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.
barbarian
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.
santa
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.

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

August progress

Here are some work in progress shots of my command vehicle used in my Not DKK Army. Vehicle by Ramshackle Games from the recent Kickstarter.

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Undercoat and the start of weathering

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Weathering finished and dozer blade.

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Rubbing away the white paint. I used the Hairspray Technique for this. It is a bit disheartening to spend hours painting on weathering for it all to be painted over.

Masking for the blue paint

Masking for the blue paint

Blue paint applied

Blue paint applied

Cutting the masking for the black stripes. This camouflage scheme was inspired by the film, "Inception".

Cutting the masking for the black stripes. This camouflage scheme was inspired by the film, “Inception”.


The original design

The original design


Black stripes. I wasn't as successful as I had hoped with the masking and had to do a fair amount of retouching.

Black stripes. I wasn’t as successful as I had hoped with the masking and had to do a fair amount of retouching.


Start of muddying up the dozer blade. I used weathering products from AK Interactive.

Start of muddying up the dozer blade. I used weathering products from AK Interactive.


And the finished result

And the finished result

August progress

This month is not going to plan and this month’s work is going to probably be finished in September.
Why?
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Days out at Wallersee, our local lake.
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Mountain walks with Number One Son
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And wanting to try out some weathering effects on the Command Vehicle from Ramshackle Games.
Here it is with the chipping waiting for a coat of hairspray.
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Then sprayed white then distressed with warm water and a cotton bud. It is slightly depressing to see the hours worth of painting disappearing under a coat of paint only to reveal a small part.
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Next I get to try out some AK Interactive weathering products on the plough. So far my impression that it isn’t that amazing. It’s basically an expensive jar of Humbrol paint. This may change with more use. Next to the plough you can see that I have been making a start on the Celts. It has been a bit of a slog, clipping, cleaning mold lines, basing and then painting the flesh.
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This is the unit with the flesh starting to take form. I’m using Foundry paints for this. Standing on a pot is the unit champian.

July’s workbench

This last month saw me more involved with the Boys so there was less time devoted to painting.
I managed to finish two squads of Ramshackle Games “Iron Brotherhood” troops from the Kickstarter campaign, but I didn’t manage the command vehicle.
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These will complement my Anvil Industries “Tox Troopers” and the Raging Heroes “Toughest Girls of the Galaxy”, another Kickstarter I backed.
imageAs you can see, a far amount of work to go before I even start on the camoflage.

 

July’s Workbench

julyThis month I will mostly be painting two squads of Iron Brotherhood troops. I got these from the Ramshackle Games Kickstarter last year. I will be using them as zombie troops in my Not DKK Army alongside the miniatures from Anvil Industries (already painted) and the Iron Empire troops from the Raging Heroes Kickstarter. I plan to add some real DKK and the Leviathan from Dreamforge Games.

If there is time I will also paint the APC from Ramshackle.