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Esoteric spring cleaning

Esoteric spring cleaning

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Project Blog by shingen Cult of Games Member

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About the Project

This is esoteric cleaning, as won’t actually clean my closets of unpainted minis or unfinished terrain, here I will grapple with all the techniques, materials, ideas and inspirations I always wanted to use but never did. I don’t know what shape it will take in the end…

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And bang!

Tutoring 4
Skill 4
Idea 4
1 Comment

Another twist in the story. Since Spring Cleaning is all about finishing projects I decided to start new one (within scope of the original idea) and printed whole insert to yet another frame. This time Geiger’esque interior (from what I understand inspired by the Alien sanctuary as seen in Alien, the 8th Passenger of Nostromo). What is different about this one Is that I actually finished it. Bellow you’ll find a couple of WIP photos and final products.

The main challenge in this sub-project were actual STLs. They were obviously different size than my frames, but most of all, they were designed as separate pieces (straight and corner walls, floors, etc) and they don’t really fit well, there are obvious gaps and some illogical ends of patterns. I tried to remedy that as well as I could, but in some places my miliput work is clearly visible. Maybe at some point I’ll add some wires/pipes and alien eggs to hide them.

First steps: Black primer, grey ink in kind of zenithal application, white drybrushFirst steps: Black primer, grey ink in kind of zenithal application, white drybrush
Step two: colourful spots here and there - I used some GSW intensity inks; I believe these were blue, purple and green. This is to add some faint colour to the final productStep two: colourful spots here and there - I used some GSW intensity inks; I believe these were blue, purple and green. This is to add some faint colour to the final product
Step three (and further): aplly wash, I went with 'chromatic black' approach - mixed dark blue and orange inks with glaze medium and water and applied several coats of it all over the model, drybrushing white a little between layers of ink.  Step three (and further): aplly wash, I went with 'chromatic black' approach - mixed dark blue and orange inks with glaze medium and water and applied several coats of it all over the model, drybrushing white a little between layers of ink.
Close upClose up
With oldest sister, still WIPWith oldest sister, still WIP

Ha! Nobody expects… this project to resurrect!

Tutoring 5
Skill 5
Idea 5
No Comments

And me the least of them all. Yet here we are. I decided to continue with the diorama part of it. I designed new setting and have it completely printed and almost fully painted. I also have a sketch of the next diorama, we’ll see where it brings us/me in June.

My new design, sf interior in colours matching my Yu Jing army for Infinity the GameMy new design, sf interior in colours matching my Yu Jing army for Infinity the Game
And this is where I am with both models togetherAnd this is where I am with both models together

Oil 3. No more oil.

Tutoring 7
Skill 7
Idea 6
4 Comments

And as promised yesterday, bellow you’ll see the final photos.

In my opinion, apart from being bones and thus not having any details, he lacks some highlight, that is because I didn’t manage to mix anything like sunny skintone or ivory, the colours I usually use as final highlights.

Anyway, I really liked painting with oil paints and would recommend it to anyone, especially if you want to practice wet blending/two brush blending.

For my next oil-painting project I need to buy some stuff: drying medium, translucent medium, short bristled synthetic brush and two or three additional colours. Fun fact, I used grand total of 7 colours to paint that figure.

Oil 3. No more oil.
Oil 3. No more oil.
Oil 3. No more oil.
Oil 3. No more oil.
Oil 3. No more oil.

Oil 2. Final oil.

Tutoring 6
Skill 6
Idea 6
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My oil painted barbarian is done. It took almost 3 days for the paint to dry, but I couldn’t work on him for couple more days. That changed today, and I finished him!

This is how he looked dried after previous painting session and application of fair amount of matt warnish.

 

Oil 2. Final oil.
Oil 2. Final oil.

Next I applied some washes (oils of course), actually working from the same palette I used painting him in the first place. Blobs of paint were quite workable with addition of a drop of white spirit even 6 days out of the tubes!

First I mixed a purple wash (heavily on the red side) for the skin part.

 

Oil 2. Final oil.

Next was a mixture of burnt sienna and umber with black (roughly 1:2:1 ratio).This was applied pretty much over all the other parts of the mini, save for weapons.

After the washed dried, I used cotton bud and my finger to wipe out the excess. After that operation I applied another layer (or couple of them) of matt varnish to lock the washes in place.

Last step was application of some highest highlights on the weapons using more transparent paints (i.e. paints mixed with white spirit). Wpplication of those white fading lines was specifically rewarding, cause all you do is make white dot in place you want highest highlight to be and then, smearing in along with a clean brush.

This is how he looks now.

 

 

Oil 2. Final oil.
Oil 2. Final oil.

After the warmish dries, I’ll do some rudimentary base work and post final photos tomorrow.

Oil!

Tutoring 5
Skill 5
Idea 5
No Comments

I couldn’t get myself to finish the diorama yet. This whole isolation drives me nuts, I have my kids and the wife in the room I do my hobby pretty much for the whole time and only manage to squeeze some work in the late evenings.

Under the circumstances I decided to jump a bit and do next thing on my list. That happens to be oil painting. I watched some tutorials, best of them turned out to be those two:

I prepared a bit of a setup, however didn’t invest in fancy paints or fast drying medium. Instead I used a set of cheap Chinese paints I bought ages ago and used for washes (I swear I paid less than 5 EURO for them). I also own significant number of synthetic brushes, although, now I see advantage of short bristled brush.

Oil!

The process of painting spans across two days, so lighting varies widely on bellow photos.

As per the first tutorial, I started with basecoat of acrylics. Just rough and ready single colour coats over zenithal primer.

Then I applied liberal coat of matt varnish and dried the mini properly. Side note, as you can see I went for a random bones barbarian. The mini is bad, you’ll see bellow that his face is simply a blob without any details.

Then I started with the most obvious – NMM. I never understood the idea properly, but to be honest blending acrylics on such mall areas was a much bigger issue. So I started with very simple sketch of diagonal white and neighbouring blue-black… and blended them in under 4 minutes on both sides of the sword! I don’t think I’ve ever made such a clean blend in my life before! And 4 minutes is faster than airbrush if you consider changes of colour.

Anyway I went further and did his skin. This is where my lack of colour theory and understanding of pigments shows (together with somewhat strange choice of colours in my paints set). I can’t push contrast on the skin higher without him looking not really alive. Also, his face or lack thereof…

After problems with skin tones the rest went smoothly. This is where I’m now:

Oil!
Oil!

I left the mini in a display cabinet to dry properly before I varnish it and apply blacklining and some washes (oil washes of course).

I’ll report back on that if anyone’s interested.

What I learned so far:

  1. I love oil paints!
  2. There is no such thing as an error in oil painting, you can always get back and repair whatever went wrong. A clean brush with a drop of white spirit acts as an eraser!
  3. You really need to watch to not touch the mini, any contact with whatever before the paint is dry will destroy the paintjob – painting handle would be very useful, much more than in acrylics painting,
  4. I need to learn whole lot more about colours.

And there was light

Tutoring 5
Skill 5
Idea 5
1 Comment

@avernos, on more than one occasion (two) suggested that this piece would benefit from lighting. I was reluctant to take this step due to lack of materials and tolls required. However, I found 3 tea lights I bought over a year ago and still not used. Of course they are useless as they are, but they made me think…

I disassembled one and found out that they are in fact quite modular, and some of their part are rather useful.

And there was light

I went back to the Internet to check for inspiration on how we imagine ancients were lighting insides of their buildings and came up with this:

 

And there was light

I don’t think this is particularly well grounded in historical/archaeological sources, but I liked the idea. I fired up my sketchup and designed several different shapes of ‘bowl of fire’.

 

And there was light

In the end I chose two designs, one with battery inside and one with wires to the battery hidden somewhere. Those are the winners in x-ray view:

 

And there was light

I then printed three of each design (just in case, I actually plan to use two), and started tinkering with layout.

 

 

And there was light

I liked last option the most. I need to decide if I want to cut those legs shorter…That would probably help with the composition, but affect proportions of those pieces in negative way. Any ideas welcome.

 

To make them shine, I used pieces of some shity wire I sometimes use on my bases and parts of actual tea lights for battery housing and convenient switch. The prototype looks like this:

Slow progress

Tutoring 5
Skill 7
Idea 7
3 Comments

I keep painting elements of the diorama, but at the same time I was hit by drop of motivation, mostly caused by lack of idea what to actually put inside. Also, the rollers cause some problems, some details are much less pronounced then others and I have major problems distinguishing their shapes and painting them properly.

As side note, I’m not sure of that emerald green I’ve introduced in one of the scenes. Any ideas what to use instead?

Slow progress

Just another week

Tutoring 6
Skill 7
Idea 7
2 Comments

Not much was done this week. With kids off school (even the home-borne one) I did only some painting. I also printed decorations after I found appropriate figures over on Internet.

 

An attempt on moody pictures. Oh and a little Egyptian sculpted by my daughter specifically to use in this diorama. An attempt on moody pictures. Oh and a little Egyptian sculpted by my daughter specifically to use in this diorama.

I  took some pictures showing why I had all those different holes around my frame. Descriptions bellow.

From top to bottom: 1. OpenLock system in the works, 2. Top view of closed frame (the other hole will be closed the same way. 3. Closed frame ready to be attached to a frame above it.  From top to bottom: 1. OpenLock system in the works, 2. Top view of closed frame (the other hole will be closed the same way. 3. Closed frame ready to be attached to a frame above it.
Again, top to bottom: 1. Parts attached then to the side hole, 2. Frame ready to be attached to another frame on its right. 3. Final frame in the row. Again, top to bottom: 1. Parts attached then to the side hole, 2. Frame ready to be attached to another frame on its right. 3. Final frame in the row.
This how I intend them to look from the front after attaching one to another. I want this system to be fully modular, so I can add more and more in the future. This how I intend them to look from the front after attaching one to another. I want this system to be fully modular, so I can add more and more in the future.

Some wall painting

Tutoring 7
Skill 8
Idea 8
No Comments

Title has it all.

Black undercoatBlack undercoat
White grey zenithWhite grey zenith
White drybrushWhite drybrush
Uneven coat of VMA WoodUneven coat of VMA Wood
Overal wash of 50/50 soft and strong tone from APOveral wash of 50/50 soft and strong tone from AP
Black pinwashBlack pinwash

Coloring the floor

Tutoring 10
Skill 10
Idea 11
No Comments

To boost my morale after seeing some other projects I dry-fitted parts created earlier.

Coloring the floor

Painting itself was quite an easy task. The process is described in steps under each photo.

1. Black undercoat. Airbrush, Vallejo black primer (mecha line).1. Black undercoat. Airbrush, Vallejo black primer (mecha line).
2. White highlight in the centre of each stone, I made some mistakes, as you can see, but I didn’t bother. In the end I’m going to put a lot of staff on the floor…2. White highlight in the centre of each stone, I made some mistakes, as you can see, but I didn’t bother. In the end I’m going to put a lot of staff on the floor…
3. Thin coat of VMA Wood. I studied many source photos and colours in real pyramids are much more orangy/redish/cavalry brownish… luckily it is not a real pyramid.3. Thin coat of VMA Wood. I studied many source photos and colours in real pyramids are much more orangy/redish/cavalry brownish… luckily it is not a real pyramid.
4. To add some variation I used 6 different filters – I like them and hate them at the same time. They promise great results and some of them deliver, but others are simply atrocious. Very uneven line of products, and I use them rarely enough not to remember which bottle is good.4. To add some variation I used 6 different filters – I like them and hate them at the same time. They promise great results and some of them deliver, but others are simply atrocious. Very uneven line of products, and I use them rarely enough not to remember which bottle is good.
And one more setAnd one more set
And finaly, this is where I stand today. And finaly, this is where I stand today.

Textures

Tutoring 9
Skill 10
Idea 10
No Comments

I had a busy weekend.

Bellow you see photos illustrating my process of creating textures. First I did the floor. I wanted it to have rather battered, worn look, so I avoided using any rollers or other “machine” manufacture. Instated I went for some child-play heat hardening clay and hand sculpted a pattern of stones which in reality would be carved out by stone masons on site to fit any gap the artisans had to fill. That way it became very irregular in all three dimensions. But before that:

1. I cut paper template to tell me what surface I need to cover.1. I cut paper template to tell me what surface I need to cover.
2. Prepare nice, piece of clay of uniform thickness across its width,2. Prepare nice, piece of clay of uniform thickness across its width,
3. Carve. Sculpting 10x15 cm rectangle took me over an hour.3. Carve. Sculpting 10x15 cm rectangle took me over an hour.
4. Bake4. Bake
5. After baking the clay, I cut piece of plasticard to act as a foundation for my floor. I used super glue to stick the carving to the plasticard.5. After baking the clay, I cut piece of plasticard to act as a foundation for my floor. I used super glue to stick the carving to the plasticard.

For the walls, the clue of this part of spring cleaning all the irrational ideas out of my mind , I used the GSW rolling pin. But to clean even more, I didn’t use my usual mixture of miliput and plasticine but used a sample of super sculpy, which I got from GSW as a bonus in my first order from them 6 or 7 years back. I have to admit I worked beautifully and can easily replace my normal mixture. It is less sticky (to the point where actually mixing two pieces of it together requires quite a lot of work), and transfers details equally well. On top of that , backing if much faster than waiting for miliput to cure. I have 1kg of that material stored somewhere…

First on the menu – Egyptian Rolling Pin

Tutoring 4
Skill 5
Idea 5
No Comments

Since I already have my first frame I can start creating my 3d cartoon.

As stated in project description I want to employ as many tools and technics I never used as possible. Until now I had no occasion to use my Egyptian rolling pin, nor have I ever ventured into territories of that aesthetics. To change that, I’ll build a quasi-Egyptian tomb chamber with appropriately decorated walls and obligatory mummy. Something like that:

First on the menu – Egyptian Rolling Pin

11 hours later

Tutoring 8
Skill 9
Idea 9
No Comments

Yeah it takes a while to print, but after it prints it looks really good.

Just couple of words of explanation on why the shape is so weird. And why does it use all those holes. The main thing is to print it with no supports with front frame touching print bed. Second, and that is why I used OpernLock system is ease of modification and stacking capability (in different planes and sizes). The holes visible all around the shape allow to connect more modules.

11 hours later

Canvas

Tutoring 6
Skill 7
Idea 9
No Comments

To explore my ideas I designed a frame/box for small dioramas scenes. The idea is that it os stackable and scalable. As I write it the first prototype is printing.

Canvas

Goals

Tutoring 6
Skill 6
Idea 7
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I did some inventory review and made a plan for this challenge. This is my roster for next couple of months:

  1. Use Egyptian rolling pin (on something bigger than 25mm base),
  2. Create flowing water scene,
  3. Create woodland scene,
  4. Paint a tank.

Bonus:

  1. Use Greek rolling pin,
  2. Create steam punk scene,
  3. Create a piece of dungeon,
  4. Paint a mini with oil paints.

Ultra bonus:

  1. Use lighting effects on a mini or scene – this one is really uncertain as I have no supplies or tools and considering current world situation I don’t expect to have any in the near future.

 

This is it. What I mean by ‘scene’ is a small diorama or big base and such, as stated before I’m not in a position to build tables worth of terrain. I have rough idea how I would approach each of above bullet points but nothing material yet.

Idea

Tutoring 6
Skill 7
Idea 7
No Comments

My cleaning this year will be even more weird than last year. I searched my hobby storage for a simple, self-contained project to post for the challenge, but the more I searched, the less ideas I had. Just take a look:

 

Basing materials and minis (two colums on the right)Basing materials and minis (two colums on the right)
Basing materials, glues and primersBasing materials, glues and primers
Paints and inksPaints and inks
Inks and washesInks and washes
PaintsPaints
Paints, weathering materials and rolling pinsPaints, weathering materials and rolling pins
oil paintsoil paints
Terrain building materialTerrain building material

To be honest, I fight my backlog of unpainted minis on daily basis, and my results are not so bad, about 60% of my collection is painted with steady growth.

Where I guess I actually stay behind is diversity. As you may find out in my other projects blogs I mostly paint Infinity and Hasslefree minis, and build terrain which is either cyberpunk or frozen ruins (for Frostgrave). At the same time I’m a sucker for new technics and hobby products. I checked my hard drive and found over 2GB (over 1 000) of pictures with some inspiration for modelling (mostly terrain building). On top of that over 5GB of various magazines, guides and handbooks on hobby related stuff. My drawers are full of never used hobby products and such. I’m subscribed to over 100 hobby related channels on YouTube… and get excited every time I watch them apply new technic or use new product…

The realization I had during that search was that I don’t have enough life ahead of me to use all those products and technics myself if I want to build gaming tables with them. Heck, I don’t think I’ll ever have enough space home to accommodate more than one gaming table (which I already have)… So my project (and I guess it will last longer than one spring) will be use as many different technics and products I own but never used as possible.

 

*I also found out that I have never painted any tank in my modelling/gaming career, so I’ll it this a go in different project.

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