Saturday, 20 September 2014

House Arryn Knight & Warhorse [Completed]

For the first time in my Game of Thrones miniature paint-job conversion project, I was completely stumped by how to paint a noble house's heraldry - more specifically that of House Arryn. This had contributed to the long delay in finishing knight numero quarto which had previously seen me paint knights of House Lannister, House Clegane and Renly's House Baratheon. The main stumbling block was the fact that House Arryn's heraldry has a perfect circle encircling a falcon and crescent moon. Painting symmetrical geometric designs is a skill that I am not ashamed to admit I do not have.

House Arryn knight on a warhorse [Completed]
House Arryn heraldry was adapted slightly to fit the heroic 28-mm scale miniature

In the end, to simplify matters seeing that this miniature was at 28-mm heroic scale, I took a step back from my usual obsessive compulsive painter tendencies to faithfully recreate designs verbatim. So that meant dispensing with the perfect circle around the falcon and crescent moon; the latter two was painted in creamy white as per descriptions I read in the Game of Thrones novels. In another first of sorts, I also dispensed with the usual careful 'planning and design' step I have for freehand painting attempts and decided to just 'wing it' - pun unintended - when painting House Arryn's heraldry.

A truly majestic bird ... the falcon

To paint the life bird resting atop the knight's right arm, I used the majestic Peregrine Falcon as the main point of reference. It gave a very nice contrast to the bronze falcon sitting on top of the knight's helmet. Meanwhile, the metallic silver of the knight's armour was given a blue wash to add a bit of dynamism to it. Moreover, it tied up nicely with the overall sky blue look of the House Arryn knight.

Contrast on the sky blue bits was partly subdued by bright lamps used in the photography session
Front and back view of the House Arryn Knight and Warhorse
Knight's armour was given a blue wash to make it look livelier as well as tie in to the overall colour scheme

Overall I am rather please that I have managed to persevere up to this stage of the project which has seen four knights from different noble houses being completed. To be honest, I am surprised I have gotten this far. That it has has been fun has obviously helped. Well four down and four more to go.

Bronze metal bird on the knight's helmet contrasts with the real life falcon on his right arm
As high as honour ... the motto of House Arryn

360 view of the House Arryn Knight on a Warhorse
For a 360 degree view of the House Arryn Knight and Warhorse - essentially a Bretonnian Knight painted in the colours of a noble house in the land of Westeros as described in the Game of Thrones books - please see the YouTube video below. For other videos, please visit my YouTube channel FourEyedMonster Miniatures. Be sure to choose the high definition (HD) option for the best view.

Although I am spoilt for choice as to my next noble house of Westeros, I am still unsure which one should be my next subject matter in this Game of Thrones miniature paint-job conversion project. I have only four Bretonnian Knights left to work with and as things stand they would most likely be painted in the colours of House Targaryen, House Martell, House Tully and House Tyrell. Next up will be House Targaryen if I can figure out how to paint its heraldry which arguably is the most difficult of all the noble houses. If not, I might attempt something simpler. Till then Valar Morghulis.  

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Whole lotta prepping: superhero, heroine and anti-hero

With most of my current miniature projects nearing completion, the cycle starts again with a massive amount of prepping for a whole new set of miniatures to replace those nearing the end of the current project pipeline. Although prep work is satisfying in its own way, I can't help but wish that more miniatures would come at least 90% to 100% semi-assembled to make life easier. But I would still prefer to retain control of the priming stage (vs pre-primed minis) as I have gained enough experience to be able to lay on a nice even thin coat of primer in most times when humidity isn't a bear.  

Knight Models Hulk, Nocturna Models Enchantment and Ax Faction Zombie Hunter

It has become a norm or habit for me to concurrently work with miniatures of differing sizes so in my work table now I have the Knight Models The Hulk and Nocturna Models Enchantment which are both 1:28 (or around 70-mm) scale and the Ax Faction Zombie Hunter which is in 32-mm scale.

Knight Models The Hulk, assembled and ready for priming

Although both The Hulk (see above) and Enchantment (see below) resin miniatures are of the same scale, the former superhero is obviously larger in size next to the latter heroine so I will still be working with miniatures of differing sizes. While The Hulk is well known and needs no explanation on how I will be going about its paintjob, that really isn't the case with Enchantment. The latter figure has been tackled very well by a fellow blogger Adam and having seen his version, the official version as well as other colour schemes attempted by other painters online I have a rough idea of what I plan to do with her. More of this in future posts but my inspiration will be the lovely Daenerys Targaryen.

Nocturna Models Enchantment, semi-assembled (head straps unattached) and ready for priming

And then there is the Ax Faction Zombie Hunter which I believe is at 'true' 32-mm scale which means it's small and will be a challenge for my painting skills. Working on sizes big and small is the only way to improve on your painting in my honest opinion. Miniatures of differing scales allow you to better understand the intricacies of blending and layering acrylic paints, and practice doing them.

Ax Faction Zombie Hunter, semi-assembled, dry-fitted and yes, ready for priming

For size comparison, I also prepped and assembled two 'heroic' 28-mm scale Games Workshop resin miniatures namely the Ork Painboy and his grot orderly, both of which I also plan to work on concurrently to the three shown above. As you can see from the immediate photo below, in terms of actual size both W40K characters allow me to work with even more differently sized miniatures.  

An Ork Painboy and Grot Orderly adds to the to-do list as well as offers a size comparison

All the miniatures above have yet to be primed. Five would have been plenty seeing that I still have some projects still in early stages of painting (there is a half-painted dragon, Westeros knight and two wood elf goddesses to name a few) but noooo ... I just had to be a smart ass and add yet two more primed miniatures to the immediate to-do list in what would have induced the below reaction from Lily Aldrin (a character in the TV sitcom How I Met Your Mother) if she were a miniature painter.

So this means the Super Dungeon Explore Hexcast Sorceress and the Dark Sword Female Bard now has the dubious honour of being in my immediate (but still unpainted) to-do list. I will clarify on what I intend to do with these two as I start painting them so more on them on later blog posts.

Super Dungeon Explore Hexcast Sorceress prime with Tamiya Super Fine Light Grey
Dark Sword Female Bard that upon second viewing may need a further light coat of primer

Phew ... that's a lot of miniatures but I have even more ideas running around in my head on what to do with some Dark Angel Space Marines which I plan to paint in super duper bright colours. Why? Well I don't think I am going to ever field a Space Marine army on the wargaming table so I might as well use them as painting practice. But those ideas remain lodged firmly on the sprue because I am experiencing extreme prepping fatigue. If you ask me, someone should start "Preppers Anonymous" and all meetings must start with ... Hello I am so and so and I sniff err hate super glue. ;)

Friday, 12 September 2014

Ork Warboss [WIP - Battle worn body armour]

Perhaps not entirely in keeping with the Ork Warboss's rather clean pants and loincloth, I had painted his body armour to depict battle damage e.g. paint chips on the yellow bits, verdigris on the brass or bronze bits as well as rust and grime on the pure metal parts. But in the grand scheme of things, I do like the overall look that it gives so I might still resist the urge to eventually dirty up his clothes.  

Ork Warboss [Assault on Black Reach], work-in-progress with its body armour completed

I suppose you could say this particular Ork Warboss has an obsessive compulsive disorder when it comes to keeping his clothes clean. Let's just say many a gretchin has died to keep them spotless. That being said, the muted and drab colours of his clothes do make its cleanliness less obvious.

Purplish eye lens adds some variety to the overall colour scheme
Power Klaw will likely be painted in similar fashion to the Ork Warboss's body armour

Although I have come to loath working with metallic paints, I must say I quite enjoyed giving them a battle worn look especially the light rust and/or grimed look prevalent on the exposed metal. It was a bit more of a hassle to paint battle damage in the form of paint chips on armour parts that are coated in yellow paint. That's one painting technique I need to work on to make the damage look realistic.

Oops, I seem to have left a spot unpainted ... on the left gun's muzzle

With the exception of the weapons on each hand and the base, the Ork Warboss is close to being finished. Both weapons will be painted in a similar fashion to the body armour i.e. a combination of brass/bronze/exposed metal/yellow coated metal with grime, rust and verdigris effects.

Gun will be painted more with grime and not so much rust effects
Having a bright yellow 'masthead' is tantamount to inviting yourself to get shot at

Thanks for checking out my latest progress on the Ork Warboss. Both he and two other main projects namely Knight Models Spider-Man and Nocturna Models Le Petit Chaperon are near completion so I had better get started on getting some new miniatures prepped for priming and painting. Thanks again for taking the time to read and comment on my blog, and I hope you have a great weekend too.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Knight Models Spider-Man [WIP - Webbing and red bits]

Spider-Man has been illustrated by many talented artists in the comic book industry, all of which have brought their own interpretations and unique style to the beloved 'webslinger'. Two of my favourite Spider-Man artists are John Romita, Jr. and J. Scott Campbell whose depictions of Spidey convey an agility and dynamism that I like. Most of the colours that accompany both artists' drawings have become synonymous with what I feel are the rightful hues of a Spider-Man costume i.e. bright reds that hit orangey highlights as well as highly contrasting blues. With that in mind, I made further progress on the red bits of the Knight Models Spider-Man's costume inclusive of the webbing design. 

Knight Models Spider-Man, work-in-progress - webbing and red bits of the costume

For the red bits of Spidey's costume, I tool the highlights all the way up to a reddish orange hue courtesy of the Vallejo Model Color Orange Red while the darkest reds were the Vallejo Model Colour Red No.33. In between were the Citadel reds of Mechrite Red, Red Gore and Blood Red.

Putting the finishing touches to Spidey's iconic spider symbol

Meanwhile, for the webbing on Spider-Man's costume I had a choice of going with either dark blue lines which could in theory overwhelm the reds of the costume OR with dark brown lines which would allow the reds of the costume to take centre stage. In the end, I went with the former as I wanted the lines to be more prominent. But instead of black lines which would have made the overall scheme very dull, I used a Reaper Master Series Blue Liner to 'replace or simulate' black.

Reds on the right side of Spider-Man were darker and had less highlights

Tweaks to the red bits of Spider-Man's costume will be made once both the blue bits have been painted on and when he has been glued to the taxi's rooftop. Only then will I be able to tell whether enough highlights have been painted and if they are any spots that need brightening up.

Blues of Spidey's costume remain at the basecoat stage

So up next for Spidey is the blue bits of his costume and some shading on his eyes. That and some additional tweaking should finally push this project over the finishing line in what would be my third Marvel character after Iron Man and Logan, one of the perennial favourites among X-Men fans.

Painting the webbing on Spidey's costume was a test in patience

Other than the Knight Models Spider-Man, I noticed that most of my major projects are either in their final stages (e.g. Nocturna Models Le Petit Chaperon) or have been completed (Ax Faction Victorian Darling) so that means a ton of prep work lies ahead of me. But that's a story for another day. 

Thursday, 4 September 2014

200th Post Special: A geek's day out and his books

In keeping with my milestone blog posts, I am lifting the curtains slightly (I would say Scottish kilt but it kinda gives the wrong impression) to allow a peek into what makes me tick and do art the way I do, if you could call it art, or even write the way I do. So for my 200th post, I am sharing some old photos I found during a virtual spring cleaning of my hard drive that showcases a geeky day out as well as snapshots of my book collection taken after a spring cleaning (non-virtual kind) of my room. 

Handsome devil isn't he ... Kirk too ;)

Honestly, I sometimes wonder where all the Star Trek fans in this country are. With all the brouhaha surrounding the more popular space soap opera that is Star Wars (I am a fan too but I love Star Trek way much more), I think us Trekkies - in Malaysia at least - are a sadly neglected bunch. So when I heard that a Star Trek exhibition was in town (this was nearly two years ago) ... the only one ever in living memory ... I was super psyched up as you could well imagine. That the exhibition turned out to be a bit of a dud was beside the point as I still had fun seeing all those Star Trek props on show.  

Something writers can appreciate ... the screenplay of an STNG episode called The Measure of a Man
Costumes of various starship captains in the Star Trek Universe
Samsung Galaxy? Apple iPhone? Nah ... I wish I had one of these babies

Why do I love Star Trek so much? For starters, it was the first time in which an Asian (George Takei as Hikaru Sulu) as well as other minorities had starring roles in a 1960's US television series. That in itself was mind blowing. I also loved the futuristic concept whereby sex, race and religion had no bearing on one's station in life. There are enough narrow minded hate mongering bigots in the real world as it is, so this was a unique and not widely accepted viewpoint which I took inspiration from.  

Can a shuttle look anymore duller?
Now this is an awesome design for a space craft ... optimal and efficient as a Borg would say

Below are a couple more photos of the missus and me geeking out on Star Trek props. We weren't actually allowed to take any photos but that's like asking a Tribble not to multiply ... duh! 

Missus wasn't too impressed that my camera focused on Picard's dress uniform and not her
Oopsy ... just fired a photon torpedo at Risa ... noooooooooo!

What goes on in my head when I write (and to a lesser extent influences what I like to paint) is hugely affected by the material I read. Most books in my collection revolve around two genres namely Science Fiction and Fantasy although on occasion I'm not adverse to enjoying books from other genres such as Autobiographies/Biographies among others. Having gotten a few IKEA Billy bookcases that were on sale recently meant I could finally bring a semblance of order to my room.  

Terry Pratchett is the only author that can make me laugh out loud while reading ... pure genius
Tolkien's Lord of the Rings is one of my favourite books
Just some of the Star Trek books in my collection
Only war in the future? Well wasn't there only war in the past too?
Fantasy and SciFi, two main genres in my collection; sadly I haven't gotten around to reading Hamilton's books yet

Having accumulated this collection over a period of thirty years, it stands to reason that there are bound to be many books that I have yet to read. A conservative estimate would place at least one fourth of the books I have as being unread. Because I usually buy books when they are on sale or at a discount, sometimes books don't get read straightaway, are stored and later forgotten about.  

A closet Otaku I am
Haruki Murakami, an author that I like for his dysfunctional and troubled characters

So there you have it, a peek into my world. Normal service resumes in the next post as I put up the latest progress photos of one of my ongoing miniature projects. Until then, stay well and be happy.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Ork Warboss [WIP - Non-metal parts]

Making surprisingly steady progress on my first W40K miniature project since the beginning of this year made me realise that I had forgotten how much fun it is to paint orks. They usually contain a good ratio of organic-to-metal parts as well as have many small details which make them a delight to work with. The Ork Warboss has all of the above characteristics in abundance so I'm a happy camper!

Ork Warboss (Assault on Black Reach), work-in-progress on the non-metal parts
Red topknot and cable covers won't look so bright once the rest of the Ork Warboss is painted up

Latest progress on the Assault on Black Reach Ork Warboss comprise work done on the non-metal parts of the miniature which include among others the topknot, cable covers, clothing, bone etc. He will be painted in colours of the Bad Moonz ork clan so there will be more yellow yet to come.

Yellow cloth is a sign of which ork clan this warboss belongs to
Back view of the Ork Warboss with its non-metal parts completed
Small details are wonderfully thought out e.g. teeth as a Warboss would be expected to flaunt his wealth

When I first started out on the hobby, this miniature looked very intimidating and I didn't have the skills to make a go of it. But now, I can at the very least make it look ... hopefully ... half-decent.

Ork Warboss's right arm with details painted in ... teeth on leather laces and 'wristband'
Weapons on both his hands will be painted last of all

For his loincloth, I copied a 'Eavy Metal design which was used in a painting guide. Freehand painting of the flame on the loincloth were based more on the colours of the Bad Moonz clan rather than actual flames i.e. bright light yellows versus dark yellows bordering on orange.

Closeup of the freehand painting of flames on a black loincloth
Photo reference of real flames against a black background

Meanwhile, I will be placing W40K miniatures in my collection that are for sale (second-hand but new-in-box) under the 'Shop' tab found near the top of my blog. In addition, there will also be a link to my blogshop which sells new non-W40K miniatures for painters and collectors in Malaysia. In the future, this section may include fully painted miniatures for sale. Who knows, maybe one day I might even consider doing painting commissions ... after all stranger things have happened.   

Shop Tab which links to miniatures for sale, either brand new, second-hand or fully painted figures

To access the shop section you can click on the said tab or just click the following link =>
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...