Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Knight Models Spider-Man [WIP - NYC Chequered Taxi]

With most of my free time spent helping out my son with revision work for his mid-terms, I have barely had any time to myself to indulge in painting miniatures. During the snippets of hobby time that I managed to partake in, I did nonetheless manage to complete the base for the 1/28th scale Knight Models Spider-Man miniature, which is a 1960's New York City chequered yellow taxi.

Knight Models Spider-Man base - New York City taxi with a 1960's design
A miniature version of the yellow taxi that I had based my colour scheme on

That I managed any progress at all for the taxi was helped by the fact I had a sudden inspiration on what colours to use for the windshield and side-door windows. Painting them in shades of grey would have been a yawn-fest and I was at first stumped on what colours to use. Then I had a vivid childhood flashback of a case of empty soda bottles that had this bluish-green hue to them. With that little bit of random memory dredged up from the depths of my mind, I could finally finish painting the base and can now proceed with the latest subject matter of my Marvel Universe project i.e. Spider-Man.  

An 'off duty' signage sits atop the taxi
Taxi windshield and windows were painted in shades of bluish-green
Orange lamp on the signage atop the taxi was painted using techniques I normally apply to a gem

More work was done on the yellows since the last update with shadows and highlights added to the mid-tone. Other than that, the metal portions of the taxi were painted with a few simple metallic grey colours and finished off with a black wash for added depth. The signage on top of the taxi's roof had the words 'OFF DUTY' painted in white while the orange lamp attached to it was painted using a technique usually reserved for jewels and gems. Orange fitted nicely into the overall colour scheme.

Angled top-front view of the New York City yellow taxi
Side-view mirror was painted in lighter shades
I was going for a comic book feel of the taxi and I think I achieved that at least. Even tougher tasks lie ahead with the actual figure of Spider-Man to paint but I am happy with the start I have gotten.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

SDE Royal Paladin [WIP - Armour, Shield, Cloak & Hilt]

As fun as the Super Dungeon Explore miniature project has been so far, the very thought of painting the Royal Paladin board game piece had actually filled me with a fair bit of apprehension. This was because it forced me to face some of my biggest fears in the hobby: painting smooth whites and realistic non-metallic metal (NMM). Both techniques are weaknesses I am working on to improve.

Super Dungeon Explore Royal Paladin (work-in-progress)
Royal Paladin playing card with original colour scheme

For the Royal Paladin's cloak, I used an old recipe (found in White Dwarf #370) meant for a High Elf's cloak. For some reason or other, I have rarely had the chance to work on blending and layering darker blue colours. So although the results you see below show pretty rough colour transitions, it's still experience under the belt. I might still be tempted to revisit the cloak and smoothen out colour transitions as well as add some freehand designs to the fringes. But for now I am just too darn lazy!

Cloak could use some freehand designs on the fringes but still look good without
Putting gloss varnish on the gem embedded on the sword hilt was a mistake
Sword blade will need to be painted using non-metallic metal (NMM) technique

Although I have always tried to stay true to the original colour schemes shown in the board game playing cards, this time around I am taking the sword hilt and blade in an entirely different direction i.e. reddish brown for the hilt (as opposed to gold) and bluish-turquoise for the blade (as opposed to just plain grey metal). Also in hindsight, putting a gloss varnish on the gems found on the hilt was not the smartest thing I could have done as it negated the specific highlights I had painted on them.  

Two fold difficulty in painting armour - getting contrast for white and achieving realistic NMM
Front of the Royal Paladin's cloak turned out better than the back portion

With the Royal Paladin's sword blade still to paint, I have one more shot at getting the NMM to look realistic, or at least better than the armour and shield. I am also still trying to figure out how to blend yellows to look like bleached blonde hair. That and trying to get the correct shade of green for his eyes and skin tone for his face. While the Paladin is the most challenging Super Dungeon Explore piece I have worked on to date, the project remains a gratifying attempt at painting anime figures.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

A walk down memory lane via an online gallery

Whilst creating an online gallery to showcase my 'art' work, I was also taken down memory lane to the very first miniatures I attempted to paint way back in 2011. Little did I know way back then that my involvement in this hobby would turn out to be a long-lasting love affair. I also included some drawings I made and hopefully in the future I will be able to add sculptures to the mix. 

You can check out the gallery by clicking on the 'Gallery' tab (see photo below), or just simply click on the following link =>

Click the tab labelled 'Gallery' (duh) on the top of the blog to get to my virtual art showcase

Looking at all the 'art' work I have attempted in the past made me realise that I haven't drawn in quite a while now. Hopefully I can rectify that soon or my drawing skills will start to get rusty.

Searching for inspiration to draw again

Thanks for checking out this short blog update. Carpe diem, enjoy your weekend and all that jazz!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Choosing the colours of House Arryn, Game of Thrones

A simple online search reveals a confusing range of colours being used to represent House Arryn, one of the lesser noble houses in George RR Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series, more popularly known by the title of his first book Game of Thrones (GoT) in the HBO series. From dark blue to greyish blue to sky blue, I was spoilt for choice and that resulted in my miniature paint conversion project - of the noble houses in Westeros, the world of GoT- stalling for quite a while, until now.

Work-in-progress paint conversion of a Bretonnian warhorse into a House Arryn warhorse
Warhorse now awaits freehand painting of House Arryn heraldy designs

Based on what I could make out from some scenes in the HBO series, I have seen dark blue as well as greyish blue (with a hint of sky blue) being used. The former didn't appeal to me because it was too close to the blue used by House Tully (yet another noble house I plan to paint) while the latter seemed dull. So I settled for a blue that was more light-sky-blue with less greyish-blue undertones. 

Two promising colour schemes for House Arryn

I haven't completely abandoned the idea of using greyish blue in the overall colour scheme- for example on parts of the knight that sits atop the warhorse - but the final decision to go ahead rests on how the metallic greys of the knight's amour will look against the greyish blue hues.

House Arryn warhorse work-in-progress (front and back view)

To obtain the 'light-sky-blue-with-some-greyish-blues' colour scheme I had to use Reaper Master Series paints such as Blue Liner, Ashen Blue, Sky Blue and Ghost White mixed in various ratios.

Blue colour schme used for the House Arryn warhorse

Meanwhile, I added purer forms of sky blue into parts of the House Arryn warhorse (see below) in order to brighten up the whole miniature. The neutral browns of the warhorse's leather reins provide some contrast to the lighter blues. With so much brown already showing up via the leather reins, I then opted to paint the horse grey which in turn complemented the light blue colours as things came full circle. To add a bit of 'pop' to the overall colours, I glued on some bright green grass on the base. 

Purer sky blue colours were added to brighten up the overall look

Two main things remain undone; firstly painting the knight and House Arryn heraldry. Secondly, I foresee a tough challenge in getting the falcon on the knight's arm to look realistic and life-like.

Progress so far on the whole miniature, knight and warhorse of House Arryn

It feels great to finally get my Game of Thrones project underway again. To date, I have only finished knights for House Lannister, House Clegane and House Baratheon. Finishing the knight for House Arryn will make it four with another four nobles houses to choose from the eight-miniatures GW Warhammer Bretonnian Knights set that this project is based on.  Good times lie ahead for sure!

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Ax Faction Victorian Darling [Completed]

Having taken forever to paint the Victorian Darling aka Kraken Hunter, I made one final push to complete work on the Ax Faction 32-mm miniature. So with her hat, bustle, pistol and lamp painted and her white vest repainted in teal/turquoise colours - the Victorian Darling is presented below in all her glory, warts and all. She was a challenging piece but one well worth the effort.

Ax Faction Victorian Darling aka Kraken Hunter
Vest was repainted in teal/turquoise to complement her boots
Ax Faction Victorian Darling aka Kraken Hunter, side view (left)

Originally based on an anime character called Squid Girl, the Victorian Darling's colour scheme underwent metamorphosis from a simple white-sky blue combination into something almost unrecognisable that you see before you.  It was based on a wedding theme I saw online (see photo below) that incorporated a orange-teal/turquoise-white-blue-brown colour scheme.

Although changing the Victorian Darling's vest from white to teal/turquoise reduces the contrast between her hair and clothes, I went ahead and did it anyway because the alternative was a badly painted white vest. I couldn't get a decent result for the white vest so its colour had to be changed.

Her long and flowy bustle was well sculpted
Victorian Darling's pistol is kept in a light-orange holster
Red tentacles on the base as well as yellow hat provide some warmth to contrast the clothes' cool colours 

For comparison, I shot a photo of the Victorian Darling without her bustle on. A 360 degree view of her with and without her bustle can be seen in the YouTube video towards the end of this blog post.

Victorian Darling's bustle which was painted greyish-blue
Victorian Darling feeling drafty without her bustle

360 view of Ax Faction's Victorian Darling aka Kraken Hunter
For a 360 degree view of the Ax Faction Victorian Darling 32-mm scale miniature, please check out the YouTube video below. For other videos, please visit my YouTube channel FourEyedMonster Miniatures. Also be sure to choose the high definition (HD) option when viewing the videos.

So yet another fun piece is done and dusted which means one less work-in-progress (WIP) miniature on my paint table. But knowing me and my bad habits, it will likely be replaced by even more new miniatures to paint thus adding to my already overflowing project pipeline. Like the Borg collective, miniatures on my to-do list continue to grow exponentially and resistance is sadly futile. All Star Trek geekery aside, I wish you a pleasant week ahead, or what's left of it anyway.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Putting the red in Red Riding Hood

Of all the colours on the Nocturna Models Le Petit Chaperon miniature, red is to me the most important. Henceforth, every other colour I put on her will need to complement the shade of red I have painted on the hooded cloak. Targeting a hue between an intense bright red bordering on orange and an earthy brown red, I sought a middle ground that hopefully sees the red 'pop' without being too overpowering. I will only know for sure if I have achieved this after painting the rest of her.   

Nocturna Models Le Petit Chaperon gets a splash of red

To prevent an overdose of red I am limited the painting of this colour to only her hooded cloak, shoes and sock garters. Personally, I think painting too much red would overwhelm this miniature and make it look too one dimensional and flat. Moreover, she is Red Riding Hood not the Lady in Red.  

Other than her iconic hooded cloak, Le Petit Chaperon has red shoes and sock garters
Two sides of the red cloak worn by Le Petit Chaperon

Previous blending and layering practice with red colours definitely helps as every new attempt sees smoother transitions from the shadows all the way to the highlights. It's not perfect yet but I'm getting there one layer (or is it blend) at a time. Red is a lovely colour to work with but hard to perfect.

Front view of the Nocturna Models Le Petit Chaperon, work-in-progress
A dynamic sculpture of Red Riding Hood's hooded cloak made painting it a real pleasure

To enhance the reds, I used blue shadows instead of black. I was fortunate enough to get hold of a really old White Dwarf magazine (WD362 February 2010) which back then had the excellent Ask 'Eavy Metal articles, and this issue touched on the use of alternate colours as shadows for reds.

Blue shadows were used to give the reds some 'pop'
Highlights looked yellowish hence were limited lest they reduce the hooded cloak's overall redness
Best view of the blue shadows on Le Petit Chaperon's hood
Le Petit Chaperon's blouse is screaming out for a sheer fabric treatment, tastefully done of course

Meanwhile, her highlights were purposely limited to as few areas as I could get away with. I noticed that if I went crazy with the highlights, the cloak started to look more orange than red. At one stage I had to tone down the highlights with some mid-tone glaze. But that being said, there is a case to be argued for more highlights on her hood (not cloak) especially at the top most part. 

It doesn't matter if it's Prada or Bata, red shoes are always hot
Top view of Le Petit Chaperon's hooded cloak

Also when painting the reds in Le Petit Chaperon, I changed my song playlist from its default blues setting to one with a variety of genres but still dealing with sadness and melancholy. Well it started super sad with one of my favourite country songs Stay by Sugarland but ended in an upbeat song that was released when I was still in my mid-20's (deary me I feel old) i.e. Kiss Me by Sixpence None The Richer. Both songs and the many in between set up a nice little mood progression for my painting session, transitioning from sad to happy. It never hurts to have good music to paint to! 

Jennifer Nettles and Leigh Nash both offer contrasting skin/hair colour options as well as music accompaniment

Incidentally, the lead singers of the respective music groups I mentioned namely Jennifer Nettles and Leigh Nash also offer an interesting contrast in skin and hair colours, one of which I may yet adopt for Le Petit Chaperon. I leave you with this lovely line from a Sugarland hit ... 'I need a little less hard time, I need a little more bliss'; I hope you have less of one and more of the other in your life.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...