Early March

It has been a busy week what with getting ready for; Austrian Salute (more details soon), redecorating Number Two Son’s room and keeping up with my New Year’s resolution/2020 Painting Challenge.

This week Jamie from Old School Miniatures posted that he was struggling and he proposed a quick challenge to motivate everyone. This was on Wednesday and those who wished to take part had to post a picture of a miniature that had not been started and it had to be finished tomorrow, Sunday.

This is my finished figure. A Halfling drummer from Warploque Miniatures sculpted by the talented Alex Huntley. I will be using him in my “not” Empire army.

http://www.warploqueminiatures.com/

For the regular 2020 Painting Challenge I managed to paint the command group of my Skeleton archers. These are from Scotia Grendel. Not my first choice of sculpts, these were in exchange for some laser cutting, I really wanted something to match my Bob Olley Essex Skeletons. So far I have not found anything that comes close.

As you can see my photography hasn’t improved much, but I will keep fiddling.

Painting progress

I am plugging away at the 2020 Painting Challenge on Facebook. If I manage to paint fifty two miniatures in this current year I will be eligible to get a specially commissioned “Painter” figure sculpted by John Pickford. Many thanks to Jamie Loft from Old School Miniatures for making this happen. This doesn’t seem to be hitting the Lead Mountain though, I am painting figures aquired this year. The Spirit host is an exception, it has been sat on my desk partially assembled for two years and so it is part of my New Year Resolution. The Halflings are from Wargames Atlantic, I got a free sprue when I filled out an online survey for Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy.

All three together

Now I have my little photo set up working my photographs are getting better and more consistant. I have started shooting in RAW and doing a manual white balance. I do need to take a bit more time and work out a better depth of field, at the moment it is quite shallow. One thing I have noticed is that when the camera runs out of power it doesn’t save the settings so once I have an ideal arrangement I need to record the settings. This means I can start to be consistant. I would like to photograph my collection and I would like all the photographs to look the same. If you look at my gallery at the moment the colour balances are jumping around all over the place.

Picture this

One day I will learn how to take decent photos of my painting. Maybe if I stop gadding about from project to project? One thing that I have seen has been a little photographic scenic corner made by one of the Oldhammer Community. That would be useful and wouldn”t take up too much space. So I set out to make one. This is my work in progress and I’ll post when finished.

Basic shape cut from MDF and steps from foam
Detailing of door using coffee stirrers from your favourite tax avoider
Foam detailing of arch
Lentils
A lot more lentils and some foam sils
Arial view of lentils, foam blocks and roof tiles
A coat of household emulsion
Wash to pick out a bit of detail
Miliput vine
Bit of whitewash
A wash on the stonework
Windows and woodwork. When was this taken?
Sponging of stonework
Starting work on sky and rooftiles
A notice board

Getting the picture Part Deux

Still tinkering with my set-up so I decided to add a top light.
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I used my beloved Anglepoise which had a daylight bulb. Correcting the colours was an absolute nightmare, daylight fighting against tungsten.
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So I tried with another light, this one also had tungsten light. This was a much better option as the correction factors were the same in Photoshop as before.
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My next step is to try manual focus, the autofocus is concentrating on the closest part and with a narrow depth of field it leaves the rear part of the model blurry.

Electric Love Festival, Salzburg 2016

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This is a picture heavy post and totally off topic, so feel free to disregard.
I spent six days working at the Electric Love Festival as a runner for logistics. This was right on my doorstep, literally.
Google Earth
Latitude 47°50’24.51″N
Longitude 13° 9’20.56″E
Zoom out and directly South you’ll see the Salzburg Ring racetrack. This was where it was at.
I have to say that I hit a wall after six days of over 35 degree temperatures and eleven/twelve hour shifts. I was thirty years older than most of the guys I was working with, but I think I managed to hold my own. The music seemed to be the same as what I was listening to twenty odd years ago and I was disappointed that there were no live-acts only DJs. But it was an experience and the money will be useful.
Anyway for your consideration are some impressions of my time there.
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This was most impressive stage, a vast ape.
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The crew food was a bit hit-and-miss. Somedays delicious, others execrable.

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Getting the picture

This is a topic I’ve been having some problems with. Now things are starting to settle down a little with the house I thought it was time to get a little consistency with my model pictures.
There are a couple of blogs that I occasionally look at where their models are photographed with a scenic base and background and I quite liked it.
So here is my take on it.
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The base was a square of polystyrene with some blue foam details. This was then coated in PVA glue and coarse sand added for texture. This was painted with some dark brown household emulsion paint.
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Then it was drybrushed with two more colours of emulsion.
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Then flocked.
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I went a little low-tech with the sky backdrop. I used a diffuser tube, a kind of crude airbrush, figuring that the coarse splatter wouldn’t be seen.
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On the reverse side of the sky backdrop I made a chaotic mix of colours. My main problem was that the card was not dimensionally stable and warped like mad. So I had to dry it like this.
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Here is my set up. My camera is a Pentax istD. I went down the Pentax route as I have a large number of Pentax lenses from my time as a photographer in the Eighties. The soft-box and lights are from an eBenk WSB-342 studio kit that I bought for this purpose. The one thing I have done is to change the bulbs to LEDs as they don’t run as hot and don’t use as much electricity.
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Here is the first attempt. The lights give a yellow cast, I haven’t as yet managed to source daylight bulbs, the white balance in camera is set to “Tungsten” and but a bit of tinkering in Photoshop (minimal, one slide of the colour balance) solves this.
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Some trees in the background.
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Now the chaotic sky.
So far the problem with this is the depth of field. There is far too much of it.
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So I dropped the aperture right down and this is the result. There are some very minor adjustments to be made, but I think I’m pretty close.
Now to write down what I have done so I can continue to be consistent.
The model used for photography is from Ramshackle Games.
http://shop.ramshacklegames.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=20&products_id=255