Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Blog Tuesday

Good morning!  I hope everyone had a good weekend and for those in the US, a nice extended weekend for Memorial Day.  Today's blog will be one that I have been visiting for quite a while. Volomir's blog has been around since 2008 and is the creative outlet for a Spanish painter named Rafael Garcia Marin.  He is a very accomplished painter with a number of Golden Demons and is currently in the top 100 painters in the world over at CMoN.  His gallery is an amazing collection of works, mostly from the GW line of miniatures.  He also has some very well done tutorials, the most recent of which is on how to paint metallics.  Take a look here: http://volomir.blogspot.com/.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

First off, a huge thanks to all of our soldiers and their families, both current and retired, for their service to our country, giving me the opportunity to pursue my hobbies like painting little men.  I have several extended family that have served and are serving in the military and we have been especially fortunate in that no one has lost their lives in the line of duty.  For those families that have my sincerest condolences.  Thank you to those soldiers that have paid the ultimate price.

Secondly, yet another new member joins my blog!  Hello and a big welcome to Shades.  He's a great guy I initially met over at WaMP.  He was very helpful during my construction of the Dark Carnival piece and I am glad to see him over here now as well.  He's got a blog over at http://minimayhem-theblog.blogspot.com/.  Most recently, he attended both Adepticon and MCFA and gave a nice report on both.  Well worth a visit!

Finally, another WIP in progress.  You'll find as time goes on, I tend to have a large number of WIP's and a significantly smaller number of completed minis...I'm trying to get better about that.  This is one of Reaper's metal Hell Hounds.  It is a practice mini on doing a bit of freehand as well as some lava effects.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Shirt progress

Just a bit more done today.  The blends need some smoothing, but you can see where the highlights and shading are falling into place.

Another quick reminder that the 1st Newbold Creative Event of 2013 is drawing to a close.  The deadline is May 31st.  Visit and enter at  http://www.newboldworld.com/Challenge/TNC03.html

Friday, May 24, 2013

Happy Friday

Hello once again!  It's Friday and I hope everyone has some exciting plans for the weekend.  As for me, I'll be working.

I'd like to say welcome to two new followers, Anne and Legion Games.  Thank you both for joining along!

 Anne is from Ireland and has been blogging since 2011.  She is a fantastic photographer and miniature lover and quite funny with her posts, unlike myself...  She is well travelled in the blogosphere--if you have a chance, take a peek at her blog at http://fortwitter.blogspot.com/.

Legion Games, I wasn't able to pin down where you might be at on the web.  Let me know and I'll get a link up for you.

I have to say I'm a bit excited about crossing the 1000 view mark!  Now probably a 1/4 of those are me checking on who's checking on my blog and the another 50% are webcrawlers, but I'll pretend that they are all different people coming to visit my little site.

While perusing Anne's site, I stumble across another blog called Wargames and Railroads.  He is celebrating a birthday and is going at it Hobbit style--he's giving away presents!  He's got a nice stash to give away and the celebration is going on until May 29th.  Check it out at http://wargamesandrailroads.blogspot.com/2013/05/birthday-week-giveaway.html.

I've not had much time to work on the goblin, but here's a where I'm at with his shield.  I think I took the picture of the shield upside down, though.  See how the top is a bit darker than the bottom?  Early on yet, but the basics are there.  I'll probably add some more highlights and take the shading deeper once the shield is on the arm.  The metallics still need a bit of work as well, again mostly to shade them down and reduce some of the rusting around the bolts.

And the true scale shot :)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Blog of the week

Hello again!  I was a quiet weekend blogging wise--I unfortunately had to work this weekend.  However, Tuesday has arrived and it is time to highlight another blog!

This week I would like to showcase Miniature Fairy Tales.  As has become a growing trend, this is a compilation of several painters who are blogging collectively.  This nice from a viewer's standpoint in that the updates come more often as these four each post their individual works.  The crew that makes up Miniature Fairy Tales are Darkspawn, Sleipnir, Nathelis, and P1per.  They all are accomplished painters!  They have a wonderful collection of inspiring pieces in their gallery and a very nice set of tutorials!  Check them out at http://miniaturefairytales.blogspot.co.at/.

I was able to get a bit of painting in this weekend in addition to doing some prep work.  I've decided to take a crack at some of the Darksword miniatures.  They are finely sculpted and the ones I picked up have lots of details.  I chose The Mountain and The Hound from the GRRM Game of Thrones line.  The folks at Darksword were also generous enough to send me an extra miniature!  I received a female archer for free!  Jim Ludwig, the owner of Darksword, has always been quite generous with his business in my experience.  He supports a number of painting contests (ReaperCon and GenCon here in the United States) as well as online competitions.  He is currently supporting a Darksword competition over at WaMP with the top prize being $200 in Darksword credit!  Take a look at the contest here: http://www.wampforum.com/VB4/showthread.php?t=15374.  Time is running short on this one, though.

Anyway, enough of the chat.  Here is my work over the weekend.  The skintones on the goblin are largely done and I've done the lion's share on the spear as well.  He'll be armed with a shield as well, so the left forearm is intentionally left a bit undone.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Painting AND sculpting

Ok, while technically true, not so much.  I'm not sure if smashing a blob of GS into a CSM's belly and rolling little tiny tentacles counts as sculpting or if nearly completing a set of eyeballs and getting some basecoats down really qualifies, but I'm taking it.

I've nearly finished the champion...just need to decide if he needs a winged backpack or a bladed one...

I've also thrown just a bit of paint on an old school goblin from Mannequin miniatures.  I apologize for the poor picture.  Much of him is just basecoated with a bit of shading on the skin and jerkin.  The eyes are close to being done.  Yes, his gaze is a bit off, but I think that might be useful in goblins and perhaps even attractive :).  The boots are coming along as well.  Need some smoothing and perhaps a bit stronger highlighting, but getting there.  Since I frequently paint in this way (basecoating entirely, or nearly so before moving on), instead of completing one section at a time, this is the stage often referred to miniature painting as the a&% stage.  The plan is for it to steadily improve from this point on.  Most of the time that happens, but not always...
On the convention front, the inaugural of the CMoN Expo is this weekend.  Should be interesting to see how that goes.  The CMoN boys have brought in some big guns (Jen Hailey, Mike McVey, and James Wappel).  I'm looking forward to seeing what the turnout will be on the tail of the Adepticon, ReaperCon, and MCFA shows in the US and with GenCon yet to come.  Hopefully, there will be plenty of pictures as well.  Here's the linky: http://cmonexpo.com/
And last, but certainly not least, I would like to thank Avicenna for joining me on my little adventure!  He is a world class painter, nabbing BiS at Salute in 2011 with an amazing rendition of Wolf the barbarian.  He followed this with a gold at the 2012 Crystal Brush!  His most recent accomplishment was a prestigious nod from the editors over at Putty and Paint this past April.  His work can be found at http://www.jollybodgers.com/.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

New hobby magazine makes its debut

Good morning!  It's been a great week for the hobby world.  First Portal was released yesterday and now a new online hobby magazine call Figure Painter Magazine is releasing its inaugural issue!  I took a look and it's extremely well done.  I was very impressed.  There is a cool interview with Karol Rudyk and lots of fantastically done models.  I was honored with an article in this issue as well, which I am very excited about!  I did an article on how I constructed the diorama base for my Dark Carnival piece, going through my thought process during the project as well as a rundown of the materials I used.  I wish Shane the very best as he starts out on this new project.  Please take a look at the magazine here: http://www.figurepaintermagazine.co.uk/

Congratulations as well to the winners of the Miniature Figure Collectors of America show (MFCA) this past weekend near Philadelphia.  I didn't realize it until recently, but apparently this is usually a fairly large contingent of European painters that make it over to the States for this show.  I'll have to put it on my list of things to do!  Here is a very extensive collection of pics from the show:

Good news regarding Goblinaid as well.  It looks like they are getting pretty close to releasing all the models that have been sculpted over the past few months.  There are also some auctions currently going of Kev Adams past works that are being sold to help assist him with his medical bills. https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Goblinaid/582169528462833

Next up, hello and welcome to Nameless!  I am so glad he has joined my little blog.  He was a great help as I put together my Dark Carnival piece, offering suggestions and critiques along the way.  He is a fellow blogger as well and his site can be found at http://namelesspainter.blogspot.com/.  He has a broad taste in miniatures and is currently working his way through a Nurgle WH40k army.  He is also author of Between the Lines, a series of funny articles over at Chest of Colors: http://chestofcolors.com/between-the-lines-grand-opening/

The work on the Nurgle marines also continues apace:

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Portal Day!

The latest edition of Portal magazine is out!  There are some great looking pieces in there as always as well as some miniature reviews and a pair of excellent instructional articles to boot.  Good stuff!  Be sure to take a moment to download it at http://www.wampforum.com/VB4/downloads.php?do=file&id=36.

I also took some additional photos of another one of my Reaper Con entries.  I tried to photograph it on a black background to show off the OSL of the smoldering embers, but I couldn't get it to come out entirely accurate.  In the hand, the shadows are not quite so strong.  It does add some mood to the piece, which I was trying to accomplish with my painting.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Something NEW?!

Yes, it's true!  The paint room is nearly assembled and the blog is up and running.  I've started out with a bit of conversion work, just for the fun of it.  I was fortunate to win a WH 40K CSM battle box a while back and have slowly been getting them off the sprues and assembling them.  I've always liked Nurgle for the conversion possibilities.  A few years ago I did a squad of old school metal plague marines and their lord:

I have started another 7 man squad and am planning to stick with the plague marine look; bloated bellies with tubes here and there.  Still have some scratches to do as well as add the shoulder guards.  Depending on my attention span, I may add some GS buboes/pustules or some more tentacles.

Finally a warm welcome to MinipainterJen!  Her blog can be found at http://minipainterjen.blogspot.com/.  She has been blogging since late in 2012 and covers a wide range of topics.  This month alone, she has painted a Reaper ghostly feminine figure, a GW tank, and a Dark Sword assassin.  The other thing I like (and will hope to mimic) is that she is constantly experimenting.  She puts both her successes and failures, as well as her thoughts as to why they were successes or failures out there for the rest of the web to learn from.  Well worth a look!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The shelf of shame

If have been painting for any length of time, chances are very good you've accumulated a shelf of shame.  Mine goes back for years... There are various reasons why this happens, but the majority of the time it boils down to my incredibly slow painting coupled with the constant barrage of new, shiny miniatures that pop up.  Over the past year or two, I have really tried to curtail my spending and finish what I start.  I have cleared a few off the shelf, but most quietly wait for me to find inspiration once again.  Here is a sampling of what I have left unfinished.

Scibor Dwarf:

I started this guy as one of my first forays into NMM.  The axe blade was my first go at Steel NMM.  I think I did a reasonably good job with the range of contrast, although now that a few *ahem* years has gone by, I need to take the highlights up even further and a bit of color in the midtone range would be nice.  The NMM gold quickly overwhelmed me--the filigree was too complicated and the project quickly stalled.  If (I mean when) I give NMM gold another try, I'll start with some simpler designs.

AOBR Orc Boss:


Da Boss is a few years old as well. I started out strong and rapidly created a nice scratch built base for him. After that...well I didn't like how he sat on the base after looking at it more. The base may be utilized for another mini in the future, but I don't think the boss will see any more paint until I design another base I like better for him.
Reaper Muskateer Mouseling:

Not sure what happened here.  I picked him out for a quick paint job since he is such a tiny thing.  I guess it took longer than anticipated and something new came along.
Reaper Drummer:

This was originally intended to be a gift for a coworker, but I had difficulty finding the motivation to complete him and he subsequently took another job, which dropped my motivation even further...
Reaper Tigerian:

This one was a victim of ReaperCon 2013.  When I found out I was going to ReaperCon this year, I dropped this project to begin that one.  Unlike most of the shelf, he actually has a reasonable possibility to being revived.  Now that ReaperCon is over, I have been toying with getting back at him.  Unfortunately for him, I may go to GenCon this year and I have some ideas for that...

But enough for the somber musings of half painted miniatures.  I would like to welcome Paradox0n to the blog!  I took a quick look over at his blog at http://paradox0n.blogspot.com/.  He has some nice tutorials over there as well as some handy reviews that I'll be looking into later.  Thanks, Paradox0n!
And welcome to all the others that are following along but keeping a low profile :)

Friday, May 10, 2013

Work on the paint room continues...in the meantime, I'll be heading up to the local gamestore for some rare painting in public tomorrow afternoon.

Welcome to my newest follower, Ian Newbold!  Thanks for coming along.  As I have mentioned before, Ian is a great fellow and is currently sponsoring the 1st Creative Challenge of 2013.  The deadline is coming fast and the deadline for submissions is May 31st.  Take a look at the splendid entries already up and enter your own! http://www.newboldworld.com/Challenge/TNC03.html

I'd also like to give another heads up for the boys over at Masterminis.net. They just announced a giveaway of a painted piece by Ben Komets, a painter with many accolades under his belt.  There are some secondary prizes as well and its easy to enter!  Check it out here: http://masterminis.blogspot.com/

Thursday, May 9, 2013

New painting set up

First off, a hearty welcome to Brovatar.  Thank you for following me!  He is a prolific painter and does some amazing conversions as well.  Check out his site here: http://www.denofimagination.com.pl/

Now that the blog is getting set up, I'm in the process of doing the same for the painting area.  The old area was nice, but now that my youngest child is getting a bit older, some rearranging of rooms is in order.  This room is a bit smaller than where I was at, but much more sun--a good trade!

The walls are drying now and some preliminary moving has begun.

Once the paint is fully dry, I'll begin to stretch out a bit :).

The South London Warlords, who put on Salute every year, have posted a nice compilation of the winners from the various categories this year.  Congratulations to the winners this year!  Well worth a peek for some inspiring pieces. http://slwarlords.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Last of the tutorials

Ok, so I've caught up on all my old tutorials.  There are a couple more in the pipeline, but you'll have to wait on those.  I've also added a charitable projects tab.  I'll add and remove to that as projects come and go.  If there is something going on that I have not listed, let me know and I'll be happy to put it up on the page.

Finally, one more blast from the past. 

This is a miniature I painted for my wife a few years ago.  It is Reaper's Jolie, the scribe.  The scroll was scratch built and it was my first go at a marbled floor.  The Korean in the book means "wisdom".



The parade of tutorials continues and Blog Tuesday

Good morning everyone.  I hope you all survived your Mondays without much difficulty.  I've added another small tutorial to that section.  I have one more to go after that and the parade will be over.  I'm in the process of moving the paint station around; I'm moving to another room in the house.  It's a lateral move--a bit less space overall, but more sun.  Depending on how long that takes, I may or may not get the last tutorial up tomorrow.

Here's another of my favorite pieces from the past.  The skeleton pirate is from Reaper's Warlord miniatures game and belongs to the Razig faction.

I am also planning on making every Tuesday the day in which I highlight another blog.  These are places I've come across and enjoy visiting.  The vast majority of them will be painting blogs, but occassionally I highlight some gaming blogs or anything else that gets my attention.
Today's blog is from a great chap named Inso.  He is a man of many talents!  He paints like a a madman and can crank out pieces with amazing rapidity.  He is also a sculptor and has put up a piece for the Goblinaid campaign.  His Grymm conversions are excellent.  Rumor has it he can sing as well...  Congratulations to him as well on getting a piece casted up as well, which can be found at Grekwood Miniatures at http://www.grekwoodminiatures.co.uk/index.php.  He sculpted the "Grekwood in a Fez" model, and a portion of the sale of his miniature will go to a charitable cause; take a look!  You can find his blog at http://insosworld.blogspot.com/.  He also has a second blog that catalogues his love for all things Grymm: http://grymnoutthere.blogspot.com/.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Another EFS tutorial added

I hope everyone had a good weekend.  The pictures are beginning to roll in from the Duke of Bavaria event, and as you might expect, there are some impressive and inspirational pieces out there.  If you troll through the blog roll, you'll see some folks that have posted their experiences.

I've added another EFS miniature tutorial to the tutorials page.  I think there will be two or three more tutorials that I have done previously and I'll be caught up there.  I have one tutorial not yet finished, but hopefully will be getting started on this month.

Here is another of my older pieces that I like very much.  This was a gift for my youngest daughter on her second birthday.


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Another tutorial!

One more tutorial is up and running.  This is one of my older ones, but it was one of the turning points in my painting.  I prefer this style of true metallic painting (TMM).  It was pioneered (at least in my mind) by Seb Archer, also known as Automaton over at CMoN.  This tutorial summarizes my technique in a six step process. 

Welcome to my two new followers, Precinct Omega and Fabio Vollono!  I hope you enjoy your stay here and find some useful bits of information visiting here.  Precinct Omega is a great little operation in the UK.  He runs One Pound Wargames.  Check out his site here: http://precinctomega.co.uk/.  Fabio is there anything I can plug for you? 

For a bit of eye candy, here is a zombie I painted up earlier this year for WaMP's Red Box Games online contest.  I've always loved this pack of models sculpted by Tre Manor--they really capture the broken, shuffling gait of the dead to me.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Happy Star Wars Day!  A warm welcome to two new followers, Nissiana and Sanael!

I added another tutorial to that section.  It is an older one in which I did a detailed step by step of a wonder Eastern Front Studios sculpt.  A number of the pics are rather small and I apologize for that; the transition to the blog format shrunk them and I'm trying to figure out how to get them bigger again.

I hope my European friends are enjoying the Duke of Bavaria painting contest as well as IV Concurso Modelismo Zaragoza 2013 this weekend.  I look forward to seeing some of the amazing pieces that come out of these contests this year.

Yesterday was my eldest daughter's birthday.  She is a great fan of goblins, so I painted goblin for her again this year:

Have a good weekend everyone!

Friday, May 3, 2013

The work continues...

I'm continuing to add blogs to the list.  I also have gotten a few followers!  Thanks to Zaphod, Inso, Mr. Miniature Heroes, and Master Rozzell for joining me on this little journey.

I've posted up my first tutorial, which is a step by step on the construction of my first display style base.  It was for the Gentleman Scavenger for the Miniature Heroes online contest from a few years ago.  It was great fun doing and really sparked my interest in display basing.  I will be adding more tutorials in the coming days/weeks.  I've also set up the gallery, although it is still under contruction.

I wanted to show a relatively recently completed mini I sent off as a gift to a couple of great folks I met at ReaperCon last month.  I had known Sanael and Nissiana for some time on the Reaper forums, but finally got the opportunity to meet them both at the Con.  They are both active DM's and so I asked if they might have use for a 4 armed Alien-esque critter in their respective campaigns and they did me the honor of giving a home to this little fella.  I hope he serves them well....

Thursday, May 2, 2013

For the Greater Good

Happy May to everyone!  It has been a beautiful day here, although it may snow tomorrow...

In today's post I want to explain one of the reasons I started the blog up.  Besides having a location for all my miniature work as well as my various tutorials, I wanted to bring attention to folks that are doing good for others.  I have found the people in our hobby as a very friendly group as a whole--they are very willing to share tips and tricks when new painters and share knowledge to promote the hobby as a whole.  I hope to continue that tradition!

I really like to do miniature exchanges as well, when I find the time.  It motivates me to talk with the recipient and come up with a tailored gift essentially.  Hopefully they enjoy the piece and perhaps even learn something as they get to hold it up close.  I have painted a number of miniatures and given them away to acquaintances on the forums.  While I really enjoy painting, I am not much of a gamer, so my models tend to just sit and gather dust.  I like the thought of my little metal/plastic/resin creatures and characters getting played with and fueling the imagination of someone, somewhere.  Perhaps a bit sappy, true, but I do like to hear back from people after they have received an unexpected surprise.

Some folks take it a step further, though.  They actively engage the painting community at large to aid a friend or a cause.  I will try and bring these sites and causes to the attention of anyone that visits my little corner of the web.

There are two sites now that I have grown to respect very much.  The first is Ian Newbold website at http://www.newboldworld.com/main.html.  It is a small website, but he has a great love for the hobby and he and his wife have a great heart for charitable work.  Usually, at least a couple of times a year, he will sponsor a competition, funding the prizes on his own and donating additional cash to charities in the name of the winners.  The Newbold Challenge as it is called was started in 2006 and has raised over 40,000 pounds for charities such as Children in Need and Children with Cancer.  You can read more of the Challenge here: http://www.newboldworld.com/Challenge/UMDream/index.html .  There is currently a Challenge underway and is open until May 31st, so swing by and submit a piece!

The second site is much more recently arrived on the miniature scene.  The original website is run by Michael Bartels and can be found at http://masterminis.blogspot.com/.  He has a love for the miniature hobby that is as strong as any I have seen.  He also has great heart and has big plans for helping others.  Last November, he launched a new company with some extraordinary painters and has created a new website Painting Buddha at http://www.paintingbuddha.com/.  It an unusual model; a significant portion of the profits from the sale of his items will be donated to charity!  You can read about the galactic president's big plan in a series of videos under the revolution tabs at the Masterminis website.  Check him out!

Finally, there is current a campaign going on for a long time friend of the miniature community named Kev Adams.  He is a sculptor and has long been known for his work with goblins and orcs.  Earlier this year, he was assaulted in his home and hurt quite seriously.  The miniature community has rallied around him and launch GoblinAid.  The facebook page can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Goblinaid/582169528462833. At least 30 sculptors have created pieces in his honor and the last I read, the organizers were hoping to get something available for purchase by the end of May.  Several sites are donating a portion of the proceed from the sale of Kev's piece back to him to assist with medical bills.  Wargames foundry is already helping out and can be found here: http://wargamesfoundry.com/our-ranges/goblinaid/.

Go check these out!