It has been quite the long gap in posts, and I am sure more than a few people will be surprised to get a messaging popping-up on an update on this blog.
I have been quite busy with work and social activities the past couple months with little time for hobby stuff. I have managed to squeeze a bit of time to play 40K in, but mostly because I was asked to take part in a league that has games every two weeks (so fairly easy to manage). Today’s update is mostly a few odds and sods that I have been working on, with absolutely nothing having been completed.
As 40K has been the bulk of my hobby time, a few of my Tau models have been getting some paint. Although the basic hull is about 90% done, this needs a lot of work. The white is fairly smooth, I just need to clean up the mess from my black-lining and of course paint the crew and compartment.
I have enjoyed playing my Tau and I did buy a few models, but I have committed less than $100 to this army between getting models in trade and on sale.
As the title picture shows, I have started a new terrain piece for the urban terrain. I have decided to use some of the random plastic pieces from my junk box to make a power relay station which is also built on a piece of MDF. I clad the outside in a foamcore wall and built the small out-building and have called it done. There are a few other minor details but they won’t really look like much until it is painted.
Another couple WIP have been my Reaper figures. I got quite the large assortment of Bugbear miniatures in Bones 2 and I have just started painting them. I had put on the base coats on a few of them when I decided I wanted to build one up to finished on the skin tone. At that point, I had a friend contact me and ask if I could teach him how to paint…that night.
So he brought over a few figs and I showed him a few techniques, but these bugbears were the most handy. Between the different stages of progressive layering he was able to see how I paint and he even threw paint on a few while he waited for paint to dry. By the end of the night he had a good enough for table-top miniature for his paladin character in the weekly DnD campaign he is playing in. He also decided to gift a few minis to his group and my box of Bones turned up 3 members of the group for him, leaving him with just one more fig to get for Christmas gifts. As for the bugbear, I will still need to finish his armour and make his fur stand out more with highlights and a wash. And the weapon of course needs lots of work too.
Also getting a bit of paint is the Roper. Reaper calls it a Stone Lurker to avoid lawsuits, but it is obviously the iconic underground horror the Roper. I am not sure what else I want to do with this guy. A wash or two on the tentacles will tone them down for starters and I am not very happy with the mouth on top. The eye needs a bit of work too. In other words, it is very much still a work in progress.
I have always been fascinated by that monster since I was a kid and I loved the artwork in the AD&D Monster Manual as a kid. Something about it just seemed so unnatural and weird. Funny thing is, I have never faced one in a game nor have I used one as a monster in a game I ran.
Anyhow, now that I have a painted miniature, maybe it will make an appearance at some point in a game.
So a bit of a short post with a lot of variety, but hopefully still inspirational. If nothing else, it shows that even with a long hiatus from hobby time it is possible to jump back into things.
…I’m actually feeling better, I think I might go for a walk.
Ok, long hiatus away from hobby time, mostly due to work and a change of pace.
The busy period of work ran me through the wringer. I was quite exhausted by the time things slowed down and I needed a mental break. I had a couple video games and those just pulled me in and helped me to unwind.
After the last game was finished, I started poking around and found a program that lets you build video games.
Wow, I had one of those years ago as a teenager. It was pretty cool then, but fairly crude by today’s standards. There were few options to really personalize it and it was very closely tied to AD&D 2nd Edition. So the mechanics made it tough to really branch into different genres or story telling.
This program, RPG Maker MV is a lot different. Although designed to work out of the box to do JRPG style games (think early Final Fantasy), it can be customized quite freely. In fact the code is easily modified and Java plug-ins are easily incorporated to add functionality. I have also been using some graphic manipulation to do my own thing.
Since I wasn’t coming into this sort of thing cold, I decided to do a very quick and simple plot to build a game start to finish to see how it works. I have the intention of making the game all ages as I will be putting it on the iPad we are giving my oldest for her birthday. She is old enough to play those kind of games.
For the plot I have Little Red Riding Hood all grown up and on her way to college. Along the way she meets a lumberjack, a werewolf, and well I will leave the rest a secret in case I ever do make it widely available to play. It is a blend between fantasy and modern with police, mobsters, a mystery to solve, and a few silly commentaries on society.
I am sure this will take a bit of my free time but the first game is 99% done right now. I am just finalizing the final dungeon and scenes so it should be down to the compiling piece after that.
I have a few pictures to show off the very crude work I have done so far, but I am sure my daughter will like it…the wife is already bugging me to play now that she knows there is about 10 hours of game play.
I know this is a totally different change of pace for my blog but your regularly scheduled miniature blog will be returning soonish. I felt the need to post something as it has been over 3 months since my last post.
Although out of my version of ordinary, I hope this post inspired you. If nothing else maybe try some other creative outlets to keep your mind and motivation fresh.
It has been ages since I last updated. My wife had surgery a while back so I have been fairly busy looking after her, plus the usual insanity that marks my work this time of year. Anyhow, to give some perspective (and a bit of music), have a listen to this: Don’t Forget Me When I’m Gone.
The project that got some work since my last post is a 3 storey building I have been building. I added a few new ideas, including a bit more of a cluttered roof. As shown by Deano it definitely shows the size.
But you will notice I left off my usual side clutter and none of the corners are clad in card. I thought I would try a smoother wall and was shown instead my simple buttresses actually do reinforce the walls.
As shown above, the plaster actually pulled in and warped the wall a very appreciable amount. Looking back at the building front you can see the plaster cracked and the walls pulled apart. Right now I think I will just add a card clad over the corner and hope the bowed wall isn’t too noticeable. For the time being, this building will have to do. The next larger building I do will have some internal framing to push the walls out as well as my buttresses. Little thing that should stop this disaster in the future.
While watching a movie last night, I also threw a bit of paint on one of my Ford F150 trucks. The rough splotchy red will look quite faded and worn once I tone back the black and add my dirt and dust treatment. As shown by Deano, the large doors even give a bit of cover for the clever agent.
Short little update today, but hopefully inspiring to you. If nothing else to try squeezing in the relaxing hobby time to help keep you sane.
The title holds no secrets, but I am a bit behind schedule. I spent yesterday afternoon watching a movie with the kids so I likely won’t be able to finish Captain America this weekend. But, I am sure you are here to see my work.
Not shown yesterday, I did add some details to his helmet including the giant A. It is out of scale with the actual helmet, but it is visible and clear from table distance away. So I decided to keep it. Way too long spent perfecting that.
Today I finished most of the details of his helmet. I added in the chin-straps and the radio. I also cleaned up a mistake I missed on the back of the helmet. The next time I sculpt on the helmet it will be to smooth it out one more time and call that part finished.
I opted for hard ear covers that could be a radio headset or sound-dampeners. Partly because I hate sculpting ears even more than eyes on a face. Also because battlefields are noisy. With a good headset he would still be able to hear around him and the radio, and a bit of noise-cancelling to prevent tinnitus from gunshots and loud blasts.
I have included the face in shadows so those who can’t filter out colours will see how well the sculpting does blend together to look like a real face (and not a black-face miniature).
Overall he looks more like a modern soldier than a guy in tights, but the heroic stance and shield will help identify him as Captain America. Oh, the giant A on his forehead will help too.
Just getting a single pic to show the hours worth of work, I trimmed the seam from last time and added the next one. Slowly but surely Storm will get finished. Not a project I enjoy as much as it is simply transitions and blending and very little cool details to sculpt.
Who has also been getting some work is Thor. The first pic I will show is his hammer. I have been gradually working on it, and it will take several stages itself. The flat surfaces are cured and then raised and beveled edges added very slowly. This shows 2 of the 6 sides done. The handle will likely get a bit more love too.
Today I did two stages of work on Thor. First I did his left fist, well the first stage anyways. There will be some more work and thumb added once it is fully cured. What these pics showcase though is the start of his face. I added in the eyes and nose, with a base putty to add the cheekbones and brow too. Not my worst piece of work, I will try to make him look like Chris Hemsworth. So far the eyes are right, but again the nose is a bit off. I am thinking of going fully comic style with the helmet. I will be doing tights for him. And yes, the boots are taking shape too for the more astute readers.
While he does look like a commedia del arte actor right now, the basis of his face is there. The chin of course will be built out quite a bit to reflect the rugged features of a son of Odin.
Lots of pics, a bit of progress, and hopefully a little inspirational for you. If nothing else, for those who have seen my earlier work, this should inspire you to improve your skills too.
This morning I decided to sneak downstairs to do some sculpting work. There I was intently focused on getting the nose of Captain America exactly right…when a little voice piped up from my elbow and startled me. I jumped a swore a little bit and my tool jumped with me. The end result was the nose got moved. So I went back to the drawing board and redid his nose and mouth.
I decided I wanted to put the chin straps down his face, and I like the covered ear look of one of the helmets in the latest movies so I will go that route…and I will add a mouth-piece coming out of it. What kind of officer doesn’t have his head glued to a radio?
The face was my vain attempt to copy Chris Evans. I think I got his smirk/grimace down pat but the nose is a bit off. I have to say I am pretty impressed with myself. Faces have always been my weakness and this isn’t too bad. I would say it actually turned out pretty good.
With it being a weekend, hopefully I can get some more work done on Captain America (Storm and Thor will get some work too). My goal is to get him finished this weekend, but I don’t want to rush it. I have decided to stay with the spandex look to his suit and see how it looks all finished.
Hopefully this inspired you today, if nothing else to keep your attention on sneaky little foot-steps an not 100% on your work.
As the title suggests, I did find a bit more sculpting time. I squeezed in a bit yesterday morning and I did a bit while my daughter was painting.
Up first we have Captain America. I added in the knee pads above the shin guards. Originally I was considering a multi-part articulating set of knee pads like baseball catchers wear. After looking at them more closely, I realized I didn’t like how those looked while walking and I remembered the weird gait of catchers. So instead I added in the straps and called it done. Right now I am also back to thinking on fabric types for his pants. I may do some bunching in a few places, but I am back to thinking about spandex type pants again.
What has also begun to take shape are the final details. I decided to just try sculpting the helmet and face over the face blank to see how it works out. The front of his trademark mask is just taking shape now. Yes, the bottom edge does need a bit more work, but as the nose will get sculpted in there I am not too concerned. I also added the eyes about 1/3 of a millimeter too high. If I add in a chin strap to the bottom of his face it might hide it a bit better. Then again, it might not be too obvious anyways.
Behind his propped up form you will notice the hands. The left hand looks terrible in the shield for a reason: I am bulking out the basic layer to give better adhesion. I will add in the handle and the anchor points for a strap too. The strap itself will get added on over his arm once it is attached. The knuckles that will be most visible got all my attention and very much look the part.
Also getting a bit of attention has been Thor. The third part of his armour was added yesterday, and I do have a couple of rough spots on the back. This stage also had a small gap: I underestimated the height I needed to raise the middle layer to. The back will likely not get tidied up. It isn’t a hard fix, but the form is present. The cape of course will cover all of this work, so it is the edges and sides that might be visible, so they are the parts I spent the most time on.
Today I started adding in the details of the armour. Obviously the first four of the six discs have been cut from a styrene rod. I blended them in with greenstuff, in fact the lower left one is a true circle…now. I also added in a bit of a flame motif into the front of the breastplate. I was going to do a series of angular overlaps much like the costume from the latest movies and decided against it. I am pretty happy with how this has turned out so far. I may add more details to the breastplate, I haven’t really decided yet.
With both of these sculpts I have had a big picture idea and the small details (and sometimes not so small) get decided on by whim. I find taking the breaks between helps. Besides the obvious part about the curing time, it also gives me a chance to reevaluate the project.
I might be biased, but I think the helmet and detailing are starting to make both of these come alive.
My usual rambling length, but hopefully equally inspiring today. If nothing else, this should give you that nudge to experiment and be creative. The nice thing about this hobby is nobody has a life on the line or any major risks if things go wrong…so don’t be afraid to push your boundaries and take the step into the unknown.
After a pause to do my last post, eat supper, and get the kids to bed I was able to sit down with my tools and the now cured Avengers.
For Captain America very little progress since last update, just the first of his knee pads. I say first as I want to incorporate segmented armour to cover the entire joint. Once fully cured there will be another plate just above the knee pads. This will give the illusion of him actually having protected legs, I hope.
Once the next plate is added (and cured) I will move on to his pants first then the straps for his pads. After that it will be is sleeves and then the dreaded hands and head.
Also getting some progress is Thor. I am sure some movie fans and comic fanatics will be crying foul at what I am doing, but I am going with my own version of the armour inspired by both the movie and the battle armour from the comics. The 6 discs that are the Thor trademark will remain…but I will actually give him a 3 piece set of armour. His tunic and first layer of plate is visible now. Over the top of his chest will be the final layer of armour with some interlocking triangular patterns. I will go with some pauldrons that are incorporated into it too. The final 2 discs of course will secure his cape right above the clavicle.
Although not shown, I am actually sculpting the back as well. The bottom edge on the back is good and smooth, the layers above less so…I will be putting the next plate over what I cut corners on. I am taking a page from Kevin White (Hasslefree Miniatures) for this guy: even sculpting what is hidden is sometimes necessary to get the most realistic final effect.
I am very impressed with how quickly he is progressing compared to Captain America. Maybe it is the new project burst of energy, maybe it is that this is simple shapes than the detailed very tiny plates and pads for Captain America. Or maybe, and this is just crazy talk, I am actually improving. To be honest I think 1 and 2 are probably the closest: I did the second layer of armour in about half the time it took to do one kneepad.
Anyhow, hopefully this quick update inspires you, if nothing else to take advantage of brief windows to help your projects progress.