Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Combat Servitors Multipass

Hi folks, more shinies! Well... rusty and oilies today:

Yup, today's offerings are a pair of crude combat servitors, the one on the left is a conversion of a Mantic ghoul (one of the few Mantic sculpts I like) and the one on the right is a resin figure from I know not where. I just did the painting so can't say too much about assembly so we'll skip straight over that and into painting!

First up we have zombie-cyborg-Leeloo (yes, I saw what you did there sculptor, I got the reference with the "thermal bandages"). By the way, if you've no idea what the hell I am going on about or what the title references then you need to see the Fifth Element at your earliest convenience. Now would do, go watch it, I'll wait...

...Fun wasn't it? Anyway, the brief for these included that the skin should be not the usual death-pale servitor pallor but instead ill and waxy. Now this is a tricky thing to hit as it is mostly a quality of how the light reflects from it but colour wise it is usually yellowish, jaundiced, so I went with that. Now it is pretty much impossible for me to give you a recipe as I was fiddling with colour mixes back and forth but I know that Ungor Flesh and Rakarth Flesh were involved and mixes of washes and glazes made of blends of Flesh, Sepia and Yellow washes. It's more yellow in the flesh (badum-tish) but I'm still trying to get colour fidelity right. Miiiight need a greycard (photo nerding on your own time Jeff).

The one I was thinking of as the Arco-flagellant was simpler, less straps and things. I'd decided that the chainsword needed some classic 40k bling so broke out the hazard stripes. Both lenses were my usual Thunderhawk Blue shaded with black. Not a huge amount to talk about with him. Oh, the clothing is a very handy colour, Vallejo Stone Grey. A decent "shabby rags" colour.

That's all folks, more shinies inbound soon.


Sunday, 17 January 2016

Vostroya Today Cover Shoot

Greetings people (never have figured out a satisfactory clever collective noun for readers of PVP), today we have a rather more glamorous guardsman than usual:

I'm fairly sure that she is one of Raging Heroes sculpts and one of the better ones in my opinion. Less obviously sexualised (note "less", as opposed to "not"), more a soldier. However the pose did strike me from the get go as, well, a pose, she looked like she was striking a suitable heroic pose for a cameraman somewhere behind the fourth wall. So in my head, that's what she became, a trooper pulled out for the commissariat's civilian propaganda and recruitment wing, more on that later.

The sculpt is nice enough, technically very nice, lots of crisply cast details and equipment, nice. There are two minor quibbles I have, one is her hair which is filling a big undercut for the one piece casting of the body and head and thus only looks good from one angle. Fair enough, it's a technical rather than an aesthetic one but I might have tried to find a less obvious place to sacrifice. Hey ho, I am neither a sculptor, nor a caster so I know nothing, no-thing. The second is more of a subjective thing, it's the face. There is a tendency for female faces to be impassive masks devoid of expression. I know the problem stems from trying to get an attractive sculpt at 28mm scale where the slightest twitch of the sculpting tool radically alters the end result but I believe these were digitally sculpted so... Ah, I guess it's a personal thing, I think character comes from expression, displaying an emotion - determination, trepardation, fury, concentration... something. Anyway, on with the painting!

The brief was a delightfully Inception-like thing. I was to paint a Vostroyan-esque figure in the beige Death Korps scheme that was itself based on an old Vostroyan figure! Thus the scheme will be a familiar one to long term readers. Most of the choices thus made for me by Past Jeff I was able to just relax and enjoy the process. Really, the only choices I had to agonise over were the hair - I ended up going for platinum blonde to make the face pop from all the beige and to reinforce the already catwalk model physique - and things like the fur trim on the coat and hat. One big section that had me scratching my head was the flag. She's holding a large piece of fabric in her right hand, clearly a flag of some sort but not held with any respect, more a trophy. I figured I wanted a little bit of red and gold on the flag as, well, I'm painting a Vostroyan and I have something of a Soviet bent to my Bolt Action collection. Trouble was, that was going to be a very, very bright spot and would draw attention away from the face. Not ideal.

The solution came to me by first painting the flag as a captured arch-enemy banner. I would drag the flag through the dirt of the battlefield, thus dulling the colours and keeping the focus where it ought to be. My normal dirt weathering sequence wasn't going to work too well with my client's preferred urban basing. Mud doesn't work well with rubble. Thus I started by stippling a drybrush of Val German Camo Black-Brown - it's got to be a very dry brush - building up layers of dirt. Then Stormvermin Fur and finally a little light grey (can't remember which) mixed with the Stormvermin fur. I used a clean wet brush to do a little blending of the final layers that hadn't fully cured and finished the whole thing off with some spots of black for soot. Perfect. A point of interest but not a distraction from the rest of the model.

With the shoot finished (the camera and I are gradually reaching an accord) I couldn't resist a five minute photoshop job and create a trashy supermarket tabloid cover for her. I think Vostroya Today works ;)


Friday, 8 January 2016

The Toffs of Colony 87

Hiya folks, guess what... we got shinys to look at!

Yup, not only are the last three Colony 87 residents finished but I am finally, finally wrangling the new camera into shape. Thus... content for the blog for the first time in too long. Lets get straight to it: These chaps are - like all the other colony 87 residents - nice, slightly cartoony resins with bags of character. While the cartoonishness has never been quite to my liking I really love that this range exists. More roleplay-esque characters need to exist for sci-fi in particular but heck, just more in general please! Speaking of these characters, let's meet these:

First up we have the corpulent governor. Over-fed and indulged this peacock struts about the Colony armed discretely with a tiny digital weapon (seriously, the ring on his left hand is a digi-weapon). I actually ended up painting both this chap and his missus below twice as I started off reaching for the purple. Heck, purple is rich and I wanted these two oozing money, trouble was, it looked terrible. For some reason the purple just did not work. So I ditched it and went instead for a dark but vibrant red (that the camera completely failed to capture due to the layers of ink that went in to it) and a bottle green tunic. The combination seemed to work fine and the greying blonde - ridiculous - hair carried the yellow accents up into the head.

His missus shares hubbies colour scheme but with more brass armour plating. While painting her I was trying to figure her story (helps with the colour selection and effects), eventually I got to the point where some seriously dodgy science had been brought to bear in order to allow the tiny be-ruffed heir to the dynasty to be born. I painted her skin as pale and drawn, made the tubes that enter her nose (if they were supposed to be jewellery - nose chains - then they are waaaay to thick) be supplying cleaned blood and nutrients and assumed that the armour was actually an augmetic suit to help her walk. Yup, happy stories provided free folks, sheesh.

Finally we have their hapless bearer toting their purchases from colony stores. I think he's actually a general labourer in the original intent but I had three figures to showcase and it made sense to link them. While painting him I got the impression of "employee", he didn't seem to be acting for himself as the scavengers were or have a lot of agency. Thus when choosing his colours I went with recollections of some of the downright weird corporate uniforms I or friends have had to wear in our early years. Petrol blue was from my old Woolworths uniform as a young 'un and it paired rather nicely (in some colony exec's eyes) with a salmon pink shirt. The Amphibon style jackets they all seem to wear got the usual XV-88.

And that's all folks. Obviously there will be more shinys in coming weeks, hopefully with increasing quality of photographs as I figure out what tricks I need to get the best fidelity and reproduction of my work. Until then