Thursday, June 27, 2013

Paints with Attitude (and something unexpected)

KantCon is only one more week away!  This is an event that is near and dear to me for a couple of reasons. First, it's local.  Some of the best events in hobby are miles away, and between travel expenses like: gas, lodging, and eating out, it puts a strain on our wallets to attend them.  For those in the KC Metro area, KantCon is just down the street (in this case that street is Interstate 35), and it has some top notch vendors and events scheduled; like the creators of this game.

That brings me to the second reason, the vendors.  A lucky series of events led to a conversation in my local game store and then a commission for me to do this year's convention sculpt, Help! the prop gnome.  Besides the amazing opportunity to do my first original humanoid sculpt, I was also given vendor space at the convention!  I'll be proudly displaying my wares and hawking services for model painting and my newest endeavor 2-D illustrations.  Since early this year I have been collaborating with Jessie A. over at Sweet Olive Books to make a line of painted journals.  They're really cool, and some are a bit unexpected...

I'm sure most everyone has heard the phrase, "sex, drug, and rock & roll", well this is a magical spin on those famous words.  I chose a snake, hearkening to Slytherin's basilisk, to add a bit of sex to this piece.  If anyone is going to take a rock-star approach to spellcasting, it would definitely be a Slytherin.

This one pretty much speaks for itself.  Press start to begin.

For all of those Dr. Who lovers out there... or should I say Dr. Who haters?

Celtic knots are really cool, they look great and are fantastic designs to add to almost anything.  These are two designs that I made completely from scratchs.  I have to say, it was really creepy (exciting too) watching the over-under over-under repition of the knot unfold perfectly within each design.  The designs do it themselves!  I had always suspected that they were made to alternate correctly, but I was wrong, it's something in the math... or maybe a higher power at work?  ha ha ha

Can you see the hidden image in the knot above?  Hint: it's a video game reference, and one for which I named my dog .

Girl on fire? Sounds pretty painful.. or awesome!  This is a Hunger Games journal for those aspiring to be like their heroine Katniss Everdeen.

Jessie and I will have a complete selection of painted journals at KantCon, so stop by and pick one up before they're gone!

I can't mention KantCon without bringing up the little guy I sculpted for the convention.  This paint was commission for the director of the event as a door prize.  In case the reference isn't clear, this should do the trick.

Help! is a perfect candidate to be a joker.  Like Heath Ledger's rendition, he has the same pants, vest, and button down shirt.

For this paint I separated Help! from his kit (he can be assembled with it on the same base as well) so that I had room to add some extra skulls.  As if killing the poor unfortunates wasn't enough, Help! had to paint big red smiles on each.

His trunk also had a bit of rogue artistry on it as well...

That's it for this week, I hope to see you at this year's KantCon!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Paint Your Minis for Dirt Cheap! (at least what I consider dirt cheap)

Hobby-gaming is time consuming stuff.  You have to put models together, construct their bases, clean mold lines, fill gaps and defects, prime, paint, wash, paint... Great hobby is an investment, and one well worth the time and money.  Life-long friendships are forged over the table top, wits are tested, and it's good clean fun.

But for some of us, we don't have the time to paint (and in some cases completely assemble) all of our miniatures.  Year after year, our prime coated or naked minis wage monochromatic war, still looking for that extra something that will make a game or campaign truly epic.  The Monster Lab can help.

Count Draigo & Grey Knight Terminators: $360

For ten years I've been an avid hobbyist.  Starting first with a force of Iron Warrior chaos marines in high school, before moving on to the enigmatic eldar and the even more strange chaos demons.  I've played 40k, Fantasy, Mordheim, and Freeblades, collecting armies, warbands, and freebands for each.  In ten years I have done A LOT of painting.

One year ago I decided that I wanted to earn my bread by painting some figs.  It's gone great, and since then I've been hired on as the studio painter for the fledgling game company DGS Games.  I get to paint minis everyday.  It's awesome. 

Changeling & Pink Horros of Tzeentch: $260

In fact, I want to paint more models and share the hobby I love with as many people as I can.  I want to paint your minis.  

Do you need your 40k army painted?  Fantasy?  Warmachine?  Hordes?  One model?  A squad?  I can paint just about anything you've got.  Like these demons above. 

Custom sculpted bases starting at $3

 I'll even go the extra mile and do custom bases for you so models can really stand out on the table top.

Eldar Swooping Hawks: $240

In my opinion, my prices are dirt cheap.  I know some painters will paint for peanuts, sometimes literal peanuts.  But besides that, my prices are as low as you can go.  Here's the breakdown:  Say you want a squad of Swooping Hawks or Striking Scorpions painted.  I'll charge you a flat $10/hour rate, factor in a few bucks for supplies like paint, green stuff, etc. and that's it.  Dirt cheap.

But what about those Hawks or Scorpions?  The swooping hawks above would take me about 3-4 hours per model (sometimes it's less), depending on size, how many colors, and conversions.  So your bill would come out to $180-$240.  Not an amount of money to sneeze at, but lookey there, you've got your models painted in record time and now all you have to do is have a fun time playing them on the table top!

Eldar Striking Scorpions: $200

Commission prices vary depending on what level of quality you want.  My standard paint is like the one I described above, three to four hours per model.  I call it "Showcase Quality," and with it you get a finely painted model with unlimited colors, fantastic basing, and the assurance that when you put it on the table top it will draw looks and complements alike.

If Showcase Quality is too rich for your blood, or you just need something basic, you can also go cheaper in the $15-20 range.  These guys won't turn heads, but they're painted with a basecoat of three main colors,  a wash, another basecoat, a highlight, and enough details picked out to call it "Table Top Quality."

I can also go nuts on your model or models, and labor on the detail, time, and layers of shading and highlights.  For $100 and up I can paint you something competition worthy (I've placed top 5 at both Golden Demons I've entered into, 2011 Diorama and 2012 40k Monster).

Questing Knight of Vidnuar: $40

But most people are looking for something that's reasonably priced and has their friends saying "wow, that looks great!"  And Showcase Quality is for them.

What if a whole army is out of your reach?  How about a painted skirmish force Warmachine/Hordes, Freeblades, Mordheim, or Blood Bowl?  Maybe you need one model as a centerpiece for your force or for you role-playing character?  Not a problem.

Morgryd the level 8 Dwarf Fighter with one-day rushed delivery: $52

Need it rushed to you?  For a few more bucks (up to 20% of your order value) I will bump your order to the front of the line and hustle to get it done by the deadline that YOU choose, it can even be as early as the next day.  That's some great service.

Falkaaran Witchcat: $30

Still, many of us like painting our own models (and luckily have the time to do so), but we want to add that something extra to the minis we paint.  If that something extra is a conversion or sculpted piece just outside your skill set, I can gladly make you anything your heart desires!  For instance the "dock" basing done for this female rogue is the perfect in-scene basing to make her model truly special.  For $10-20 (maybe less, sometimes I can do things faster than I even knew I could) I can convert a model to your exact specifications like the one below.  The more involved the conversion the higher the price, but the sky's the limit!

Dock basing: $10
Female Rogue with crafted basing: $40

A conversion can be as simple as a weapon swap or a few additions...

"Polythemus" the Undead Cyclops conversion: $30

Or as intricate as complete reposing and remodeling of a miniature.

Soul Grinder of Tzeentch conversion: $60

Extreme Ghetorix conversion: $180
Resculpted ax hand and ax for the Extreme Ghetorix

I can even take an idea you have and bring it to life from scratch!

Charon Boatman of River Styx "counts as" Black Coach: $250

"Skethar King" Skethar Alpha: $400 (given as a gift)

So, if you have a hobby project that isn't getting finished, or you need just a little help here or there, I can help!  Send me an email at and I'll shoot you back a bid for your project.  And remember, it's your hobby, so I'm committed to getting it just right!

Karonnan Necromancer: $40

Questing Knight: $35

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Showcase: Questing Knight of Barek Conversion and Falkaaran Witchcat

I've got two cool minis to show to you this week.  One of them I'm especially excited for because it's a conversion done for an unreleased model, the Questing Knight of Barek.

Questing Knight of Barek
Questing Knight of Vidnuar
Questing Knight of Tahnar
There's three playable questing knights for the Haradel faction in Freeblades right now: Barek (boar/battle aspect), Vidnuar (lion/leadership aspect), and Tahnar (falcon/mobility aspect).  Two have released models (Vidnuar and Tahnar), but the QKoB doesn't have a unique model yet... so I got to converting.

The QKoV is an awesome model and I knew it would be an excellent base for my Barek conversion.  After removing both arms and his sword, I used three brass pins to create the foundation for his new arm positioning and axe.

I also slightly repositioned his legs and head, giving him less of a stalking look in favor of a striding posture.  A bit of foundation on his arms and I was ready to add the bulk of my new arm sculpt.

The QKoB got a padded under-tunic and some crab shell shoulder plates to represent his extra heavy armor of 7.  I also wanted his helmet to be very unique and stand out as a true representation of the boar, so I beefed up his face plate and added a couple of tusks. 

The axe got some more fleshing-out with an embellishment on its hilt and a leather grip.  Boars are known for their unruly mohawks and I wanted this knight of Barek to have a similar look.  A bit of green stuff hair did the trick.

The axe received a bit more 'stuff on its blade, giving it some relief designs, and then the model was done!

This was a really rewarding project and one that was greatly appreciated by its commissioner, Jon C; and a great chance to keep working on my modeling skills.  I'll be doing a custom sculpt for the Falkaaran Fire Wizard for entry into the sculpt and paint category at this year's GenCon, so I need to be on my A-game!

The last model I have this week is the Falkaaran Witchcat.  After winning a free paint job for his Fire Wizard by answering a trivia question correctly, Jason C decided to have me do the whole lot of them for him.  Which reminds me... there's still an unanswered trivia question  from last week's post (look down by the pictures of the spirit warrior and thug)!  Answer it correctly and I'll paint up an infantry sized mini for you for free!

Until the Falkaaran kickstarter finishes, there's only two members of the freeband released and the witchcat is the final one for me to do.  (I am really excited to paint the rest of the band, check out the pics of the models on the KS site!)

The witchcat isn't your everyday predator, he has very real psychic potential!  This is represented in-game by his ability to cancel the "spirit" talent some models may have (think spirit warrior) and outside the game by its ability to communicate telepathically!  Really cool stuff, and something I wanted to depict on the model for sure.  To do this I decided a pair of creepy glowing eyes would do nicely.

The witchcat also has very faint panther spotting on his legs and haunches.. this isn't an official look for the cat and you can paint yours any way you see fit!

That's it for this week, stop by next time and see what else I'm working on here at the Monster Lab!

Good gaming and happy hobbying!

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