Friday, November 30, 2012

The Mimes of Moria!! What they didn't show in the movies...

I was quite surprised that the Fellowship of the Ring films did not include one of the most popular venues in all of Moria, and the team that played there...

Yes, they are Mimes.  Meet Francois, Pierre, Jaques, Poirot and Charles De Gaulle.

Lutin Nation!!!

I am starting this off with a bunch of team photos.  Later today I will break it down into more individual miniature shots.

This is a blood bowl team that I made way back in 2006.  Let's just say that I learned a whole lot about conversions in the process!

Some of the fans are carrying signs that say "Toss me!" and "We love the Mimes!"

There are assistant coaches, superfans, star players, special weapons, and the like.

There are a lots of very heavy conversions.  I had to hack away at a lot of metal figs so that I could make the berets, etc.  The pogo stick guy was a big challenge.  Now it would be a much easier process. :-)

The board was also made the hard way.  I put the whole thing together in Photoshop and then printed it out on 8.5 x 11 paper.  Then I had to try and glue that whole puzzle together!!
 The signature you see is from Jervis Johnson, who came to the Chaos Cup that year.

I used some of the extra tiles that were printed to glue onto the bases.

The individual shots will show you more of those conversions, and the freehand designs.

When the Mimes came out to play, they had a full bag of tricks.  Invisible boxes and ropes, invisible footballs, etc.

There was also a "referee hospitality fun", along with cheese wheels and lots of Chablis!

And a lovely parasol, of course, for soft landings on a goblin toss!!!

Some of the figures are very old and out of print, such as the trolls.  I don't even know where some of the figures came from!

So, the next few posts will focus in on the individual players.  This was always my favorite team.  They scored a lot of touchdowns (about 3 per game), and managed to get me into the playoffs their first year in existence!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Spy vs Spy? Drow vs Dark Elf...

OK!  Side by side views as promised.  

I am fairly sure I will use the tone on the left for the 40k Dark Eldar army.  However, I may vary those flesh tones from Kabal to Kabal...

The reason I am leaning more towards the lighter tone is that I want to do some sort of tattoos/body paint on the flesh tones.  The army is mostly Wyches, so there is more of that to work with.

Since 2 of the squads are Raging Heroes, there is even more blank canvas available.

My next experiment with these fantasy Vestals will be a very light one, with more of a blueish hue...

The blades will also be glowing, so that should be fun!

Hot stuff Part Deux: Raging Heroes Drow...

OK, finally posting the finished pictures now!  Tomorrow morning I will post the side by side shots with the Dark Elf version so you can compare the two themes.

This was the way I used to paint all the Dark Elves in the past.  I guess it was a chance to try out a different flesh tone every now and then!

I may still try out one more flesh tone variety on a Fantasy Vestal here before I try doing one of mine.  Probably with some tattoos...


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Finishing the Drow flesh tone: Raging Heroes Vestal experiment

Continuing on from the previous post, you can see that we are nearly at the lightest stages of the flesh tones.  Many of these next steps involve the armor and weapons, but also the hair.

I darkened the hair even more in this step.  Part of my reasoning was to make the hair somewhat transparent by having the darker skin tone show through the hair spread over the back.

In this step, the lightest flesh highlights are applied, and shadows are painted around the eyes and the lips  The head piece is defined a bit more, and I mix a bit more yellow with my purple on the armor (especially on the back of the calf)

More highlights are worked into the armor, but I also use some dark brown/purple mixes to define the shadow edges on the armor even more.  Some shading is applied to the weapons...

Some very bright highlights are applied to the hair and the armor.

More reflected lava effects are done on the armor...

The weapons are given some non-lava related reflected light.  The goal is to create a light to dark fade from the bottom of the blades to the top, which should be the darkest shade.  This makes the highlight on the edges stand out even more, and that helps to create a metallic effect.  

You can make this even more pronounced if the highlight edge is tinted yellow next to a slightly purple dark color.

More edges are cleaned up, and parts of the blades smoother even further with thinned down paint.

I will post the finished images early tomorrow.  There will also be a set of side by side shots of both flesh tone examples!!  Stay tuned...

This time it's a Drow: Raging Heroes Vestal

OK!  Here is the promised Drow flesh tone for the Raging Heroes Vestals!

I will dispense with showing how the base was painted since I just posted the step by step for that technique.

This time around, I wanted to have the really light hair and dark flesh tone.  As I was painting the lava effect, I planned and marked out where that would show up on the miniature itself...

I started out with a Vallejo Luftwaffe uniform color (like a shadow grey, which is what I used to use).  For the basic color of the hair, I used a GW Hellion Green.  Yes, that is a 'dry' paint, but when you mix it with flow improver, you get more of a regular paint!

I began to lighten the original flesh tone color with a Game color Carne Marron, but lots of other colors such as Tallarn flesh could do the same thing.  The hair was lightened with a bit of white.

I watered down some Reaoer deep twilight (a purple/black), and did some glaze/tinting work on the shadow areas.  This would make a nice warm/cool contrast with the somewhat purple flesh tones.

I continued to mix that warmer fleshy color with the cooler shadow grey.

You can see in this view of the palette that I also added a bit of Slaanesh grey.  Yes, it's a food container.  That's what happens when you don't have a vehicle for 2+ weeks!  You can see just about all of the colors that I have used to this point.

Here is a shot of the brush that I was using, a rather large #8 brush.  It lets me move very quickly around the miniature, but has a fine tip so that I can even work into the smaller details.

More lights are added.  I mixed a somewhat cooler pink color into the flesh for the lighter areas.  The hair was shaded a little darker by mixing in some of the darker flesh tone with that Hellion green.

The colors a glistening a bit due to the glaze medium.  It certainly was not hot enough in the house... although she is standing on top of lava...

Another view of the palette.  You can see the darkest darks, and the lightest lights.

Stay tuned for the conclusion!!!

Turning a problem into a solution: part two

For those who have seen the previous post, you already know that I had been scrambling to find a new solution to making movement trays without any sculpey.

The pink foam had actually worked!  With the glue sealer, it was very sturdy, and I had sculpted the extra green stuff bits to match the original bases.  Now it was time to paint it!

I began with a very generic yellow ochre just to cover the entire surface.

I used a few different lighter colors to indicate where I wanted different colors of stones... some cooler, some warmer.

Once that was established, I decided to test out some new Secret Weapon washes that I had been given as prize support for Bilbo's Bash.  I had a black, a dark sepia, and a concrete.  Those last two were very interesting, in that they were opaque.  It reminded me of some of my washes made by watering down the old GW foundation paints.

This brings up an important point.  I am perpetually experimenting with new materials and techniques.  Sometimes it is out of necessity, like the pink foam, but I will also test out a new idea or material just to see what may happen.

This can generate some anxiety, to say the least, but it has advanced my abilities exponentially.  I can honestly say that the way I paint will be different by the end of this week than when it started.  It can change dramatically... almost instantly.

Not only does this keep things interesting, it allows me to do a whole lot more in a lot less time!

Back to the painting... I have completed the darker washes and glazes, so now I start getting back to highlights and working the middle tones.

I try to smooth out some of the rougher areas (especially in that all important middle tone).  The first layers of colors appear on the foliage.

I highlight the foliage to match what I had done on the previous bases, and start painting in some cracks.

I used a very fine brush to paint in cracks that were even smaller than the ones I had sculpted into the foam.

The figures are placed back on to the tray to see how things are looking!

With the tray complete, it is time to paint up the rest of the unit!  Stay tuned...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Pink foam to the rescue!!!

Well, today was an interesting day.  I needed to create a movement tray for that unit of Forgeworld Empire that I have been working on.  This was important, since I needed to attempt to rank them up before I tried to put them on their bases.

I knew that they were going to be difficult to rank up, even more so when you include the command figures.

No big deal, I thought.  I will just break out some sculpey and some matboard...

Well, it turns out that I needed two things to proceed.  Some new Sculpey and a working oven.  Since I didn't have either of those things, I had to figure out something else on the fly.

I remembered how much fun and success I had with the pink foam on the Fortress Falls army board.  Could I somehow manipulate that material in the same way that I could my trusty sculpey?

First, I got out my exacto knives and started shaving down pieces of pink foam.

Here is the unit, ranked up as best as I could get them.  It took a lot of moving guys around!

You may recognize some of the figures from recent posts...

I wanted some stronger magnetic hold, so I got a sheet of magnetized sheet metal.  It's important to make sure that is what you purchased, as I discovered the hard way.  Always have a magnet with you in the store!!

Cathy reminded me that we used to make all kinds of Blood Bowl fields by taking pink foam and putting stone textures into it!

Those pieces of foam you saw in the earlier photo were cut into very specific shapes... 3/16 inch wide by 1/16 thick.  I glued them into place, and then carved/pressed in some floor texture with carving tools to match the bases.

Finally, I cut away bits of the stones with the exacto knife to make some serious weathering...

Here you see some pillars which were also made from the foam.  I took rectangles and carved/sanded them into pillars!  Once all that was done, I had to find a way to 'seal' the foam, and make it stronger.  Otherwise, any pressure at all would damage it.  We have learned that wood glue or stronger formula Elmer's glue is perfect for this task!

After that dried, it was time to sculpt some vines and leaves like the ones on the bases.

More vines!

More leaves!

I let all this set up, and then it was time to paint it!  Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion of an exercise in Plan B!!