Arsie’s Painting Toolbox

Now I have successfully trashed my following I can get back on track.

ars2Confession time, I love painting books.

ars3From G’Dub to Kevin Dallimore to CMoN via Angel Giraldez and Picca and Lappat. They are on a shelf above my painting area and frequently beside my bed for late night perusal. ars1This book was recommended on the ‘Eavier Metal painting group on Facebook. I ordered it, it wasn’t cheap, a bit out of my current financial comfort zone.

The book arrived fairly promptly and I sat down to study it. People say that first impressions count. I was hugely dissapointed and I have had great difficulty picking it up again to look at. I’ve had several attempts and each time is the same.

In his defence Javier Gonzales is a hugely talented painter as several Golden Demons and Slayer Swords attest.

So what is putting me off this book?

It is a combination of small things, the sum is greater than the whole.

The paper it is printed on feels cheap, slightly rough. All my other books, with the exception of the early G’Dub painting guides, are printed on coated stock. They have either a satin or glossy finish. They feel pleasant to handle. One factor in the perceived value of the book.

The next item is a design oversight which should have been picked up in the proof stage.ars8In the corner of each page is a little black paint splash which is intended (I think) to have the page number in. What really annoys me is that this is the second edition of this book and this should have been picked up. Numbers have been added at the top of the page but they feel just like an afterthought.

The type has been set Justified and leaves too many widows which makes for hard reading.ars6

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Text aligned left and less leading. Much easier to read.

Visually there is too much leading, the space between the lines, dropping down a couple of points would have helped.

It definitely would help with the next problem, the layout of the step-by-steps. Less line spacing would have freed up more space to enable better layout.

ars5ars4If you look at the other layouts you can see that every picture clearly references a corresponding block of descriptive text.

ON THE SAME PAGE!

No flipping back and forth between pages to read about the techniques applied in the image. This really disrupts the flow of the tutorials. The Author references other instructional painting books yet fails to apply what makes them so good to his own work.

In chapter two, “Preparing the Figure” the Author has a picture of the various tools he uses. ars9Underneath is a numbered list of tools. But the numbers don’t refer to the picture which is unnumbered and some tools are missing. A couple of page later he refers to using a brass disc with a hand-drill to polish the surface of the model. What does this brass disc look like? How does he hold the model?

I wish I could read Spanish. Miniature painting is a subject the Author knows well and he has a passion for it. I think the translator has done him a disservice as at times the text is stilted and at times hard to make sense of.

Some of the images are out of focus and some diagrams are pixelated.

Is this book worth buying: No.

Would I recommend this book to other people: No

BUT with some work, noted above, the third edition may be worth considering.

 

I made a thing

Tired of taping bits of paper to books in order to photograph figures I made a thing.

It is big enough to hold a piece of A4 paper and the paper is held in place with magnets. There is not much more I can say about this. Once I’ve painted more things you will be able to see how useful it is.

February

As a reward to myself, I am not a fan of batch painting, for finishing the Gnomes I painted this fellow.

I couldn”t get the figure I was after (see previous posting) so I got this guy. Originally from Forgeworld, I got him second hand from The Troll Trader. He’s allright for a Truro Boy. https://thetrolltrader.com/ He will be the squad leader in a unit of Beastmen in my Not Imperial Guard 40K army.

Obviously I got distracted after that. So rather than finishing the Dwarf Skiers from Old School Miniatures, sorry Jamie. I found these really cute Elementals on Thingiverse. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3388214 I wasted (no) time in printing off a load and here is a test paint of one.

These are going to be based up for use in Dragon Rampant. Not that I am ever going to play it, more’s the pity. At the moment in the queue I have a: Renaissance Army from a recent Kickstarter, Undead Army mostly comprised of Bob Olley Essex Miniatures (gorgeous sculpts, I ended up buying some more to fill the gaps in my collection), Orcs and Goblins from my spares box and now an Elemental Army.

And then a couple of weeks ago I got a box of bits from Jamie. https://www.oldschoolminiatures.co.uk/ I got more distractions in the shape of more Gnomes. I’d asked for a unit of Undead Gnomes to go with my Undead Army and in the package was this guy.

I had to paint him immediately. I made a totally impracticle 20mm base for him to go on.

Now I need to crack on with two Kill Team display boards which need to be finished in about six weeks time for a show in Germany.

Maybe learning to play the game might be useful?

Some bits and bobs from 2018

Here are a couple of bits that I painted last year that I think I didn’t post up.

One of Citadel’s Giants

Quite tiny compared to todays giants
Battle Standard Bearer for my Albion army

This is from Hasslefree’s Kickstarter
Some quick and dirty Genestealers from Lost Patrol
Lost Patrol (not my image)

Got it for a bargain price, but sadly missing a few figures
Plague Demon sculpted by Kevin “Goblinmaster” Adams

A quickie

Cut and screw. Repeat cut about a thousand times. Repeat screw about eight thousand times.
I have managed to paint something, but it is for a friend’s birthday.

And a small picture to accompany.

He never reads my blog so I think I won’t be spoiling the surprise.
Check out his band here
https://forktail.bandcamp.com/releases

Reflections on 2017

I’m somewhat late on this one as I’ve been laid low with a rather unpleasant flu-like lurgy.
A quick catch-up on a couple of pieces from my last post.
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Here is the Barbarian from the OS Miniatures Company. This was a challenge that I undertook to have him painted before Christmas. Nobody else took up the challenge which was a pity.
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This was from Warmonger Miniatures, again painted up for Christmas.
There is one more figure which was supposed to be my last figure of 2017, but the lurgy stopped that. I’ll post when it is finished.
Old age seems to have telescoped the year. Blink and I’ll miss it.
The first three months were taken up with making the Rogue Stars display board. April/May I did some landscaping in the garden converting a be-shrubbed steep slope into a flat grassy terrace.
June/July/August were at Electric Love. I had a great time and it gave me enough money to buy my own small laser cutter.
The rest of the year seemed to evaporate, lttle jobs around the house and making bits with my loot from the summer.
2017
Here is a group shot of what I finished painting. There is a lot more half finished and the 2018 goal is to finish all the half started jobs from the past few years, the Heresy Dragon being the main target, get all that out of the way so I have a clean slate. Then one project at a time, start it and finish it.
Yeah right!
Product of the Year 2017
On reflection it has to be the laser cutter. It’s small and slow but it has enabled me to prototype ideas and to make stuff on the fly. Christmas cards, party invites, party bag goodies, cake icing molds and gift tags just to name a few bits and bobs.
Heroes and Zeroes
Firstly the Heroes.
At the top of the list are the Facebook friends; EvH, DW, SR, ME and CF. They have been a constant source (sauce?) of inspiration, advice and encouragement. I might actually meet some of them in RL oneday.
Then comes the figure manufacturers who have gifted me with lovely toys this last year.
Ramshackle Games
http://shop.ramshacklegames.co.uk/index.php
The OS Miniatures Company
https://www.facebook.com/OldSchoolMinis1985/
Avatars of War
http://www.avatars-of-war.com/eng/web/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=59&Itemid=51
Warmonger Miniatures
https://www.warmongerminiatures.com/
Finally Revolution Events
https://www.revolutionevent.com/
For fun, education and loot.
Now to the Zeroes
Wayland Games for lengthy delays, poor communication and their unwillingness (or inability) to combine orders.
TNT for their lack of customer service and making life just that little bit harder.
Games Workshop for tantalising me with the new rules for 40K, promises of fewer books and then conveniently forgetting about all that.
The new plastics are beautiful though.

The OS Miniatures Company

Recently I got a parcel containing some miniatures from The OS Miniatures Company.
https://www.facebook.com/OldSchoolMinis1985/
This is a company aiming to fill the gaps in the Warhammer Fantasy Battle army books. Obviously with an old school feel.
So here are some images of what I have managed to paint so far.

A cheeky little chappie blowing his own trumpet


A Chaos Barbarian. This is part of a challenge to be completed before Christmas.



A Chaos Dwarf Arse Cannon.

Test paint


A Work-in-Progress shot of the whole group of Alpine Dwarfs

The Saga of the T-Shirt

Some of my longterm readers may remember a post from early 2015
https://grumpyoldtin.wordpress.com/2015/03/02/januaryfebruary-work/
Well I never heard a word of thanks or received a t-shirt. I was a little disheartened by this.
Anyway, earlier this year somebody posted on the Oldhammer Facebook Community page that a group from Exeter was planning to attend BOYL.
BOYL, Bring Out Your Lead, is sort of THE event to attend for Oldhammerers. Hosted at Wargames Foundry it is a chance for people to meet up and play games with old figures and game systems.
https://www.wargamesfoundry.com/pages/oldhammer
I posted asking if anybody knew Joe Bloggs, the guy who’d asked for the illustration. I got a response asking why and I replied that I was the illustrator and I was still waiting for my t-shirt.
I did get an apology from Joe and the promise that the t-shirt would be sent.
But I did get another message. Would I be intersted in letting my illustation be used for a new miniatures company? There would be some lead and a t-shirt in exchange.
This company had just run a Kickstarter for a very Oldhammer Gnome army which I had fallen for big-time but didn’t have the funds to back.

My response was immediate and in the affirmative.
Just after this Joe sent the t-shirt. It was a less than positive experience. The shirt had been worn and then washed, for which I was grateful. I don’t know why, because most of my clothes these days come from flohmarkts (I’m not very cash rich at the moment),I just didn’t want to touch it. But more dissapointing was the fact that the design had been printed in white on a black t-shirt. Had I have known I would have produced reversed artwork. The t-shirt looked awful.
A couple of weeks ago I got a parcel from OS Miniatures.
In it was;
A t-shirt
tshirt
And some minis from a new Kickstarter
ski
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/882426675/old-school-miniatures-presents-the-alpine-dwarfs?ref=profile_created
arse
And a gnome which I couldn’t resist painting
gnome
I’ve had further good news.
My illustration is the basis of a miniature sculpted by John Pickford.
dwarf
AND would I be interested in producing some more illustrations, potentially to be used for future miniatures.
A nice little project for those long winter nights.
logo
http://oldschoolminiatures.blogspot.co.at/

Salute 2017

I would have written this a lot closer to the event, but I was a bit put off by events and didn’t really feel like communicating.
This was to be my fourth visit to the Austrian Salute, my third as a trader.
Plans had been made since Christmas to make and paint a display board. The aim was to win the prize for the best game. i may be crap at sports and generally poor at life but I really wanted to be good at something for once in my life. My wife thought I was bonkers and said that if I applied that much energy into other areas of my life who knows what i might achieve. I have proposed that she teaches me guitar for the next two and half months. It is something I have always wanted to do for a very long time. I actually bought a guitar thirty years ago. So maybe the time is now.
Note: this tuition hasn’t happened.
Two and a half months of feverish building and prevarication and one afternoon of actually playing the game. This seemed to throw up more questions than answers.
I had a t-shirt printed up for Number One Son and made sure the Gameboy had plenty of juice.
n1s
We arrived slightly later than planned which didn’t seem to be a problem as the venue hadn’t quite got it together to open up. Omens of later.
Setting up was slightly difficult as I had both Boys trying to “help” but it did get done.
salute17
I managed to persuade my Son to play, but he only lasted half an hour as the Gameboy was more exciting.
After a very disappointing lunch (sent back for being unappetising after an hour wait and rude and abusive staff) it was back for the afternoon.
In fact the lunch experience spoilt the whole show for me and I wasn’t really in the mood for anything.
On the plus side, I did win best gaming table.


My overall impression was that it was a lot sparser than last year.
A more eloquent view of the show can be found here
http://www.battlebrushstudios.com/2017/03/show-report-austrian-salute-2017.html  

Wot i lerned dooing my bord

I learnt quite a few things actually and most, in hindsight, are pretty bleedin’ obvious. I’m not out of the woods yet, by a long way but I thought I might share these nuggets of wisdom with you.
* Do you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve?
* Make a plan
* Do you have an idea of the budget? Does the project realistically fit this budget?
* Screw the plan up, throw it in the bin and start again
* Tell your Wife/SO you love them
* Does your Wife/SO have any idea about what time, money, mess and swearing the project involves?
* Do you?
* Tell your Wife/SO you love them
* Do you have enough materials at hand to complete the project?
* Go and buy what you need
* NOW!
* Revisit plan
* Check plan
* Set yourself a reasonable timescale breaking down jobs into manageable chunks/milestones
* Start building
* Check plans
* Start swearing
* The razor saw/scalpel/hammer is your friend
* Tell your Wife/SO you love them
* Tidy as you go
* It is better to paint any fiddly or hard to reach parts BEFORE assembly
* Photograph as you go. Somebody may learn from your stupid mistakes.
* As you build you’ll get flashes of inspiration for your next project. Write them down. Do not, repeat, do not start this next amazing project until this one is done and dusted.
* Don’t be afraid to ask for people’s advice on dedicated forums.
It’s what the interweb is for.
Actually it’s for porn (Avenue Q)
Or pictures of kittens
* Speaking of which, if the kitten wants to play either put it out or play with it. You cannot work with kitten.
* When doing closeup touching-up don’t keep the paintbrush in your mouth
* Tell your Wife/SO you love them
* Take your time don’t rush. If that extra detail takes five minutes, take those five minutes. The end result is worth it
* Finished! Now collapse in a heap for five minutes
* Where the photon are you going to store it now?

2016 Been there, done it

This was started on New Year’s Day and then it got put down and buried under stuff.

I am sat here feeling slightly obfuscated, mostly due to schnapps, brandy and presecco seeing out the old year.
2016 was a year that a lot of interesting and clever people shuffled of this mortal coil. The way East/West politics are moving 2017 could be the year that everyone dies.
I didn’t paint much, far less than I wanted to. The Dragon was prevaricated on. It seemed that every time I picked it up I was asked for help with something else so there was no “Zone” achieved.
But there shouldn’t be too much beating myself up. My workshop is set up and I can airbrush to my hearts content. One project for this year is to make a spray booth with PC cooling fans (from the recycling center) to extract spray. The hobby room is done, bar one small speaker shelf. So I have my space for painting and gaming. And I have been working on the garden making a path and building a wall. This involves going to the farm with a wheelbarrow and taking a rock and wheeling it back, so quite time consuming.

Financially the laser cutting has not been a success this year. Etsy resulted in zero sales. Handing out my business card at Salute resulted in a huge spike in blog views the following day, but zero sales.
What I find frustrating in my target audience is that they will happily fork out thirty or forty quid for one figure they owned as a teenager but will balk at paying twenty for scenery to grace their collection. There was a thread I was following where collectors were boasting about the prices they had paid for a metal Thunderhawk Gunship. It was jaw dropping.

I am going to continue with making laser cut scenery, if only for myself. But getting some money for it would be nice. The last year has seen a readjustment in family finances. I have gone from having a huge disposable income a couple of years ago to having none. My Wife stopped working at the beginning of last year and despite having no income we’ve lived comfortably. Having no rent or mortgage helps tremendously and visiting fleamarkets for clothes and entertainment makes what we do have go along way.
I have backed a few Kickstarters this year, not as many as I would have liked. Ten Minute Heist and Dwarves in Trouble are two board games that look like fun to play with the Boys. Then came the addiction, miniatures. Space Raiders, scifi orcs sculpted by Kevin Adams. Greenskin Wars, goblins sculpted by Kevin Adams. Goblins and Sea Demons, sea goblins sculpted by Kevin Adams. Return to Colony 87, scifi civilians. Kev White does Matt Dixon, female fantasy miniatures. And finally Ramshackle Games’s Jetbikes.

The product of the year for me has been Foundrys Sable Mix General Detail Brush. I was going to replace it at the beginning of the year but it kept on going for “one more paint job”. In fact it is still going strong, so I might not replace it just yet.

Although I’m not very good with my predictions I’m going to say that 2017 will be the year of NMMs. Non Metallic Metallics, where you paint something to look shiny and metallic without using any metallic paint. For those of you who don’t quite get what I’m on about, think about a photograph of a shiny teapot. You don’t have metallic inks when you print a photograph. What you see are whites, greys and whatever background colours are being reflected. So the object is to try and replicate this without metallic paint. G’Dub is already putting painting guides out with this technique with some of their new products.

Talking about G’Dub, I have liked watching their Warhammer TV on Youtube. It has been very instructive and has kept my Boys entertained. Just remember kids, always thin your paints.

Something I got as a Christmas present was a copy of Osprey’s Rogue Stars ruleset. It is a bit dry, mostly tables of equipment, physical traits and very little fluff. From reading of reviews apparently one gets the hang of it very easily. The advantage, as I see it, of having very little fluff is that you can create your own universe in the flavour you want. Magrathea anyone?
I’d like to make a go of this and try and run a demo game at the Austrian Salute this year.
The game is figure light, four to six figures a side and the playspace is three foot by three foot.
So I have approximately ten weeks to learn the rules. I’ve taken the step of joining the Austrian gaming forum, diefestung, to find opponents. Then painting the figures and making a terrain board which will showcase my laser cut work.
Oh, and make sure I have enough stock to sell.
Speaking of stock I must really extract my digit and design more big objects. The ideal solution would be one big thing a month.

This year I must be more focused on my painting. First jobs are to finish off any jobs that haven’t been completed. Then I need to decide which army to concentrate on and finish it. A prime candidate would be my Roman army, just a fortified camp and two commanders.

Yet more prevaricating

Earlier this week we took a trip across the border (luckily nobody mentioned the war) to visit the Hans-Peter Porsche Traumwerk. A new toy museum in Bavaria.
Link here http://www.hanspeterporsche.com/
mus1
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This was a really well laid out and beautifully curated museum, and as is typical of Porsche no expense was spared.
mus3

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An unusual camouflage scheme which I imagine would be hard to do in real life


The lighting was a bit too subdued to take proper photographs which was a pity, but you have to also understand that they are also conserving the exhibits. Upstairs was a large collection of tin toys. This description does the displays somewhat of a disservice as the exhibits covered circuses, zoos, ships, a small amount of military, fire engines and of course trains. Lots of them.
There was a gallery looking down to the main attraction, a vast train layout.
mus5
Again this is an understatement. There were wall projections of clouds and a lighting sequence that cycled between day and night. Clouds passed over the mountains and an immersive ambient soundscape.
mus6
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I’m not really a train person, but I wouldn’t mind tapping into that market, so the trains weren’t all that exciting. But the scenery was to die for.
mus8
Really well done, again it was attention to detail. You would look into the windows of a house and see that it was fully furnished.
Well worth a visit, but bring sandwiches as the restaurant was expensive (I’ve never had a meal that has been up to scratch in Germany) and the kids adventure playground was very well designed.
mus9
So how is the Dragon going I hear you ask.
Well…..
I am going to stick with the colour scheme, but I have been prevaricating. Again.
Continuing the Undead theme and the Bob Olley addiction.
pre2
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So now I have a command group.
pre1
And this chap, sculpted by Justin Coutange from the Oldhammer community.
orky10rky2
This was another entry to the Warhammer Salzburg “Spooky” painting contest. I finished him with a couple of days to spare, but I didn’t get into town to submit him.
Late news.
The figure that I did enter came second, so not too bad.
pre4
And finally this figure from Grimskull Miniatures. A bit T&A but I thought she would go nicely with my Raging Heroes Not DKK army.
So there you have it. Time to tidy the desk and knuckle down with the dragon.
Honest!

Save

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There’s something in the air

Mostly paint particles.

I decided to strike while the iron was hot and try airbrushing the wings. The set up for airbrushing isn’t quite right yet, but a few small tweaks should get it there. More practice is required. Firstly getting the paint to the right consistancy and secondly getting the airflow/needle balance right.

And patience. Take time and build up the paint slowly otherwise it runs.

imageMost importantly wear a mask.

Winter is coming

The leaves on the trees are changing from green to orange. The mountains have had their first snow. Our winter wood has been delivered and safely stored.
image
And now I have primed the Dragon.
image So far I have only used a single action airbrush. Now it’s time to up my game and break out the double-action airbrush for the wings.