Posts Tagged ‘miniatures’

First finished painting project of 2016.

 

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I’m slowly getting to the point where the Morkanaut is done.  Right now I need to finish a few sections and then go over the model and make sure I haven’t missed anything.  While it may not be great in-game, the model is incredible and really fun to work on.

Photo Jul 13, 10 39 49 PM

Photo Jul 13, 10 40 13 PM

One of the most frustrating things in the hobby for me has always been seeing photos online in which the poster asks for criticism or comments on his painting.  You click on the picture, and… it’s blurry.  Totally out of focus.  Or not lit well enough.  Or sitting on a cluttered desk in the middle of a dozen other projects.  At that point, offering any sort of help becomes almost impossible.  Usually, the photo is accompanied by a quick “Sorry, phone camera pic lol”.

ork nobz jul 01

This picture was taken using an iPhone 3GS.

grots jul 01

So was this one.

Right now, the phone I’m using is several generations behind, but as you can see from the pictures, it’s still capable of taking miniature picture reasonably well.  Here’s how I do it:

lightbox jul 01

This is my lightbox – it’s about $45 on Amazon, and comes with two small lights(you can see on the right side, next to the tall desk lamp), and several different colored backgrounds.  It folds up for easy storage, and it’s what I use for all of my miniature and dice bag pictures.

You can find tutorials all over the place for how to make your own light box – I find it easier to just acquire one on Amazon.

The next thing you notice is probably all the lights – I have four lights set up around the light box.  These help to eliminate shadows and get the inside area lit as brightly as possible.  The two smaller lights provide a side light, and the desk lamp and the other work lamp(on the left; you can just see the shade) help with top light.  It’s a lot like lighting a stage for theatre – you want the actor(or miniatures in this case) to be well lit from as many sides as possible.  Now, it’s entirely possible to get even more technical and discuss color correction after taking your photos, but that may be a topic for another day.

To actually snap my photos, I use an app called Google+Snapseed – a search in your app store for “Snapseed” should bring up results.  It offers a ton of really useful ways to correct and modify your photos, including cropping, adjusting brightness and saturation, and more.  From the app, you can post your pics directly to Google+, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Note the Moleskine notebooks I’ve set up in front of the miniatures – that’s what I balance my phone on to correct shakiness and get a good image.  If you do get a blurry picture, you can always delete it and try again – there’s no point in asking for criticism on a photo that you know is blurry.  Once you have a picture you’re satisfied with, I’d recommend cropping out as much of the empty background as you can.  One of minor pet peeves is when I see a picture of a space marine, and there’s a ton of empty space around the mini.  Crop it out; nobody needs to see empty desk/background.  After that, it’s a simple matter of saving the picture to your phone, emailing it to yourself, finding some way to get it to a place where you can post it anywhere you like.  I find Dropbox useful for this, personally.

And that’s about it for a quick and dirty primer on how to take good miniature pictures.  You can of course take this further, getting an actual tripod, a camera meant solely for photography, macro lenses, the works.  But this’ll do in a pinch, and goes a long way to eliminate “potato quality” pictures.

Torn Armor Kickstarter is now live!

If you’re a fan of skirmish level miniature games, you owe it to yourself to check out the Kickstarter campaign for Torn Armor.  A mere $75 pledge gets you the full game, and one of the higher pledge levels gets you all sorts of cool bonuses, like any and all miniatures from stretch goals that get unlocked as the campaign progresses.  

 

The miniatures include a variety of cool figs, including some really great-looking stretch goals, like a rhino-headed colossal battle platform type mini on a 120mm base; that’s the size of a cd, to give you some perspective.  

I’ve been roleplaying in various games like Shadowrun, Dungeons and Dragons, and so on since high school. I also started playing Warhammer 40,000 in high school, and in 2005 or so I began playing Warmachine. All of these games use dice of various denominations to determine a multitude of issues during gameplay.

I have always had terrible luck with dice.

I am the guy who will need to roll a five on two 6-sided dice(2d6) to hit an enemy model, and will roll a 3 and a 1. Or who will roll triple 1’s on a crucial attack roll. Or miss 14 out of 16 possible attacks, because the dice just aren’t cutting it. I’ve always been that guy.

People have commented on it, and I’ve always thought it was somewhat amusing, that I can’t roll high numbers to save my life. Until a few weeks ago, when it happened again, and my opponent said something along the lines of “I have bad luck with dice, but you probably have the worst rolls I’ve ever seen”. That was when I decided that I had to change something. I needed to take action and find a fix for my dice. So I approached David, my friendly local game store owner, and told him I’d like to order new dice.

I had used Chessex and Games Workshop dice for years, and due to being a Shadowrun player, where 6-sided dice are rolled in the dozens sometimes, I had a big block of 36 12-mm dice in the color “Strawberry”.  Meaning red speckled with bright green pips.  They’re small dice, and a handful is about a dozen dice.  I’d also heard that the Games Workshop dice(12mm, red and black dice with white pips) were often terrible rollers and not terribly well made.  “Superstition and poppycock!”, I cried.

In an effort to try something new, I ordered slightly larger dice – 16mm Chessex “Recon” dice.  Green with white pips.  These come in a block of 12.  As luck would have it, they failed to arrive in time for last night’s Warmachine games, so I made due with the only two larger 6-siders that I had in my dice bags.  And lo and behold…. my dice rolls were mostly average and not terrible.  I’ve come to suspect that one of the causes of my years of bad die rolls was the small size of the dice I was using, especially after the games I played last night.  So I’m very much looking forward to trying new dice and seeing the results.

 

Chessex – if any of your reps are reading this, I’d be happy to test any dice you’re willing to send my way!  I ordered the Recon, but I’m partial to any speckled dice you make, particularly Stealth, Ninja, and Water or Veronica.  *grin*

All it took was one conversation, and suddenly I’m back playing Circle Orboros. I’ve always liked my dirty hippie druids, but I’ve never actually explored any of their constructs with the exception of a single Woldwarden and two Woldwyrds. I don’t own either of the Baldur models, and I’d love to change that.

With the October 24th release of the Woldwrath, the Circle Gargantuan, I decided that maybe it was time to do something about my lack of experience with constructs. I love the hobby, but I don’t have a big budget for miniatures. I decided that I’d start an Indiegogo campaign, and add a construct blog where I discuss painting techniques, assembly, and various list-building thoughts as well as battle reports.

As perks I have a variety of Greyed Out dice bags, and I’ll be coming up with some cool construct-related logos as well. Since it’s a crowd-funding effort, I’ll be taking a poll on what colors to paint the Woldwrath and all the constructs in the project. I’m going to be doing a lot of research to find various types of stone that would look great on Circle Orboros constructs.

The People’s Constructs Campaign went live yesterday on Indiegogo; I actually wanted to set the funding goal much lower, but apparently IndieGogo has a $500 minimum.

One of the big things I’d love to do with this campaign is support my FLAGS(friendly local awesome game store) rather than going to a giant internet retailer. It’s important to spend locally to keep great businesses in the community, and I think that game stores are where many people first get introduced to the hobby.

Please spread word of The People’s Constructs Campaign; I’d love to make this an incredible gaming and hobby experience, and hopefully bring something awesome to the Warmahordes community.

Greyed Out’s Fall Sale is almost done! It ends on Halloween, so stop by and see if there is anything you like. Save 25% with the coupon FALLBASH or get free shipping using FREESHIP as your coupon!

Check out my handmade high quality dice bags, or see if any of the art I make appeals to you. Please spread the word to friends as well!

Freestanding Dice Bag in Inquisition Red Suede

Grey Tiled Miniature Crooked House

Skeletal Hand in Acrylic

For the Slaptimber Painting Threat on the Waaagh Forums I threatened to paint my warboss and a mob of 21 boyz, the start of Waaagh Uzdreg. I have one observation so far: all that Bad Moon yellow is going to take me ages to paint. Good thing it calls attention to itself, so I can worry a little less about small slip-ups on the rest of the model. Plus, once the entire shoota mob is painted it will look great on the tabletop.

My current ork skin recipe: Basecoat with P3 Thornwood Green, and then cover with P3 Traitor Green. On the nobs and characters I’ll probably do something similar to Warboss Uzdreg, where the Traitor Green is carefully painted to leave a darker Thornwood Green in the recesses between the muscles.

My way of doing metals: I basecoat in Boltgun Metal, and then take a very thin coat of P3 Bloodstone and sort of wash/stipple it on. Makes the metals look a bit more dull and used. I may also do a super-thin wash of a green, and then another Bloodstone wash, to add even more dimension.

I’ll be trying to link to these update posts in the Slaptimber thread on the Waaagh Forum as well. Feedback would be awesome, but is not necessary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In other news, I completed several costume commissions for Dragon*Con, and both clients loved the work I did.  I’ve already been in communication to do a second costume for an anime convention in November, which is going to be exciting.

I’m planning several new print designs for dice bags, and have picked up some great Halloween fabric – a checkered purple and neon green that I’ll be combining with a deep purple fabric for a “Joker Edition” dice bag.  I’m really thrilled to see how it will come out.

As always, you can find my dice bags at http://www.greyedout.etsy.com

 

Happy gaming!

I’ve had a chance over the past two weeks to start collecting a Warhammer 40K ork army, beginning with two mobs of ork boyz(20 boys total, which will be combined into one mob of shoota boys), and a metal warboss with a twin-linked shoota and big choppa.  I had wanted to collect an ork army for the longest time, simply to paint and model, because orks have always been one of my favorite armies in the Warhammer universe, but I’d put off the army for a really long time.  Finally, I decided that it was time to start collecting, even if I won’t play for a long, long time.

The older metal warbosses and nobs(ork nobles) in particular had always appealed to me, so when I found a new-in-blister ork warboss on Ebay for $9+shipping, I jumped on it.  I’ve decided that the army will be a mix of Bad Moons and Death Skulls, whose colors are yellow and blue, respectively.  It should look great on the tabletop, when everything is said and done.

If you’ve been following my blog, you know that my warboss is Uzdreg da Bloo Bearded, who got a hair squig stuck to his face and earned the admiration of the Death Skulls that snuck aboard his space hulk.  I’ve modeled the beard onto the warboss’ head with green stuff, and I’m excited to see it painted and done.  The body of Uzdreg is also slowly getting finished, and I like how the skin and armor turned out.

The yellow Bad Moon armor is done in a series of consecutively lighter brown coats, starting with P3 Battlefield Brown and ending in several washes of GW Yriel Yellow.  It’s going to take me forever to paint all the ork boyz.  But the end result will be stunning, I think.

 

Check out the pictures:

 

This is Uzdreg and the ladz.

 

It’s hard to make out, but here is Uzdreg and his beard.

 

Body of Uzdreg with a boy next to him for comparison. Warbosses are ‘uge!

 

And finally, Uzdreg’s choppa arm and some of the body armor he’s wearing.

 

 

 

 

 

I think I’ve been bitten by the ork bug.  Again.  For those who might not know, orks are Games Workshop’s big greenskinned baddies, at times silly, crude, clumsy, hysterical, and brutal.  Someone on the Dakkadakka forums posted to see if there was interest in a kustom greenskin dice order from Q Workshop.  The greenskin dice are custom ork dice, with an orc skull on the 6 face and crude slashes on the other sides, counting up.   I looked at pictures, and they are some of the purtiest dice you’ve ever laid eyes on.  Naturally, I want in.  The last several times that kustom orders were placed, there were a ton of different color options; you could get black dice with white marks, green dice with yellow marks, and so on.  They look really, really cool!!  I get excited about stuff like this.  It looks like there is enough interest in an order(about 2K dice have to be ordered to make it worthwhile), so I’m looking out for the thread detailing how/when to order.  Dice cost is apparently somewhere around $1.30/die, which isn’t bad for fully custom dice.  At least, to my limited knowledge it isn’t.

In the meantime, I got bitten by the ork bug.  I have a Warhammer Orcs and Goblins army in Texas, and I’ve always really liked the greenskins.  In Fantasy I prefer goblins, but in Warhammer 40K it’s all about the orks with guns.  Lots and lots of loud, crude firearms in the arms of 7-foot tall green monsters.  I haven’t played Warhammer 40K in about a decade, and have been sitting on a chaos space marine army for ages that I’m trying to trade/sell.  6th edition just came out, so I thought that this year might be the time to start collecting.  So I’m looking to begin an ork army at some point, because I love all the ork miniatures out there.  Playing the game will probably be secondary to just having a huge horde of orks.  I get a lot of enjoyment out of painting miniatures, so it’s something to look forward to.

Orks are a fungus/animal hybrid, and they spread wherever they go.  They’re born with intuitive knowledge of mechanics, firearms, etc.  They’re big, and they keep growing throughout their lives.  Ork nobs are the bigger orks, who’ve been around for a battle or fifty.  As orks age, their green skin also gets darker.  Orks love a good fight, and going fast – a lot of ork hordes(or Waaaghs) consist entirely of orks in trukks or on bikes, traveling as fast as they can from battle to battle.  They’re simplistic, but fun.  From what I’ve read, orks don’t win too many battles on the tabletop, because they’re a complex army to play properly.  That’s alright though – a ton of the ork players I’ve seen online seem to collect orks purely for the fun of modifying and scratchbuilding.  They are some of the most creative modelers out there, and it’s always fun to see what an ork player will come up with next.

As I said, I got bitten by the ork bug.  I channeled some of that energy into a creative endeavor, and made some orc skull print dice bags, both for myself and for my Etsy.  I used a screen printing tutorial I found online, a cheap and easy way of doing it that doesn’t require a ton of money to set up.  I think materials and supplies cost me less than $20 – the most expensive items are the Mod Podge glue and the fabric paint(at about $7.99 each).

Ork skulls are easy to draw – lots of straight choppy lines, and big teeth(teef).  Take a look at the pictures below to see what I came up with, and check them out at Greyed Out, my Etsy shop.