Sunday, March 24, 2013

What's on My Desk: Big Bang & Twilight Journals

For all of those who have been following KantCon 2013 on Kickstarter, I'm excited to say that it's a go, and that they met their primary goal!  If you're considering contributing, there's still 28 hours left, so you still have an opportunity to contribute to their stretch goals (cool stuff like cook books, dice, mugs, and other gamer gear) and grab some of the perks they're offering.  The success of their Kickstarter is awesome for local hobby and gaming in the Kansas City area, and is really exciting for me.  First, because the model I sculpted for the convention is going into production and second, the Midwest Monster Lab is also going to have booth space at the convention (right next to the Sentinels of the Multiverse guys, which is ridiculously cool) where I'll be showing off some of the models I've posted on the blog over the past year.  I'll also be taking painting, conversion, and modeling commissions at the convention, so if you'd like to drop by and talk about bringing a hobby dream to life, I'd be excited to meet you!  I'm also going to be joined by Jessie Alexander from Sweet Olive Books as we debut our joint venture we're calling "Sweet Monster" painted journals.  

We've got a ton of designs planned for the convention, from popular TV shows like The Big Bang Theory to movies like The Hunger Games and themes like fantasy and classic video game characters there's bound to be something for every gamer girl and nerdy chick.  This week I'm showing off the first three I've finished: one for The Big Theory tv show and two for the Twilight saga.

Let's take a look!

This is one of our Big Bang designs, the show's iconic symbol on a star-field.  It's a fun and simple design that I think is really cool.  Depending on personal color preference, the center neutron, electrons and their orbits can all be customized to colors the buyer desires. 

This is one of my favorites, the cover to the New Moon book, subtle and elegant.  

For those who want to proclaim their love for Edward, Bella, and the whole vampire crew, there's this design.

Jessie and I hand picked the paper for each journal to match its theme, but attendees to the convention will also have the option of building their own journal from our paper palette and any of their favorite fantasy/gamer/sci-fi themes.  

Thanks for stopping by and checking out what's on my desk, if you're at KantCon 2013 be sure to stop by the Monster Lab/Sweet Olive booth!  See you there!

Friday, March 15, 2013

KantCon 2013 Sculpt: Help! the Gnome

Wow, it seems like not too long ago I was writing about the Knight of Vidnuar and the Grular Bludgeoneer I painted, but two weeks have already passed since then.  In that post I talked about how I had to wait five months before I could show off the pics since they were unreleased models by DGS Games.  There's a creepy amount of symmetry between that comment and this post (I'm showing off a sculpt done months ago and just completed a commission that won't debut here until it's released).  Actually, I think that means I've finally made it to the higher leagues of contract painting/sculpting, that done on a release schedule.  And in all honesty, it feels good.

Like I said, this week I'm showing off a sculpt done last December for KantCon 2013.  The commission was for Help! (quite an unorthodox name, I know) the gnome.  He's the guy who assists on raids and dungeon crawls and brings anything you need from his Trusty Trunk or bag-of-holding at the call of, "help!"

Let's take a look at the finished sculpt.  

Help!'s an expressive guy and I love the comical grin he has on his face (maniacal even, if you consider he's holding an explosive).  You may be wondering how Help! came to be...

Once upon a time he was a wire frame, paper-clip in this case. A bit of soldering held him together and readied him for his green stuff body.

I work in the "body part steps" fashion, making body part groups and then then moving on.  I start with the lowest (closest details to the frame) details and then build on top of that.

This was a satisfying landmark in Help!'s creation, one that told me I was on the right track in terms of capturing his character and that his primary body proportions were correct.  I was starting to breathe a little easier.

Help! comes with some cool gear, among which are his 50 inch rope, Bomb! bomb, and bag of holding (satchel).

To make his trunk I cut pieces from a plasticard sheet and fashioned them together in a box shape.  The lid was made by scoring the sheet on one side and then bending it into a curved shape.  The whole thing was filled with green stuff for added stability.

I was most nervous for this step, forming his head and features.  He's at what my fianceĆ© (I proposed this last weekend!) and I called the "old man" stage.

The addition of his hair started to bring him into the "gnome" phase.  I was still sweating it a bit here, unsure if his features would truly turn out the way I wanted them to.

And viola!  His teeth and beard really brought the whole thing home, at this point I sat back and breathed a sigh of relief.  With the deadline looming, I finally felt like he was on his way to being a successful sculpt.

That's it!  There were a few minor modifications (if you could call completely resculpting his left hand minor...) to be made, but at this point he's pretty much done.  I added a few rocks to his basing, put hinges on his trunk, and fleshed out the knuckles on his right hand before splitting his basing in two, separating him from his trunk.

Attendees to the convention and contributors to the KantCon kickstarter will all have a chance to get their very own Help! miniature!  This is the first model I've sculpted for large scale production, and I have to say it's really exciting.  

Those who get their Help! model will have the option to put him and his gear on the same base, or split the two pieces up between two bases (think objective marker) for added gaming opportunities.  I'm pumped to paint my own!

That's it for this week, thanks for stopping by and checking out my latest project here at the Monster Lab!

Remember to drop by KantCon's kickstarter page and contribute to their stretch goals (they've got awesome stuff planned, from cook books to special guests) and congrats to the guys for meeting their primary goal!

As always, happy hobbying and good gaming!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Showcase: Questing Knight of Vidnuar & Grular Bludgeoneer

This week my desk is covered with projects that can't be debuted here until their public release.  I do, however, have some pics of two models I've been itching to show off on the blog.  These are two guys I painted late last year and are being released this month!  I gave you guys a sneak peek at them in that October post (admittedly it was a tiny viewing), but here they are in all their painted glory!

This is the Questing Knight of Vidnuar (lion/leadership aspect) for the Haradel freeband.  He hails from Harcourt County whose colors are light blue and gold.  For this paint I wanted to try my hand at a non-metallic metal on his armor.  It was a good learning experience and I feel I'm starting to get a better grasp at it.

The QKoV's pose is great.  You don't often imagine knights like him stalking around the battlefield, but for him it works, it invokes the imagery of a lion hunting in the tall grass.

The QKoV model has a ton of great details and excellent lines.  It was a true joy to paint.

This is the new alternate sculpt for the Grular Bludgeoneer.  I'm a huge fan of this model.  The bludgeoneer has an awesome sense of motion and his expression is fantastic, you get the feel he's in the heat of the battle and about to lay the smack down!

These models were painted for my good friend and long-time customer Jon C, who helps head things up over at DGS.  I started my career with them by painting Jon's personal models, but now they've officially signed me on as DGS's studio painter!  From here on out I'll be painting the Freeblades masters as they're produced and those models will be used in their publications, packaging, and rule books!  This is a great opportunity and a true honor for me.  I'd like to thank Richard L., Jon, and all the other guys over at DGS for bringing me aboard and allowing me to be a part of such an awesome company.

I'm looking forward to showing off more new Freeblades models as they're released.

Come back next time to see what's being brought to life here at the Monster Lab!
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