Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Pillars and Plinths

Remember that last session of sculpey baking?  Time to use it!  My eyes were just too watery from allergies to do the miniature painting I had planned, so I tried to wash them out, take some Sudafed, and do this!

Here are all the freshly baked parts.  Pillars, sheets, and bases.  Some basic carving tools as well.

As you have seen many times before, the piece of sculpey is carved and shaped with a simple wood carving tool.


Cork combination!

And now for one of Mr. Justin's Secret Weapon plinths.  A few of them, actually, starting with the cork.  Secret Weapon has a huge line of plinths, with the widest variety of shapes and sizes you will ever see!

A sheet of sculpey, vaguely shaped to fit.  Don't forget, rocks and gravel will be glued to this in order to stabilize and strengthen it.

I put a few broken pieces directly on the plinth.

The pillar base is placed to leave enough room for the figure. :-)

I used a few different wood carving tools to bevel the edge of that base.

Here's a tight curve tool that finalized the shape.

The pillar in place!

The remaining piece is broken up a bit more and put on the floor next to it.

Texture lines are added to create individual tiles.

This is an even larger plinth.  I wanted to go directly onto the plinth with the sculpey, since I want to have some additional vines and roots go down the sides of this plinth.  That will be done with green stuff.

This was the thickest piece of pillar that I had.  It was the one piece where I scored the lines before baking.

I dropped another broken piece off to the side, held in place by some smaller broken pieces.

With the fine scoring tool, I was able to get some nice subtle cracks carved into the tiles.

The two large plinth side by side with a much smaller 25mm round base.  This is to show that I achieved my goal of being able to have the pillars on all sizes of bases and plinths!!

The collection as it stands now.

A great deal more awaits.  I will be adding green stuff vines, but also some other items pressed with my new Happy Seppuku moulds!!!  Stay tuned!!

The Debate... and a peek into the future

It has been far too long since I had a collection of Dark Sword miniatures to paint.  I remember how much I enjoyed the crisp details and fine castings. 

While I was at GenCon this year, I was able to secure a large amount of amazing miniatures to work with.  Since Dark Sword has always tied in their miniatures in a story based way to paintings by Larry Elmore and others, they lend themselves to very dramatic renderings.

Here's a few examples. 

I was happy to get my hands on a few of the Game of Thrones series.  The Knight figure will be part of my Bretonnian army.

There was shelf after shelf of amazing figures, all of which cried out for painting!

Each one has very nice action to the poses.  It will be a lot of fun just coming up with bases for them.

The faces also have a lot of detail.  Each one has it's own personality.

In some ways, it will be very nostalgic to get back into these...

I had a number of discussions about "painterly" miniatures with some fellow artists over the weekend.  This refers to the look and feel of the miniatures... instead of a mechanical feel as you see in lots of stuff these days, there is a flow to these, and their composition, which I can see lending itself to the kind of directional strokes that I employ with my bigger brushes.

Some of you are familiar with my attitude towards painting for contests.

That is, I don't do it! :-)  There are a variety of reasons for that.  Normally, any figures that I paint for myself are part of my armies.  This is what I prefer.  I would rather dump figures from my armies into any random painting contest that comes along.

However, the rules of so many contest these days are like GenCon regarding figures that have either won previous awards or being published.

This year, when I went through all of my army boxes, I was hard pressed to find anything that was legal.  Technically everything in those boxes has won an award, since I have gotten multiple Best Painted armies with them.

It made me very bummed to take one miniature and one unit after another and set it aside.

Out of frustration, I just gave up.  I made up my mind that I would attempt to generate a set of figures that would not be used for my armies, nor be miniatures used on a company website (like all the Dark Sword and CoolMini figures I have done over the years).

The new resin dragon kit from Dark Sword is one such item.  I intend for it to be my Large Fantasy Monster or Diorama entry for Crystal Brush next year.

The plan is to reprise this piece which I painted years ago.  It is the old metal Dragon from Dark Sword.  It will be quite the challenge to make it all work out, but I think it will be a lot of fun!

Here's a link to the original: