Friday, August 31, 2012

What's On My Desk: Dwarves, Merchants, Pirates, Oh My!

Welcome to the second installment of a new series I'm calling what's on my desk, a quick feature that gives you a glimpse of the works-in-progress that pass by my desk on a weekly basis as a professional commission painter.  This week I've been working on yet another commission for the lead rules designer of DGS Freeblades, Jon C.  Jon's commissions have been a real treat to paint as he sends me yet to be released minis from his company and others he wants painted for his role-playing group, in short, I get a great diversity of miniatures to paint and the opportunity to try new things.  Let's take a look at what I've been working on this week...

First up is a dwarf model yet to be released for the Freeblades line.  This is one of the coolest dwarf models I've ever seen.  He has a ton of great detail and doesn't fall within the classic realm of huge headed, comically proportioned dwarves that we've come to know and love in table top gaming.  For this guy I wanted to go with a humble paint scheme of browns, greys, and brass metallics to evoke a traditional fantasy dwarf theme, simple and regal.

A mini yet to receive paint is one I'm especially excited for.  I wanted to really go to town on this pirate's base and give her a strong sense of place (rocks and rubble just don't cut it sometimes).  To make the base I cut a cylinder of plasticard for the pier's piling and plasticard sheet to make the planks.  A bit of green stuffing for the rope and, viola, a pirate on a pier.

For the next mini I painted I received pretty broad instruction from Jon to paint him with "green and white heraldry," that's it.  With the door wide open I found myself spiraling down into the vicious-cycle-of-adding-more-and-more-detail-DOOM.  It started with me saying to myself, "hey, green and white checks would be a cool way to build his heraldry," then, "oh oh, a fleur de li would look killer and fill that empty area on his tabard," and then, "he needs something to fill that huge blank area on his back, a quartered fleur de li would be beyond sick," and then finally, "now I'm going to have to paint a hidden quartered fleur de li on the front of his tabard because there's no way it wouldn't just be on the back."  Hours later this was the finished model, still in need of basing.

The last model to be painted was the unpainted WIP I showed off last week.  This is the nearly finished paint, needing only a few more embellishments.  Like the pirate we saw before, this guy was another model that just wouldn't do standing on desert sand or amongst bushes.  To make his base I used a bit of rolled green stuff to create the cracked sandstone market street and the rug he's standing on.  For the rug I had big plans, tons of embroidery and neat intricate designs.  To finish the model I plan to do a swirl of gold knit on its large red background.

That's it for what's on my desk, come back next week to see more fantasy and sci-fi models being brought to life at the Monster Lab!

Monday, August 20, 2012

What's On My Desk: Custom Bases

This week I'm kicking off a new feature that shines a bit of light on what crosses my desk on a weekly basis. As a professional commission painter, I see a wide variety of projects, week in and week out, and have the fantastic opportunity to try new hobby techniques and styles.  "What's On My Desk" is a glimpse of projects and a look at work in progress pieces, skipping lengthy tutorials, and looking at the models before completion.  Through this feature I'm excited to be giving you a glimpse at what I'm doing on a weekly basis and share those experiences with you! 

This week, I've been hard at work basing a number of Freeblades models.  For the necromancer above, I wanted to give him an imposing base, where he was placed looming above some jagged rocks.  There is going to be a heavy glow effect coming from the rocks, radiating up to create a sinister under-light on the necromaner.

This Celtic warrior-seer held a ton of opportunities for a really cool basing.  In the end, I decided upon an open book and a couple of potion jars, surrounding him with the baubles a wizard might need while slinging spells.

Another of my favorite projects of late is this Arabian merchant.  I wanted to go outside of the box for this one, and instead of basing with rocks, grass, and the like, I went with what a desert city dweller might be walking over on a daily basis.  For this guy it's a Persian rug draped over a sandstone floor.

For this Grush, described as a porcupine-bear in the Freeblades universe, I wanted to put him on a mountainous base, reminiscent of a dry slate creek bed.  To do this I scoured a... of all things, a dry creek bed for slate rock.  I found these rocks during a harvest expedition (a rather lofty name for roaming around with a hammer and plastic bags while banging on rocks) and broke them into smaller pieces before applying them to the base.  I'll go through the process of finding and shaping rocks in a later post.

The rest of what's on my desk this week is less of what's on it, and more of where it is.  This last weekend my girlfriend and I completed our new work studio!

Now I have a space for completed models and WIP's.  As you can see I have a lot of work cut out for me, but the customer comes first and since I have a full commission schedule these guys are going to have to wait a bit longer..

We even have a small communal space for playing games, eating, and hanging out.  Note the Star Trek Generations movie poster on the back wall.  I uncovered this gem while cleaning an old room.  It's about 17 years old and still in great condition!  It had to go in the new room, as a child I was a huge fan of the Next Generation TV show, and I still remember being pumped to go see the movie in theaters.  What's cooler than a movie with your favorite captain, Picard?  One with both Kirk and Picard!

That's it for this week and what's on/where my desk is, stop by and check out what I'm working on next time!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Hobby Spotlight: Greg Reynold's Blood Angels

It's that time of the month again... time to announce this August's Mad Hobbyist!  This month it's my pleasure to be showing off a lot of great paints by Greg Reynolds, and local hobbyist.

The attention to detail Greg pays is truly fantastic, check out that book!  Not only that, but his minis are super clean and boast a healthy amount of conversions. 

Here Greg took the Sanguinary Guard jump pack with wings and magnetized it onto a librarian.  Why risk casting that pesky psychic power 'wings of Sanguinius' when you can just fly around the good old fashioned way?

A gloss coat on his gems makes Greg's detail points pop.

A great base is integral when making a complete piece, and though his are simple, Greg's bases go a long way to putting his miniatures into a sense of place and purpose.

Contrast colors are used to great effect to draw the eye to focal points on the model and break up the composition, that power fist is hard to miss!

His first attempt at a non-metal metallic on this Dante went quite well.

Another hallmark of Greg's models is that he's not content to simply have "brothers holding bolters."  These two give a great cenematic feel to any game they're a part of.

Congrats Greg on being named this month's Mad Hobbyist, keep up the great work!

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