Thursday, September 3, 2015

Desperate Times, Desperate Measures

Following the desperate struggle the Holy Order fought against Carpathian and his dastardly creatures, the citizens of Wappelville had begin to spread rumors about shadowy figures wielding arcane, but yet extremely powerful weapons.

They spoke of a giant wheel which was spotted in the woods just outside of town which spouted blue flame over great distances, and an "old man" who seemed to be controlling it all.

Wasn't this the same old "prospector" that they had seen hobbling around the entrance to the abandoned mine?  Townsfolk called him Crazy Louie.

With their cover blown, it looks like the Holy Order of Man will have to take up a much more 'active' role in and around Wappelville.  There are some tasks for which the Lawmen of Wappelville cannot be trusted, as they are also being manipulated by The Enemy.

A new, cunning band of Outlaws, known as the River Gals, had entered the town during the mayhem of the fight against the Enlightened.

As usual, the Holy Orders had very few to answer the threat.  Old Man Abner would lead them once again.

Unlike the ambush outside of town, the Holy Order would have to move as quickly into the town as possible.  This would make them extremely vulnerable to any sort of long range weaponry.

The River Gals had "procured" a flame truck, which contained a bevy of Outlaw heroes, carrying some very nasty close up weapons.  The flame truck itself represented a massive threat, since it could set fire to any buildings in which the Spica might attempt to entrench themselves.

It's almost as if the River Gals knew they were coming...

Bringing a gun to a knife fight is usually a good thing... but bringing a mechanical K-9 to a fight is truly devastating!  A Spica and the Spear of Light were both set upon by the iron beasts, tying them up out in the open!

Even the ritual blades of the Holy Order seemed to bounce off the metal casings of the K-9's.  No matter how many blows were landed, the unnatural creatures remained standing.

In desperation, other Spica emerged from their hiding places to attempt to break the deadly stalemate.  The K-9's were nearly killed, but someone seemed to be "watching out" for them, and they did not fall.

Standing the shadows of this image is the culprit... The Enemy himself!!!  One of the Dark Council, brazen enough to show himself in the midst of the town.  His robes took on an even more sinister hue in the blood red glow of the RJ-1027 street lamps.

Suddenly, one of the damaged K-9's exploded in a ball of fire, injuring two Spica quite severely.  This was most unexpected.  What could this mean?

Can the Holy Order contain the dual threat of the River Gals and The Dark Council?  Wait and see, as it will be revealed in our next episode... Up In Smoke.

Color Harmony

Here's another set of comparison images shot using the Foldio studio.

These are the typical blue/white fade, which continue to look very interesting on that backdrop.

The base was created for an example at Reapercon a few years ago...

Now for the other backdrop, also from Hangar 18.

I may still try to shoot a few more sets with other backdrops that have been set aside for a while.

They are definitely small enough to fit inside the Foldio booth without any trimming.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Shade of Grey

As many of you know, I used dozens and dozens of figures for the painting videos.  There were many figures that were painted, but ultimately were not used, due to time constraints, difficulty in seeing details on camera, etc.

This is one of the figures that "stuck" and it was used for the "Shades of Grey" video.  As the name suggests, it's all about painting grey, and finding vast ranges of values and tones within what might be considered a limited color.

It is by no means a limited color, since you can still adjust temperature (warm vs cool), tint, and saturation.

While many people go out an purchase jars of grey paint, you will rarely see any actual grey paint in my collection.  I would much rather create my own by mixing opposing colors, such as a very dark blue with a light brown, and then a hint of seafoam green to lighten it.

This offers me a LOT more control, and I am not stuck with either a reddish grey, or blue grey from out of a jar.

I did five of the "color theory" videos, such as Yellow Alert.  Here's a 25 minute preview of that one:

She's also here:

Calling the winds

This classic Iron Wind Metals figure was a practice run on some new paints.  I was testing them on transparency, opacity, and the way they would interact with some of my glazes, liner paints and clear pigments.

I also tried out the new fall foliage grass mix... that's always fun!

She's also here:

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Bright Lights in the City

A few posts back, I showed you some images of the new boardwalk sections.  I also mentioned some house rules that we had created for them.

They were very simple.  Iy you begin and end your movement on the boardwalks, you get a plus one to your movement.  This is to represent the fact you don't have to "watch your step" as you might on the dirt road. :-)

From a visual standpoint, I was hoping that the streetlights would make the town have defined avenues, creating a "down the street" panorama similar to this!

I loved having the train station and the church at both ends of the street.  This main street is not any longer than the roads we have done in previous games, but it definitely makes it look more impressive.

These new sections clearly doubled the overall length of boardwalk which we had to work with.  However, as I postulated in that last post, the original short sections would be absolutely crucial to make other structures such as the buildings fit in much better.

Also, the hope was that figures could utilize those posts for cover.  In the past, when a figure attempted to take advantage of the additional movement, they were completely exposed to close up and long range fire.

Thus, such a rule has not been used in any game since.

This images shows the poles themselves on the street side, as opposed to being right in front of the building.  The idea is to create more opportunities for cover, especially from buildings on the opposite side of the street.

You can also see that I try to stagger the placement of those opposing buildings, so it's almost impossible to shoot from one into the other.  It will also do a better job of blocking those "hero" shots where someone shines a laser through 3 buildings and says "I can see him".

Adding the furniture to the interiors will also help with this a great deal.  It will certainly make fighting inside the buildings WAY more interesting.

I've also got some new structures which will spice up the town a bit.  The first I will add is the Blacksmith's shop.  It has some "outdoor" elements that should be right out of a movie!

I absolutely loved this view!!

If you look closely at this image, you will see some cards and miniatures out on the table.  Coming soon, you will see Episode One: Desperate Times, Desperate Measures.  It's a fight between the dreaded Outlaws and the Holy Order of Man.  Stay tuned!!!!

The testing continues!

Here's another round of tests on the Foldio Studio.

These images were shot using my old setup, which I have determined should be used for large scale things such as group shots and terrain.

They were taken using my normal three light arrangement... one from above, and one from each side.

These three lights tend to eliminate the shadows cast by the other lights, depending on the pose of the figure in question.

I bring this up now, because the following set of images will demonstrate the advantages of the new Foldio studio.  The ability to raise or lower the intensity of the lights turned out to be a much bigger advantage than I anticipated.

My previous attempts at using these mottled backdrops had a tendency to burn out the middle tones of the figures.  The faded, misty backdrops did this a little less, but I wondered if the intensity pf my lights could be causing this.

I tried to move the lights further away from the figures, but that led to more shadows being created, both on the figure and on the backdrop.  You will notice here that no such shadows occurred with the Foldio.

Since I could dim the lights, I had a better chance to avoid that burnout effect on the mid tones.  Instead of moving lights around, I could tone down the brightness of the lights, and not add those shadows.

There's a variety of reasons I wanted to use these backdrops.  First, I hoped to create more of a theme with my images, but there was another practical matter.

Sometimes the figure I am trying to photograph has a great deal of the cyan, or sky blue color.  This tends to make the figure blend into the backdrop.  Many of the figures I have painted with the blue glow run into this issue to some degree.

It would be the same as if I were photographing the RJ-1027 glow on a reddish backdrop.

She's also here:

A side by side of two backdrops, with the one on the left having been done with the Foldio setup.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Where the Buffalo roams

This is one of the first "regular" miniature shot with the Foldio studio.  As I mentioned yesterday, I have been doing all kinds of tests with lighting, backdrops, etc.

The positioning of the lights does make it very interesting, as it is quite different from my normal setup.  After my last few sessions, I believe that I will use the Foldio for smaller figures like this White Buffalo from the WWX Warrior Nation.

Now that I am shooting a lot more large scale items such as terrain (as well as all those group shots!), I will try to keep the original setup in place for the 'big stuff'.  I have another post coming tonight with some side by side comparisons as I tried to see what would happen with the more dappled Hangar 18 backdrops, as opposed to the misty versions.

Stay tuned!