Sunday, June 29, 2014

Emperors Children Test Rhino

Sometimes you just have to jump feet first. I do not like how this rhino is turning out, and I have struggled with nearly every step. On the other hand, I am committed to completing the model, and seeing if success if layers of weathering, streaks, and powders is enough to bring it back in line with my other pre-heresy work.

One of the many surprises while painting this model was the behavior of vallejo paint with their airbrush thinner. Until now I have used liquitex airbrush medium instead, and I developed good control with how the paint game out using it. However a quick jaunt to Amazon left me with Vallajo's airbrush thinner. The bottle says that it improves flow. They are not kidding. The velocity of the paint leaving the airbrush is much higher, and the paint dries much slower. This rhino has fingerprints all over it where I was surprised to find out that the paint hat not dried. I think the Vallejo product will help in the long term, but right now it makes my airbrush behave in surprising ways.

So, keep calm and carry on. There is always a vat of simple green over the next hill.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Nova Open Charitable Foundation Crushed Glass Snow

The Imperial Knight is bound to be dropped off in an hour, but because I couldn't resist a little tinkering with the base, I had one last thing to add, weathering powders. The base recipe does not call for powders, but does involve Secret Weapon Miniatures purple wash. Seeing as how I covered up most of the base with crushed glass, I needed something to mix into the snow to make it look churned up. Luckily I had a dark earth color with a tinge of purple to it on hand. A few moments later and the base is 100% better than what it was. I am really happy how this turned out, and I am definitely going to experiment with crushed glass again. I wish all those who are donating to the charity luck in winning the Ultramarines army. It will be one of the nicest armies I have seen, and will turn heads everywhere it goes. I just how the winner posts some photos of the army in action. I love seeing little updates like that.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Nova Open Charitable Foundation Imperial Knight

The Imperial Knight I have been painting for the Nova Open Charitable Foundation is nearing completion. Donate some money to charity, and you can win this knight along with an entire Ultramarines army painted by some incredible folks. How often does one get to support charity via painting? It is a pretty incredible experience.  So go donate some money to charity, and while you are at it, maybe support some of the great sponsors.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sons of Horus Cerebus

At this point I really need to paint up a medic, as well as 6 jet bikes to complete the force. Painting all this green has been fun, but I've got to get back to that Imperial Knight I am painting for charity. Expect to see some progress there soon!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sons of Horus Cerberus Color Modulation And Bast Coat Complete

After an eternity of super glued fingers, and fingerprints on the model, the Cerberus has tracks. I now understand the community's complaint about spartan tracks. They just fit terribly. That said, I am really excited to start paint chipping, decals, oil streaking, and powders. However after seeing these photos close up, I've noticed quite a few areas that I have to go back and clean up pin wash from first.

Color modulation has become a goto technique of mine for a while now. Thanks go out to the military modeling community for enlightening me. In some ways I've down this for years, but I started out as many do with soft blends. It is the hard lines that make color modulation really pop. There are three colors at play here, jungle green, highlands moss, and pale lichen in that order from darkest to lightest. The gun shield on the photo above shows the technique in full. All four sections of the shield have alternating gradients. It looks a little garish now, but once the hard edges are interrupted with paint chipping, and the large gradients have dirt streaks, it will come together.

I have been thinking about adding a draped red/orange banner with the Eye of Horus and legion honors across the front of the gun in homage to a beautiful EC Cerberus painted by Chris Bowers (you can see photos of his amazing painting here). Alternately, I was thinking about using the black Sons of Horus eye transfers and paint the whites with a gradient of red to orange. I'll have to wait for another sheet to arrive from forgeworld, but I think that could add a lot of interest to the doors on the vehicle.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

On The Painting Table

I had hoped to post up the photos I took at the Old Line Massacre, but unfortunately I lost my camera. In lieu of that, here are some shots of my painting table. I wanted a more 30k appropriate model for apoc, so a Cerberus is underway. Originally this was slated for my EC army, but after seeing Chris's amazing EC Cerberus with fallen battle standard, I had paint it up with a different vision. I need to introduce some black, and white to the design, but for now it is just base coated in jungle green from reaper.

The cerberus surprisingly challenging when it came time to get the doors fitted on. After chopping the doors down to the right size, they still required a dip in boiling water to make them flexible enough to place on the model. Unfortunately, only one of the doors will open to allow viewing of the interior.

One of the things I did last week was paint up a rhino test for my Emperor's Children army. Somehow I'd forgotten the purple recipe and have had to try to replicate it. What you see here is the latest incarnation of that test. The rain streaks are a bit blotchy, but the intent was to see if they would add or subtract from the model in general. I think they work to a degree. What does not work are the dark brown or the dark grey paint chips. I am not sure what color to use for paint chipping the model. The purple is so vibrant it just overpowers everything. The ECS might just get a liberal helping of rain marks and weathering powders. What colors should I use to paint chip purple? Light grey, or pink might work.

The predator has just reached the paint chipping and oil streaking phase which is why it i semi-gloss in the photos. After that it will receive dusting of graveyard earth colored paint, and then weathering powders. The tanks is a bit bland, but it will fit in with the force nicely. As usual the interior is painted, though it does look a bit weird to not have any mechanical bits beneath the turret.

One of the cool things about this predator is that it is almost the same color as the original first generation plastic predator that I built 20ish years ago. That predator has since been repainted in Ultramarines livery, but seeing this one take shape brings my painting full circle. Back then it wasn't pre-heresy or Sons of Horus, but it was a tank attached to my Imperial Guard army, which sallied forth with rhinos as well. How things change and how they stay the same!

Next week my office/painting area will be fully dismantled and stored while hardwood floors are added. I might even take the opportunity to sort through all of my supplies and organize them. Just maybe.

*EDIT #1
added photos of the first phase of paint chipping on the predator tank. The next phase is to add a highlight to tighten up the chip and add a 3D effect. Amazing what a difference a dull coat makes!

*EDIT #2
arbitrarily decided to add streaks before 3d effect. Just want to finish the model at this point.

*Edit #3
added some dust using Marc Raley's technique of just pushing the dust on and staining the model. I had been using pigment fixer, but so far this method is much better. Less work, and better results. I plan to use my airbrush to blow the loose powder out. The tracks did not do well post matte varnish, so they will get new dirt, and new metallic weathering powders shortly.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Space Wolf Test Piece

You know how I like test pieces. You may have seen this chunk of rhino before in either Sons of Horus or Emperor's Children guise. I did not bother to strip the paint this time, so mig european soil is still stuck to the lower parts of the hull. I am not a fan of that product, but that is for another day.

 I used traditional Space Wolf colors here, though I think German panzer grey would make a SW army pop more. Since I didn't paint a door, I plugged in one of the doors I painted as a test for the Imperial Knight. I think this scheme would look good with muddy pigment stained snow.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Software Sold! Saga of The Fire Concludes

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the fire that destroyed Atlascraft's offices on capitol hill. This past year has been an endurance race of epic proportions, one absurd event after another hitting.  The fire unearthed a massive embezzlement by our COO,  leaving the company with less than a weeks operating capital. Oddly enough, that isn't the meaningful part of the story. What it took to get through it to the end is.


Every time I thought I had reached my limit, I realized I had no choice. When you have no options create them.  In the end Atlascraft was too stubborn to fail. Our few remaining employees, and close friends kept the spirit alive. It helps to have spectacular software, but alone that is nothing.

I'll end this post with some photos I took. I wish I had taken photos of my artist portfolio. I suppose there is something symtetrical about having charcoal drawings go up in flame. My best work is always ahead, but sometimes it is good to look back. What a strange 12 months it has been.