Saturday, 21 September 2013

Druids and Tendons and Bears, oh my!

Hi de hi campers, I've actually got new models to show you, gasp!

So, for those who don't follow my trials and tribulations on either facebook, twitter or the Today I've Mostly Been tumblr that feeds the other two... I've been having problems this week. About two years ago I developed an RSI in the tendons in the back of my wrist. Turns out painting for 8-12 hours a day was a bad idea. The burning pain convinced me to take some time off, cut back on my hours with brush in hand and all was well. Until a fortnight ago when it came back. Well, this time, there was no way on earth I was letting it get to the debilitating pain stage. Off to the doctor's I pop. I now have spanky anti-inflammatories (not your daddy's ibuprofen I can tell you) and referrals to the physio who'll hopefully be able to blitz the tendons with ultrasound and free them up. Until then, though, I still have to be able to work. So the rest of this week has been tentative experiments to see how smoothly and how long I can operate. The results are the dynamic duo above!

These two are the start of the next phase of Project RPG, this is an attempt by me to have a model to represent every class from the Pathfinder RPG. There's a fair few of them and I've divvied them into a few different adventuring bands. The Druid and his grizzly bear animal companion are the start of the third team.

The Druid is the old (possibly antique) Citadel Truthsayer from the Albion campaign. I didn't change a darned thing about him as the design was pretty much perfect. I decided to use a darker, more tanned skin recipie for this chap as the outdoors life plus clothes aversion would suggest it! I have to once again put a big shout out to GW's flesh tones. They got a few things wrong with the new range but whoa, the flesh is brilliant. Bugman's Glow was shaded with Reikland Fleshtone, then hightlights were built up from Bugman's through Cadian Fleshtone and into Kislev Flesh for the highest highlights. Some of the blending is a little clumsier than normal (and oh dear god did he take longer to do than normal, I'd generally say 5-6 hours for something like this, this week? Closer to 10. Sheesh) but I like the overall effect.

I kept most of the rest fairly simple, I wanted him to look primitive, not covered in bling. So bronze jewelry, simple linen cloth (karak stone) and undyed leather. The bear teeth around his neck bind him to his companion visually. As is normal for me, once I've figured something out it tends to turn up a lot so the little terracotta pot at his belt uses the same Val Saddle Brown and Deck Tan mixes that I used on the goblin doom diver crewman. The glass bottle was Incubi Darkness, glazed with black ink and rehighlighted with Incubi Darkness. The liquid inside was one of the reds mixed with Incubi Darkness to tint the colour of the liquid with the colour of the bottle. A couple of catchlights (lines rather than dots) and a gloss varnish finish it off. God's knows what's in it, Druid Fluid probably (badum tish).

His leetle friend is a Reaper Dire Bear. Love this sculpt, and it's actually a proper size for a normal grizzly, never mind a dire bear! Something I realised with this model is that I just love painting animals. I love getting the subtle changes in tone (that the camera then ignores) between different areas of fur, getting the eyes right, everything. It ties in to my preference for painting monstrous creatures as the huge versions of the real thing (way scarier). This chap was fairly simple, I used the Vallejo browns as they are a little less saturated and by mixing different shades (I can't tell you, I just don't know, I keep the paint wet and just change the tone by adding different colours so the whole model feels like one continuous colour that just changes shade) achieve the ruddier back, lighter chest and belly and facial markings that characterise a grizzly.

Visual reference is essential when painting animals. You've seen hundreds of examples over your life and will subconsciously know when something is "wrong" even if you couldn't say what it was. For instance, in this case, the black patches on the mouth and gums (wash Nuln Oil over Bugman's Glow), the orangey bone teeth, the black nose, the dark eyesockets, the hazel eyes. All things very characteristic to Grizzly's and help to make the model work.

So, that's that! The test models are pretty and are just about there quality wise (the flesh on the druid is the best place to see where the stiffness in my wrist causes the problems) to allow me to get back to work Monday. I'll be ditching the eldar vehicles for now (the hexes are a problem) and do some of the infantry to give my wrist time to heal. Shorter bursts but progress can now be made. Huzzah!


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