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Moonstone…finally

Moonstone…finally

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Project Blog by joshtogo Cult of Games Member

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About the Project

I put the minis together last March during the early days of lockdown. Now that I’m caught up on Crisis Protocol it’s time to get some color on them.

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Hanging out

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Hanging out

Playing with a background

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Playing with a background
Playing with a background

So here’s the setup currently. As mentioned, I still have the front/side lights to add. I threw in some Battle Systems terrain as a backdrop (again, inspired by #Soapdodger, praise be).

As to settings, this was taken with my macro lens, Aperture Priority, f10. For any who don’t know, the aperture has a large impact on depth of field. A smaller aperture, a smaller depth of field. The reason I wasn’t able to get the whole mini in focus, as I mentioned in the last post, was that I was using too low of an aperture (apparently a complicated combination of f-stop and shutter speed). If I set the aperture to 22 even the full background is in focus. Set it really low (the lowest this lens goes is 2.8) and the whole mini isn’t in focus.

I’ve settled currently at around f10. It does require a reasonably long shutter speed so hand-held is not feasible at that level.

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with the results.

Photo Comparison

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Side by sideSide by side
AfterAfter
BeforeBefore

Here’s an initial comparison. The Before is just with my iPhone and an tablelamp. The After is with an old but reasonably high end (for me) digital camera and a ring light overhead. I have some more lights coming. We’ll see what difference those make.

I have a telephoto, a fisheye, and a macro lens for the camera as well as the pancake lens it cam with. The After here was taken with the pancake. So far it looks like the depth of field on the macro is so narrow that I can’t get the full mini in focus and I’ll have to play around with the telephoto (45-200) and see if there’s anything interesting I can do with it.

Long and short, if you have any tips/tricks on lenses or the Panasonic Lumix GF2 for taking pics of minis, or if you have any thoughts on this comparison please let me know.

Duplicate post

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Oops! I swear it wasn’t my fault!

Agatha Tavernfrau

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Agatha Tavernfrau
Agatha Tavernfrau

This isn’t my complete photo setup yet but it’s a start. Agatha was fairly unremarkable to paint. Or maybe that should be unobjectionable. I could have given her a bit more pizazz with her feather and/or flower.

Father Flavius

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Father Flavius
Father Flavius

The father is my least favorite of the hoomans. His sculpt really doesn’t look like his card art and he’s just not that interesting. His mail is nice though.

Flintlock

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Flintlock
Flintlock
Flintlock
Flintlock

Particularly pleased with the quilted pattern on his left arm. (And yes, I know the pics are a bit dodgy. As I said in an earlier post I’m hoping I have a fix coming.)

Eric the Squire

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Eric the Squire
Eric the Squire

I’m pleased with the wood grain texture I was able to get into his shield. He is a fun sculpt once you focus in on him.

The Baron part deux

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The Baron part deux
The Baron part deux
The Baron part deux

So this is my second run at Baron von Fancyhat. The first one I sent off as a gift.

Though I can’t quite pin down why, I’m pretty sure I did a better job the first time around. Not my best work. Also not my worst.

A side note: I’m hoping my photos will see a marked improvement soon. Soapdodger’s recent foray into photographic excellence has served as a kick in the jaxie for me to stop taking pics with my iPhone 6 and finally up my game. I’m awaiting some lights and a tripod and then I’ll spend the next few months making a right hash of it and irritating all of you with my crappy but effortful photos.

Fritz

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Fritz
Fritz

So I abandoned my “I’m going to paint all of a given color” strategy. It was both unsatisfying (no nice little gobbets of accomplishment as I finish a mini) and possibly counterproductive (as I paint up in successive layers—skin, then whatever is closest to the skin, etc.—as that means most mistakes I make will be covered over by the next layer up and I don’t have to be so careful).
Quite pleased with Fritz. He’s probably my second favorite hooman.

Hooman Progress

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Hooman Progress

I’ve been working away on these. I decided to give them a fairly common color scheme, with red being the anchor, so I’ve been trying out not batch painting exactly (as they’re all different sculpts) but working through all of the red, then all of the leather, etc.

This has meant slower going in terms of the lag between starting a mini and finishing it but I think it’ll be quicker in the long run. Plus when I finish a minis they will all finish shortly thereafter.

Again, my goal isn’t speed but at the same time I don’t want to unnecessarily waste time and energy. After all, I already have more to paint than I’ll likely get to in my life. (You can see my current stock of RelicBlade in the background and yesterday my acquisition disorder led me to order a bunch of the Twisted inventory so now there’s that to look forward to as well).

Morris

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Morris
Morris

That completes all the gnomes that I have. Now onto the hoomans. Having painted their skin I can say that while the sculpts are good, the details, particularly on the faces, are a bit soft. The upshot is I’m not ecstatic to paint them but I’m sure once I get stuck in I’ll have fun.

Young Jack

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Young Jack
Young Jack
Young Jack

Quarrel

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Quarrel
Quarrel

Love the puns. Not much more to say about him than that he painted up pretty easily.

Skin

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Skin

Decided to batch paint all the normal colored skin. I often don’t do this but I have discovered that when I do, painting goes much faster. Since it felt like it was taking me a long time to get through these (Not that speed is what I’m after but sometimes you just want to see progress) that I decided to focus for a morning while I had the weekender and XLBS to keep me company.

It won’t be possible for the goblins as they don’t all have the same hue of skin—unless I make it so. I’ll probably do some more blue and others more green.

Billy and his goat

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Billy and his goat
Billy and his goat
Billy and his goat
Billy and his goat

More leather so more brown. This mini had some minor but annoying resin issues where I had to trim/semi-sculpt some blobs—particularly on the bridge of his feet where his foot covering ends. However, overall a neat sculpt.
Probably my first time actually painting eyes at this scale. Usually I just let the brow line cast shadow and just throw a dot of white to mimic a reflection.

George

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George
George
George
George

I didn’t have time this evening to finish up Billy but I was able to pretty much complete his steed George. I realized that this was a perfect chance to highlight George as Billy usually gets all the glory.
And what a magnificent steed he is! Just check out the Lloyd shot if you were ever in doubt (though I fear that pic may also be a Gerry shot).

Mama Grimble

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Mama Grimble
Mama Grimble

Mama is yet another mini bursting with character. She may be a bit brighter and cleaner than portrayed in the art but I’m a sucker for trying to make these pop a bit. At some point I may go back in and grubby her up but…probably not.
I have added another step to my skin wash. Some of folks were ending up a bit too pale for my liking so I threw a final wash of Vallejo 74.004 Base Flesh on as the final step.

Gradock

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Gradock
Gradock

This guy was an exercise in trying to make a lot of brown varied and interesting. I think he may actually look better from the Lloyd position.

Baron von Fancyhat

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Baron von Fancyhat
Baron von Fancyhat

Pretty fun mini to paint up. And is that ever a fancy hat!

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