maandag 29 april 2013

From Malifeaux: Kirai - commission, part 2

I really had mojo yesterday, so after I had written the previous post (part 1) I went on building the tree and the display base around it even further. I had my second layer of Fimo clay ready and baked in the oven, waiting to be taken to the next step.

I was actually pretty satisfied with how the main tree body had end up, and decided that if I needed to sculpt some more, I'd do it in Milliput. So after I mounted the tree onto the base, I sculpted the roots in Milliput. I thought it would make a nice touch to have a few roots grow over the edge of the display base, and have one root overlap onto the model's base. I added some sand and so far so good.

I have always been fumbling with these display bases - mainly getting the sides clean and black. After I painted it black (you always see some stripes and marks), I'd have to add a layer of gloss varnish for effect, and still it just does not cut it. Then I got this epifany. Really simple actually: I have to spray paint it with ordinary gloss spraycan paint!
I figured that it would be easier to do that now, than after painting, where I would have to mask off a fully painted model and risk peeling off paint when removing the masking tape. So, that is done now. And wow,  should have thought of that before! Shiny!

After I pinned Kirai onto her base, I noticed how the sculpt was actually crooked: if the front of her dress was to touch the ground nicely, her back would be way too much off of the ground to be logical. And it would be the other way around just the same! So I had to elongate her dress a bit on the backside. Also, I noticed the decapitated head at her feet. It felt a bit odd, I just couldn't explain how, but I felt the composition was off, with that head placed just there. I added some more cloth to the front end of the dress, the bit where the head is lying on, and that did the trick for me. Still have a hard time to explain just what it was.

Well, I'll be slapping some undercoat on Kirai now, while browsing for some good flock, scatter or leaves to put up in the tree at the end. Any good ideas, someone?

zondag 28 april 2013

From Malifeaux: Kirai - commission, part 1

Once in a while I get a commission that I get really thrilled about to do. In this case it is Kirai, from Malifeaux. A great looking japanese distorted woman. The customer has asked for a display base with it, and I have complete artstic freedom. You just gotta love these kind of jobs :)

I was brainstorming on the look and feel of the piece. As Kirai is holding hedgecutters, the most logical and story enhancing scene would be in a japanese garden. At first I envisioned a part of a bridge in there, and later I changed it to these stereotypical archways.

But as I googled 'japanese garden', I saw loads of pictres of these big blossoming trees. This would exactly fit into this scene: it screams 'garden', is always awesome to behold (if done properly), and you can do so much with a tree!

I realized that I have never made my own tree before (yeah, really!), so there I got my challenge (every new piece should have one challenge, don't you agree?). I wanted a stone tile path in front of it, really showing the audience that this was a well kept and feng shui kind of garden - fit for a deranged gardner.
I'm gonna make a rice paper light hanging from one of the branches. It will add to the japanese feel, I guess.

First I have build up the tree from metal wiring. Which was easily enough, actually. Then I filled up the main body with Fimo clay, and baked that in the oven. Now I had a sturdy ground to work on, to really start sculpting the form of the tree. Nothing too fancy, a knot here and there, and mainly smooting it out. And then bake it off again. Once done, I will mount it on the base, and finish it off with greenstuff, as I cannot bake it afterwards anymore.

Sculpting the base was easy enough too.  Just a bit of patience. The hardest part was getting a nice and tidy slot for the round-lip base Kirai will be mounted upon.

Now to go on a hunt for some usable and great looking blossoms to glue on later!

maandag 22 april 2013

The Fang Painting Competition 2013: coming home

Well, I got home from the Fang Painting competition finals, and I bagged me some loot too.

The competition was great. There were some really awesome pieces, and I was actually entertaining the thought that I might not even go home with a (first) price. This was a complete turnaround in regards to the preliminaries one week earlier.
The prelimiinaries in Antwerp were a bit of a let down. There were so few entries, and in many categories only one or two models, automatically deciding the result. There was hardly any competition, it was more like a formality to enter the finals. I was told that it was the same in most - if not all - other GW Stores. I was scared that this would already be the end of this young but much sought after event.

Even though there were less painters present than last year, the quality of the models have been raised a notch again since then. The competition during the finals was awesome, and I really enjoyed watching other painter's stuff. There are some sure up-and-coming new talents. I was a bit sad to not see some painters from last year, that I hoped to talk to, like Willem te Slaa, Maartje Giesbers, and others. Maybe next year.
I did have some great and interesting talks with many, many other guys, exchanged numbers and such, and that was maybe the most valuable bit of the day.

But in the end, all my three entries got top three places - yay!

WH 40,000 Single: Chaos Space Marine Lord: 3rd place

WH Fantasy Regiment: Skaven Jezzail Team: 1st place

Lord of the Rings: Sword Elf: 1st Place

Congrats again to all winners, and I hope to see you all again next year.

maandag 8 april 2013

Basing the Chaos Lord

As a last post before The Fang painting competition, I thought I'd show the basing I am still working on for the Chaos Lord from Dark Vengeance. I hope to finish it later this evening, because I think I will have little time left before this weekend...

I found an old IKEA table leg, and sawed off a piece of that. This would make a nice starting point for the display. I added some plaster and such, and then fiddled a bit with bits and pieces. I found I had these miniature bricks somewhere, and decided to use them. That stuff is fun!

By using Warhammmer Fantasy movement tray plating, I created a stone tiled floor. I used another part to cut out the base circle in the centre, which is easier that trying to savage the bit you cut out of the main floor.

I added some wire, tubes and such, and then the brick wall in the back corner. On to painting. Remembering: make sure to paint the highlights towards the model, so the outer rims of the base are more dark than the centre. Also, I did not want to go off balance with the color scheme. I notied that the main colors in the Lord were grey/black, reds (obviously), browns (bones) and blues. I decided upon the red, browns and greys for main use. This way I could let the blue cloak on the lord really stick out, while tying the rest of the piece together.

Still need to do a lot. Paint the muddy groud below the deck, add some water effects, and ofcourse put a nice pattern on the floor (still deciding what). Got any ideas?

Oh and ofcourse I finished the final bits on the Lord, like the sword, the plasma gun, and this piece here of which I am pretty proud of that the red-and-bone came off so beautifully. I am thouroughly enjoying myself!

Hey, and please, don't hesitate to leave a comment. I just passed 50 followers this week (it may not seem a lot, but I'm pretty proud of it already) and I am sometimes anxious to hear from you guys. Do you have questions? Do you want me to show something specific? Or make a tutorial? Just tell me! Or just say hi :)