I love making dioramas and small scenes that tell a story. I think, for me, it is the best part of the hobby. Don’t get me wrong, painting is a lot of fun too and I wouldn’t ever stop doing so for long but being able to craft the miniatures is just better.
I made this one as a prize for a contest give-away over on twitter. Andy, the winner, said I could either purchase a miniature for him, or create something fun. In my eyes, not much of a choice. He also came back a few days later to say he no longer wanted the miniature in question. So something fun it was!
Tyrannids are good for that, and fortunately, I had some already kicking around. I also had a chaos sorcerer, and I thought it would be good to ruin his day. Here is the result:
Highlights for me are the ripper grabbing a hold of the sorcerer’s cloak and getting flung into the air – I am sure he is having a lot of fun. There wasn’t much conversion work for this piece, just the chomping ripper, who had his tongue removed, and the ‘gaunt who is stabbing the sorcerer in the leg.
Either way, I am pleased with the result and I know Andy is too. I thoroughly enjoyed creating this and look forward to creating the next one!
I know some of you will have seen these before from my other blog, but I wanted to enthuse about it here as well.
For those that are unaware, I draw a stickman comic based on the 40K universe characters. I have done so for nearly three years now and I am using the characters to teach myself animation. It has been really fun to do so!
I swapped programs from Plastic Animation Paper to Pencil2D as I wanted to use software that had a choice of more than two colours. PAP4 was a great introductory program that taught me the basics, and had some really well written tutorials with it. I managed to create these without too much difficulty or frustration on my part:
The limitations of PAP4 quickly became clear however, and without a zoom feature it was tricky. Swapping programs enabled me to create pictures with colour, and thast helps define some of the character’s features. My first attempt was the Ork Gaak bombing a house. I am so pleased with the results and I am really looking forward to creating more animations, that are a bit longer as well!
Like my work? Consider being my patron – These animations and comics can take a long time to create and I don’t get paid for it at all. If you want to support me, consider being my patron on patreon. It’s $2 a month and I will animate you with some of the cast.
There are a couple of things I have been up to lately that I want to enthuse about. The first being my adventures in trying to make things with green stuff. I have learned that I am not very good at it, and it is harder that it looks. I have made a feathery chest on a Tzeentch bird, and I have also padded out an augmetic leg.
I learned that mixing greenstuff is better than the liquid stuff, and that water is good to stop it being too sticky. I’m pleased with the results so far and can only keep trying to practice.
I have also started working on an Ahriman diorama idea I have had floating about on my mind for ages. An excuse to patient galaxy stuff and try out water effects:
I will explain more in a different post but wanted to share my work so far! I love painting galaxys!
I finished a plane today. I really enjoyed painting this and I didn’t find it too challenging. I wanted to go for a relatively bright colour scheme as I am painting the orks. I have a few others to do but I’m pleased with this start.
I have also been messing about with green stuff and continuing the Ahriman diorama I started ages ago. I want to have him pulled along on his disk by a couple of screamers. I worked on getting the ropes for the screamers imbedded today, and assembled Ahriman to the parts I wanted him to be in.
I have also done this:
This is an attempt to make feathers with greenstuff. I am rubbish with the stuff but a friend on tumblr writes this really cool tzeentch demon bird – Kazakh – who is obsessed with shiny things and stabbing… I had to make him!
So, I’ve been a bit quiet this week, keeping to myself and getting on with my own miniatures. I’ve been painting some Death Company Marines to go with my other Blood Angels, affectionately known as The Crayon Eaters:
I have two more of them to go and they are waiting for me on the hobby table for the next session. I have really enjouyed taking my time with them and focusing on the highlights. They are not perfect but they are mine and I am proud of them.
The next thing I wanted to mention was a project my sister and I have started working on together. It order to distract ourselves from the current climate, we have decided to work on a science fiction setting. It involves the crew of a star cruiser – the Trailblazer, being hurled through space into regions unknown. It is still very early in the project and we’re doing it for the fun more than anything else. If you want to look at our workings and progress – short stories, drawings, profiles and more creative ideas, here is the link:
With being stuck inside and unable to go out, this seems like the perfect time to try out something new. I have been wanting to learn how to animate so the short film idea I have for Fulgrim dancing to Staying Alive can be met. It’s a small dream perhaps, and definitely a silly one, but it is what it is.
So, I did a bit of research into available free software and I went for a program called Plastic Animation Paper – Or PAP4 for short. It came with free tutorials and seeing how I know nothing about animation, I thought that was a good idea.
I read through the first lesson, which was about familiarising myself with the software’s UI, and then went straight into the second. More was taught about the UI, and I managed to create a small sequence using what it told me. Here it is:
This is a very simple one I know, but I am so very proud of myself for it. For those of you who do not know of my comics, this is a simplified Perturabo doing something he would never ever do.
I have always shied away from yellow in the past, the colour is a pain to get looking vibrant and usually takes loads of layers. I’m not one to shy from a challenge however and I need to be comfortable in all colours. So, I decided to paint some aggressors and a tank as Imperial Fists.
I used the airbrush to base coat them. I have been told by a painter vastly superior to me, that Doombull Brown is good for yellow, so I started with that. Then used Ochre yellow, then Medium Yellow by Vallejo.
They came out rather brighter than I expected. Bonus. I then painted in the other base colours, which never makes a miniature look good. They have to get worse in order to get better in some ways. I wasn’t panicking, but I wasn’t impressed either…
Remembering Gary’s words, I then got my shade on with thinned Doombull Brown. Highlighted with Yriel Yellow and then Flash Gitz yellow, I also touched up the rest, finished off the bases and have left him to sit. I will no doubt tinker with the one I have completed tomorrow when I have a fresh set of eyes. Then it is on to the tank…
I finished Dante today, after what seems like forever. When I picked him out of the second hand box he came in, I decided he would be a great opportunity to try a brighter version of Non-Metallic Metals than I have done in the past. Here he is in all his finished glory:
Thoughts on Non-Metallic metals then. I like how much brighter the paints I used turned out. It was difficult half way through because it looked awful but pressing through and using the yellow really brought it out. The blue blends on the axe look super smooth and I really like how the lightning looks as though it is dancing over the blade rather than just stuck on.
Improvement points: I need to make the lighter sections larger, I feel the mini is still rather dark in places. I could use smoothing out the blends as well to make the transitions better. This shows particularly on the larger, flat areas. Silver spots remain a sticking point but this will get better with time.
The base needs a touch up.
All in all though, this has been a great learning process and I have some ways forward for myself. I am pleased with him and he will soon join his brothers in the cabinet!
As most of you are aware, I have been practicing painting heads and faces over the past few weeks. I try and do one a day but being on holiday and busy means that sometimes it’s not always practical. Above, you can see all the heads I have done so far. The one on the left was the first.
I rather liked the dot method of painting eyes that I highlighted before, but when I tried to paint iris’ on, it didn’t work too well. A friend over on twitter linked me to a different way and so I gave it a try. This was the result!
His eyes are way too anime to be called good, but for a first attempt at a new method, I was pretty pleased. I look at it now though and think it’s rather funny. Some of the comments were fun, but I had to have another go to make him look less kawaii…
This is a step in the right direction for sure. The black around the edge of the eyes makes it look more realistic and less anime. The left eye is neater than the right and I am wondering if I should try using a magnifying glass as it is hard to see. Maybe I am being too picky with it and practice is going to be the cure in this case. Either way, I look forward to painting those Death Company marines, who will have red eyes and look crazy!
The Daily Head seems to have been rather successful on twitter and so I have decided to share how I am doing the skintone practice with others. This is the method I learned at Seige Studios on their course. I have others I want to try out as well, but seeing how I have already got a few heads base coated, I wanted to stick with this way until I need to make some more.
Step 1: Base Coat.
I airbrushed the bases of all the heads starting with Cadian flesh, moving on to Kislev flesh and then a final highlight of Flayed One Flesh
Wash the entire head with a very watered down Seraphim Sepia.
Recess shade all the recesses with neat Seraphim Sepia.
Recess shade two thirds of the recesses with Agrax Earthshade – not watered down/thinned.
Recess shade one third of the recesses – started from the nose/centre of the face, with Nuln Oil.
Black out everything that is not the face – this will stop the mind getting confused while you focus on the face. We are trained to know faces from birth, so keeping the face upright will also really help with this. Also shade in the eyes! I use black 70.950 by model colour for this as it is a nice matt black, but Abaddon Black will also suffice.
I have a special brush for eyes. It’s a fine detail brush with the point cut off to make it flat – this makes excellent dots without the point slipping and creating a mess. Use this amazing dot brush to place a dot at the two sides of each eye, as shown. Most of the time, this gets rid of the boogly eye that you get when you dot the black in the middle.
Also, highlight the ‘T Zones’ of the face with thinned down Kislev flesh. If you want a paler look, Flayed One Flesh would work here too.
Here is my progress so far. I know my brush control has improved from the first one. Things can only get better from here too. Just keep practicing!