  I am now working through the Von Drakk models and will then move to the Forgotten King Collection.  After that, I hope to get to the dozen, special edition Heroes that have been hidden in the closet for over two years.  The above minis are the heroes from the Caverns of Roxxor and Von Drakk sets.  Pictures for the Von Drakk monsters will be posted soon.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Repaint vs. Touchup

I couple of months before we moved to Albuquerque, Ken surprised me with a new Ravenwing Darkshroud model that I prompted painted and added to the display case.  I began thinking of how I could best incorporate it into my games and quickly realized that I didn't have a lot of Ravenwing models in my collection to benefit from its support abilities.  Therefore, I have decided to completely overreact and build an entire Ravenwing Force.  While I wait for the mass amounts of landspeeders and bikes to arrive, I pulled some of the old models out of their transport boxes (because they are not worthy of going in the display case) and set to enhancing them.
One of my favorite Ravenwing models is the second-edition, tornado-version landspeeder.  I happen to have two of them.  Unfortunately, these were painted during my first year in the hobby (20 years ago) and have my most unskilled level of detail.  Instead of stripping and repainting, I decided to try a much quicker touchup.  I feel that the most boring part of miniature painting is the application of the base coat.  My old, rudimentary paint jobs were essentially just a base coat because they lacked the extra shading and details that I now include.  Question: can I get a modern paintjob and save a lot of time by just picked up where my 20 year-younger self left off.  Below is an image of the two old models. Before starting the project this morning, both models were nearly identical.  The one on the right received 3 hours of attention,looks great, and probably saved me the 12-15 hours it would have taken to strip, reassemble, prime, and completely repaint. 


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Pathfinder Card Game Mini

This is the 3rd and 4th model painted for the Pathfinder Card Game: Skulls and Shackles.  The first two weren't worth posting.  Miniatures are not required for the game, but make it much more fun, IMO.  The bases are supposed to look like rocks on the edge of the sea.  Unfortunately, I haven't discovered the magic painting trick for making shaped and painted spackle resemble a convincing wave.  On a completely different note, this is the first time I've taken the image with my IPhone and I was surprised how closely it would focus--it behaved almost identical to my other camera in macro lens mode.  The colors and focal point are not bad.  I did not have a tripod or equivalent and I believe this is to blame for the slight blur.  If I can find a way to steady the phone, this will likely become the new way I capture miniature images (it is much simpler).

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Kaptin Badrukk

Kaptin Badrukk was a lot of fun to paint! He has so much detail, the only hard parts were: staying consistent (staying in a common color palette) and the tabbard. I wanted to paint a treasure map, and I'm not great at freehand. I settled for a simple map, but I think it works.
Kaptin Badrukk
Kaptin Badrukk

Da Powder Grotz

These are Ork "Ammo Runts", I put the 3 of them on a single base to accompany Kaptin Badrukk.

Da Powder Grotz

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Dedicated to Airbrush 5: Buildings

Ken gave me the Fortress of Redemption five years ago as a Christmas present and it has sat in the box until two weeks ago.  Without the airbrush, painting a model of this size was just too daunting.  I could have just spray painted it with a green, washed it, and then finished with a copious amount of drybrushing; but that is no longer my style.  BTW: this still consumed a full can of Chaos Black primer. 
Like many of the large models seen in my previous posts, I painted this model in parts.  The floor was painted with Vallejo's air metallic rust color and the lascannon was painted with air metallic boltgun.  The green parts of the model were painting using the zenithal highlight technique and then the edges were hardlined.  The steel wings of the dark angle on the tower were the first parts airbrushed with air metallic steel while using a paint on [latex] mask.  After painting the main tower portion green, I applied the liquid latex around the edges of the wings and then taped off the larger sections.  Results were not as clean I had hoped but I think that is due to lack of practice.  Some of the latex peeled of nicely, but some of it did not and efforts to remove it just smeared the steel paint that was on its surface onto parts I did not want steel.  In the end, I had to do much more touch up work than I had expected.   
On a non-airbrush-related-note, I have found and come to appreciate alcohol-based metallic (brush on) paint; specifically Vallejo's liquid metal gold.  See this YouTube video for a great demo.  I have found that both GW's and Vallejo's arcylic gold require several (4+) coats while these liquid gold paints are very opaque in 2.  The fortress model had lots of areas that I wanted to be gold and using GW's gold would have driven me nuts.