Monday, December 31, 2012

Probably the last post of 2012....

This is an in progress shot of the "prototype" paint scheme for the zombie horde. 

The fleshtone is Reaper Moldy skin washed with a mixture of Reaper Ghoul Flesh and a small amount of Ceramcoat Dark Burnt Umber. 

The eyes are Warzone Venusian Green and they were highlighted by adding small amounts of white. I also used a glaze of Venusian Green to do the glow effect around the eye sockets.
The shredded clothing has been base coated with a mixture of Ceramcoat Golden Brown and Charcoal Gray. I'm going for a generic color scheme on clothing so I can use them for fantasy, modern, & sci fi gaming.

The edge of the base has been painted with a mixture of Ceramcoat Black and a small amount of Future Floor Polish. I'll actually hit it once more with that mixture to get a nice matte finish that won't chip. The trick is to use only a small amount of Future in the mix. If you get it right, you'll get a nice smooth finish that will be scratch and chip resistant.

I'll be posting a new photos sometime during the day on New Years which I hope I'll have him finished.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Workbench Update 12-15-2012

Once again, it's time for a workbench update.

First up...Imperial Assassin.

Her armor was basecoated with Nepharite Red (Warzone Colors) and then layered up by mixing in Ceramcoat Bright Red and a small amount of Blazing Orange (the coat d' arms mixture...not the current Citadel versions). In case you are wondering, I wanted to shake things up a bit so I dug into my stockpile of paint and pulled out colors I haven't used in quite a while.

Her flesh was basecoated with Graveton Tan (again Warzone Color) and then washed with Ceramcoat Dark Burnt Umber. The flesh was then layered back up using Graveton Tan and then highlighted by adding in small amounts of Legionnaire Flesh (Warzone Color). I did a final highlight of watered down Legionnaire flesh on the highest points of the face.

The black was done using my usual method as was the parchment strips.

The blade on the power sword was basecoated with Ceramcoat North Sea blue mixed with Ceramcoat Charcoal Gray. I then layered it up by adding small amounts of white to the base color...nothing fancy.

The base is a Armorcast resin base. I had to remove the 20mm round base portion to mount it on the lipped base. I am planning to do a painting instructional for painting a similar Armorcast base stay tuned and you can learn the techiniques I used.

Next up are some personal projects....
These two fellas I've been working on since the end of September...mainly when I had a spare minute or two. 

These two have been painted in a layered style similar to the style Kevin Dallimore and Steve Dean paint in. I have found that style looks really good on historicals and old GW Empire models. 

That style is actually my default style...I just add in some blending rather than layering on the higher end models...I guess that style is closer to Mike Anderson's style (also a major inspiration for my painting).

And finally, this little fella. The first model I've primered with white in a long, long time. I have been wanting to do a seasonal type model...I figure this one was the way to go. I'm hoping to have him and his helper done before Xmas.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Workbench 12-5 Edition

Nothing much to show. I've actually gone back in and pretty much redone all the red and black areas on this model. I have to admit...this model is going to wind up in my "Never Again" list as it just isn't that great of a model. I'm sure a lot of people think it's a great sculpt...but I just don't like it.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Workbench Update 11/30/12

I don't know if I can really call this a workbench update as I haven't done much in the way of miniatures in the last two months. Work has been the main focus of the last couple of months as I have been working on a bunch of awesome projects from a variety of RPG publishers. But it looks like I am about to emerge from crunch time this weekend and I'm hoping to put in some time painting and modeling.

The one thing I have had time to mess with over the last couple of months is trying my hand at sculpting some customized basing. Now granted, I could use some of the pre-made bases out there....Secret Weapon and Coolminiornot both have some fantastic stuff, but it's never quite what I'm looking for. I can't help it...I'm a little picky. Plus, I come from that bygone era (it's called the 90's kids) where miniature enthusiasts had to make all that stuff for themselves and I take pride in that DIY spirit. On top of that, James Wapel has had some fantastic "how to's" on his blog that have been a big inspiration.

Pictured to the left is the product of that inspiration. The sculpting is a bit simple and kinda rough in places...but it's a start.

Most of the pieces in the photo have already been baked with the exception of the small round insert on the lower left hand corner. That is part of the current batch of sculpting experiments. I've got it sized to be an insert on lipped 30mm bases...or Dark Age bases (you are welcome Dave Poole). Right now I am going for a simple square flagstone base that can also pass for concrete slabs with seams in them so I can use them for both Fantasy and Near Future/Urban Warfare/Zombie type basing. 

The biggest problem I have found with the lipped bases is the size. The little area the insert sits in is about .875 inch. I've found some metal washers online that might work as a "template", but I really don't want to order 300 washers for something I may need only 5 for. Why do I need a template? That's easy, so I can get the edges perfectly rounded. I have on philosophy when it comes to sculpting or converting...if you are going to do it, it needs to look super professional. A half assed conversion can make the best paintjob in the world look like total crap...same for a half assed base. I'm planning on trying out some of the techiniques James Wapel demonstrated on his blog...such as rolling out large sheets of sculpey which you can break up into interesting shapes as well as carving complex patterns into them.

You will also notice some "chunks" on the upper right hand corner. Those are supposed to be bricks...they need some trimming to clean up the edges...but they are bricks. I'm going to use those for some Urban Ruin bases for my Urban War/Metropolis models that I've had sitting around for the last 4 years. They are in random sizes as I am going for rubble rather than neatly piled bricks. I've also made some flat chunks that will work great for broken pieces of concrete.

That's all for tonight. I am up waaaaaaayyyyy past my bedtime. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Workbench update 10-13

As you can see, I'm slowly getting back to painting once again. September and October have both been busy months with vet visits, lots of graphic design, illustration work, and tons of other stuff. But as I am wrapping up some of the longer term projects I had going, I find I have a little time to sit down and paint once again. Pictured above is "the queue"...or in Chaney terminology "all the stuff I gotta paint". 

Yes, there are quite a few historical models in the queue this time out. They are all part of the grand website/painting service revamp that I have been putting off for the last six months. Probably would have only been four, but it's not my fault that Skyrim and Mists of Pandaria are awesome. 

In the photo you will see a Germanian Tribesman and Viking Bondi from Wargames Factory. As much as I hate to say it, those will be representing the lowest cost painting tier as there just isn't much you can do to get them to a "collector" standard. The detailing is not that great (hands are pretty much a blob of plastic) but you do get 30 models for under $25 and they are good for filling out regiments (just not my regiments).

Next you will see a Viking Berserker and a Celtic Chieftain from Black Tree Design. Black Tree is my "go to" for historicals (although I'm sure Warlord will soon become my "go to"). They have great quality on a lot of their sculpts (not all...but most) and their prices are fantastic. Really looking forward to painting that Celt Chieftain.

Next, from Foundry we have Viking Berserker (I needed 20 for a regiment in Warhammer Ancients) and a Viking Shield Maiden. Scary thing is, I've painted both of them before, but I felt they needed a bit of a facelift.

And at the very end is an Imperial Assassin and a crewman from the old Empire mortar crew set. The crewman is almost done, just requiring a little bit of work on his leggings, shoes, bucket, and the feather in his hat. The assassin actually needs some more work as I don't care for some of the work on her bodyglove and purity seals.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Back to painting this week....

After a three month crunch of graphic design and illustration work, I have some breathing room once again to do some serious painting as well as some serious reflection on my painting work ethic over the last few months (I'll be covering that in a later entry).

Projects in progress (or at least ones I have a photo of): 

The one to the left is a crewman for an old Empire Mortar from 1992.This is before they started mounting the mortars on wagons, so it is a "static" mortar emplacement. The models of the crew were sculpted by Alan Perry while the mortar itself is a Norman Swales sculpt.

Also on the bench this week...until I pitch it into the Pine a Sci Fi soldier type from Reaper Miniatures. I like the sculpt, but I'm not happy with my color scheme. Not enough contrast between the cloth and armore I think.

There will be a more in depth post on Sunday with some finished shots of the Mortar Crewman. Please bear with me while I get my painting back up to speed.

Friday, September 7, 2012

...been awful quiet around here...

I've been working on an illustration assignment over the last few weeks, so my miniature painting is on hold until next Monday. However, I can give you an idea of the next project I will be working on.

This is Medusa from Kabuki models. She is probably one of the most detailed model I've ever attempted to paint at this scale. Needless to say, it's going to be a challenge.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Epic project pt 3

Put the finishing touches on the Stompa. You can see it to the left with his little brother, the dreadnought. I have one more dread to go and then I tackle something out of my to-do bin. It has finally gotten to the point where I have to actually work on the stuff in it (crazy, I know).

Once the second dread is done, I'll do up a nice set of "glamour shots" for the three of them (along with several other models).

Friday, August 17, 2012

Epic Project pt deux....again...

Another update before I head off to bed. Mainly added metallics and started some of the detailing on the front of the Stompa.

The dreadnought also received an initial coat of metallic paint. I'll wash the metallics with black paint mixed with a bit of burnt umber. 

Both are coming together nicely. When they are done, I'll take a nice group shot of the two completed dreadnoughts and the Stompa.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Epic project part deux

Things are progressing along on my Epic project...not quite as quickly as I'd like, but progressing none the less. Since my schedule this week was actually kinda hectic with vet visits and cool new graphic design/art direction projects, I've only gotten to the second dreadnought and the first Stompa. 

As you can see, I'm sticking with the Evil Suns color scheme for the first part of the project. Once the five dreadnoughts and three stompas are complete, I will then switch over to painting some of the Stompas in Goff colors along with some of the infantry.

I've mounted this stompa on a 1 inch metal fender washer while the dreadnought is mounted on a half inch fender washer...both of which hav had gravel added to give it a "broken earth" appearance. I will be picking up some fine sand for when I do the infantry stands...the gravel comes up to their knees.

Stay tuned as I should have these two finished up on Friday night and will be starting on the rest of them on Saturday. With any luck, I should have the five dreadnoughts done and possibly two of the stompas as well.

Oh yeah...Imperial Assassin in the background. Have to make some time to work on her.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

my next "Epic" project....

Last week, I decided to clear my workbench of every current project (except for commissions) and start from scratch. All my half done projects either went in the Pinesol or the Simple Green... so clean slate achieved.

The next stop on "Project Get Out of a Rut" was to choose a project I could knock out rather quickly to build a little momentum. Something that could have a simple color scheme yet would allow me to use multiple painting techniques. With all that in mind, I went for Epic/ Epic 40,000/ Epic Armageddon. 
Since my Epic collection is pretty huge, I opted to start off with some early 90's Ork Dreadnoughts (shown here on the right). They are all based on half inch fender washers and have had sand and gravel glued to their bases. Why did I base them in this fashion? Easy, round washer bases just look better. The examples in both Epic and Epic 40k have dreadnoughts and other mid sized models mounted on rectangular bases made of plasticard....and they looked friggin' hideous. Seriously, one model on a 40mmx20mm base alone just looks awkward and horrible.

Once everything was cleaned up and based, I slapped a coat of primer on them. Even though I opted for an Evil Suns color scheme, I still went with black. For the record, now you can pretty much primer everything black since the foundation paints came out. The only thing I actually primer white now are models with massive amounts of flesh barbarians (or skeletons since they have massive amounts of bone white everywhere).

Once the primer had dried, I base coated the model with Mecharite Red and washed it with Ceramcoat Dark Burnt Umber. I then went and picked out the raised areas with Mecharite Red followed by Blood Red. I finally finished off the red areas with a highlight of Blazing Orange. The metal areas were given a coat of Boltgun Metal mixed with a small amount of Chaos Black. I then washed the metallics with Dark Burnt umber and once that dried, picked out the raised areas with Boltgun Metal.

I then basecoated the weapons with Chaos Black and picked out the edges with Fortress Gray. I then glazed with Chaos Black to take the intensity of the highlight down a few notches. I picked out the barrel of the las cannon and the missle with boltgun metal.

The "window" and the "access panel" on the front were painted with Scorpion Green and then highlighted with Scorpion Green mixed with Skull White. The dags on the shin guard and shoulder pad were painted with Bubonic Brown and highlighted with Bubonic Brown mixed with Skull White.

Once the other four are complete I will take a "glamour shots" style picture of the detachment.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Imperial Assassin

This is an in progress shot of the Imperial Assassin I've been working on over the last week or so. The base is a Armorcast Resin base that I cut to fit the lipped 30mm base and she is being held in place with pin and 2 part epoxy gel. I am hoping to have more shots of her this weekend as I've just wrapped up a special project that has occupied most of the last couple of weeks.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Marine Guy is Done....

Wrapped up this guy today. All he needed was his power sword and his shoulder insignia thing. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Workbench progress

A Talisman Thief from Citadel Miniatures. I actually have three or four of the older Talisman models on my table to be painted at some point. I'll probably ebay them off as a set when they are done. Actually, it will definitely be getting sold off as it doesn't fit in with my third edition Talisman models at all.

I'll be posting up some shots of the Space Marine guy from Scibor on Sunday...with his sword and badge in place. Once he is done, I'll be moving on to some smaller models (thank goodness) including two from Kabuki...and a resin demoness from "unknown". I swear I've seen the model before, but I can't remember who made her.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Workbench update...

Welcome to another installment of "Hey, You are Taking Forever to Paint One Model". One step closer to completion. All that is left now is his sword and a shield "badge" that goes on his right shoulder pad. 

Here you can see one of my big gripes with the model...the shield. While all that filagree looks really cool before you paint it, unless you are doing NMM it becomes cluttered. You can also see some of the problems with the casting of the model as well....I can understand some mold lines and some bubbles...but there are areas where the detail just sort of trails off into nothingness.

Hopefully, the next shots I'll be posting are of the finished model. Seriously getting tired of this guy and I am ready to move onto something else.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Didn't do much painting last week....

The past week has to be one of the busiest weeks I've had in a long, long time. So, it shouldn't at all be surprising that I didn't get any painting done...not even anything painting related. Luckily this week is looking to be a return to my usual schedule (well, not sleep schedule...but work schedule).

This week I shall be refocusing my efforts on the commission work that I have had sitting on my desk for a few months now. Right now the plan is to devote at least 2-3 hours a night and twice that on the weekends...and try and knock this commission out over the next 30 days. 

First step is to finish up that giant Space Marine guy. Then the rest should fall like dominoes.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Workbench update 6/3/2012

Well, it's that time of the week again...workbench update!

First up this an old favorite, the Scibor Sci Fi Knight (or Black Templar Chapter Master). After three months the main body of the model is done. Now all that is left are the accessories...a power sword, a lightning shield, and some various heraldry/shield doodads. Right now, I have the shield mounted on a pin and stuck to an old Exacto knife handle and once that is done the sword will follow. I still have to drill a pin hole for the sword into the hand, but that should be a simple matter. 

I still stand by my statement that the detail on these models is a bit much. The crosses on his shin guards are little more than raised ridges on the armor and hellaciously difficult to paint up nicely. I actually had to line in dark burnt umber into the recessed areas to get more definition. I would really like to see some more definition to the detail and possibly less of it. There is a fine line between richly detailed and gawdy.

The next guy on the bench is a classic GW Thief model from Talisman. Much like the GW models of the 80s, he has some really cartoonish proportions when you compare it models from Ral Partha and Grenadier from that time. I really like the model as it has real character to it which a lot of models from that time did not. Plus, he's a great break from the ultra detailed models in my commission queue (I have two models from Kabuki, an unknown demoness, and two GW models to go on it).

This model, I'm trying to keep the color scheme to 2-3 colors with the fleshtone as the accent color. It is a real simple model and I think overdoing it would ruin the look and feel of the model. I did do the pink nose/5 o'clock shadow treament on the face. I couldn't help it as it really reminded me of some of Rackham's models for Confrontation  (which I also have a ton of to paint).

I looked to see if I had an old plastic hexbase to mount him on to give him that true classic Talisman feel, but I can't find a one in my giant stash of plastic bases. More than likely, he'll end up on a 20mm round slottabase. As he will eventually be an auction model, I want to make sure his base is universal for any sort of RPG/boardgame.

That is all for tonight's installment. Check back regularly throughout the week as I'm sure I'll be posting other random tidbits. And if you like the blog, tell your friends about it...always more room for more viewers.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Paintshop Web Design...thoughts and ruminations

One of the hardest things I've found about setting up the revised site is how to organize the galleries. In the old days, I'd have done it by manufacturer and then by product line...but I really don't feel like doing that now. With the new site, I really want to introduce newer gamers and hobbyists to some of the non mainstream companies and lines (aka other than GW, Reaper, Privateer, etc). But at the same time, I don't want to do like some sites and just dump them into a giant gallery with mixed genres (I have OCD and lack of organization of some type damn near drives me crazy). 

Adding even more to it is I'm trying to go for a more "graphic" approach rather than just a series of links or logos on a black or white background (or parchment as I'm thinking now). What to do...what to do.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Paint Stripping Round 2

Got up early this morning (I have no idea why I was up at 4...I just was) and instead of sitting down and working, I decided to have a little "me" time. Stripped down about 15 Foundry models, although only 8 were deemed ready for the water jar. The other 7 had to go back into the Pine Sol for another couple of days so the paint in some of the recesses will have a chance to loosen up more. 

Thus far, it seems the Street Violence stuff has cleaned off the easiest and fastest...I had two SWAT guys literally shed their coats of paint as soon as I pulled them out of the jar. Still, I'm in the mood to paint historicals and not "near future...or really near future if things keep going the way they are". The Vikings have all that chainmail that traps paint and all the pirates have little fiddly bits in their belts and waist sashes that also traps the paint.

I also took the first batch out of the water jar this morning and they are now bundled up in a nice clean chamois for the next couple of hours. They should be ready to be primered by this evening. Really need to get that Eve model from Kabuki primered up and underway as she is a commission piece. Also found another commission piece in there from back in 2007...probably should do that one some time soon as well.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Stripping Models the Chaney way...

Over the years, my process for stripping metal and plastic miniatures has gone from being just a process to almost a ritual with several "unbreakable" rules that I abide by. Sure, the solvents I have used over the ages has changed, but always for the better in my quest for 100% paint removal. However, much like perfection, 100% paint removal is more of a direction and less of a destination.

My current process for stripping metal (and metal only) is:
  1. Fill a medium sized jar with Pine Sol (or a generic equivalent). Make sure the mouth and lid of the jar aren't so big you can't get a good grip on it for removing the lid a few days later.
  2. Drop the offending models into the jar and let them sit for 48-72 hours. If the model in question has been sealed in anyway, it may require that you remove and scrub it after 48 hours and then place it back in the jar for additional time.
  3. After 48-72 hours, remove the minis from the jar with a large pair of tweezers or tongs. (You do not really want to be putting your hands into Pine Sol as it will take the top layer of skin off after prolonged exposure. Plus, you will end up smelling like Pine Sol for days.) I use the lid of the jar as a sort of "holding area" for the models I plan to clean that evening.
  4. With a stiff bristle toothbrush (you can use a cheapo one) vigorously scrub the miniature, front to back and top to bottom. Rinse ever so often as the "foam" and removed paint will accumulate. Repeat this process several times, occasionally dipping the toothbrush into the Pine Sol. If you have a model that isn't as clean as you want, drop it back in, wait a few more days and repeat the process.
  5. Thoroughly rinse your models. You do not want ANY Pine Sol residue left on the model. I have gone to the extra step of having a second jar filled with clean water and a drop of dish soap for the "cleaned" models to soak in for an additional 24 hours. When you see the oily film at the top of the water a day later, you will understand why.
  6. Remove the model from the soaking jar and wrap in a clean chamois. DO NOT USE PAPER TOWELS. Lint and small pieces of paper will  catch on the mini details and you will have quite a time getting them all off (and you never do and you'll see them when you primer). The mini should be dry in about 5-6 hours, but inspect the model to see if there is any pockets of water in the details. If you find some, just wrap it back up and wait a little more.
  7. After about 5 days of scrubbing, soaking, and drying. Your miniature should be almost good as new. Take this chance to go back over your models and take care of any flash or mold lines you may have missed the first time (or third of fourth time). You once again, have a blank slate so take advantage of it.
And there you have it. With this process, I have been able to rescue some of the most heinously primered or painted models out there. I have used it to stripped gobbed on GW Smelly Primer off of "classic" Talisman models from the late 80's (I'll be showing the Talisman Rogue soon enough) and the mini looks brand spanking new now.

That is all for tonight. Happy Painting!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Rescued a bunch of old minis from the "Jar of Despair"

It is no secret that many miniature painters have a "jar of shame"....a jar filled with some sort of solvent to remove the paint from various metal minis when they screw up the paint job. I have 6 of these so called jars in my garage in solvents ranging from nail polish remover to Simple Green. Tonight, I opened one of those jars that I've had for about 15 years and was filled with a mixture of nail polish remover and Testor's ELO (Easy Lift Off) Solution. 

Nowadays, I use Pine Sol (or the generic equivalent) as nail polish remover has some seriously nasty fumes, evaporates incredibly fast, and dissolves the stiff bristle toothbrushes I use to clean the crud off the minis.

Anyway, back to the "Jar of Despair" was filled with a plethora of surprises and delights that were caked in old paint from where the nail polish remover evaporated and deposited the "remains" back onto the models. With a jar of Pine Sol, a stiff bristle toothbrush, and stainless steel kitchen sink (important) I set to the task of getting the old paint off. I knew going in, none of the models were going to come clean right out of the jar so my main objective was to scrub off the bulk of the built up paint and then put them into the Pine Sol to let the process continue for three days. I managed to find the first 40k mini I ever bought which was an Eldar Harlequin (don't laugh, that was all I could find in Valdosta GA in 1989...I won't even go into how much a pain in the ass it was to get Judge Dredd comics). I also found all of my Chaos Marine Havocs, assorted GWAR minis, a Rat Ogre that I have no idea where it came from, a ton of old Epic models, my first Confrontation purchases, and a boatload of Reaper minis. I managed to save all but about 10 of them...some of the older Partha models had started to dissolve.

Now, I'm going to go wash my hands for an eighth time as they still reek of Pine Sol.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Day Z or finally inspired to work on my zombie miniature game again....

Over the past two weeks or so, I have been playing the Day Z Mod for Arma II and I have to say....HOLY CRAP IT IS AMAZING. If you haven't played yet, let me give you a heads up...this is nothing like a Modern Warfare Zombie mission...nor is it like Left 4 Dead. Actually, it isn't really a game as it is more like a simulator for what it would be like if "shit really went down".This game is almost like if Romero's "Diary of the Dead" banged "The Road" and produced some sort of mutant offspring. 

The zombies themselves are formidable opponents as they are fast and aggressive...and once you pull one of them, you may end up having to put down several of them. I have had many instances of just running my ass off with 14 of them right behind me and all I could do was look for a building with a ladder of some sort so I could get away and log off. Sometimes my strategy works, other times I am beaten down....legs broken, blood gushing from countless wounds, and all I can do is just wait for the inevitable "You're Dead" screen. And while you are beaten senseless and torn limb from limb, all you hear is the shrieks of the zombies and the wind blowing through the bushes.

Making the game an even more depressing experiment in human behavior is the other survivors. If you hate griefers and all around douche bags, avoid this game like the plague. The other survivors are worse than the zombies themselves. There are roving groups of players who do nothing but hunt down other players for their supplies and have even managed to secure helicopters to do so. I was actually on a server where they had two helicopters circling over both Cherno and Elektro. On most games, this would be enough to chase me off but it just adds to the tension in this game. This is why I don't travel in the open and I stick to the treeline like a hobo sticks to the dumpster at Popeye's.

This is what a survival horror game needs to be. Not some sort of interactive movie with a half ass twist ending. I want to feel the same "fuck my life" feeling I got when I saw the ending to Dawn of the Dead...and Day Z delivers just have to ignore the horrible controls and the movement.

Okay, so "where am I going with this"? Long ago, I started working on a miniature rule set for playing out tactical scenarios ala Rainbow Six or Counter Strike. Originally, I was going to do it 54mm with various plastic kits from Dragon, Tamiya, and similar companies. However, I ran into a big real adversary models not to mention the terrain models would be enormous. So, I've opted to scale things down to 28mm so that I can use the multitude of models produced by Foundry, Reaper, Mantic, etc.

But with the proliferation of non fantasy zombies came another problem. There are now a metric ton of zombie apocalypse games out there. When I started working on my game in 2004, the zombie craze really hadn't kicked in yet...apparently all the kids loved pirates or something else just as stupid. I had actually pitched it to White Wolf back in 2005, but we'd just hit some serious financial hard times and the cost to produce and market a brand new type of product was just too high...even with me putting in all my time after hours for free.

What do I do now? I still want to do a "tactical roleplaying zombie apocalypse game"...although now things are a bit more complicated than they were even a year ago. My skill set lies within the production end of things...painting and photographing the minis, designing and laying out the book, and all the stuff that is done after the writing is done. And while my writing skills aren't total ass (I was an English major at one time), writing "fluff" and writing systems are two entirely different beasts....and the one system I do know well, I can't really use anymore.

So that is where I'm stuck. I can make the most awesome looking zombie game ever but it will read like utter donkey crap and probably play just as bad.'s been 9 days since I posted last...

Man, I have really got spend less time playing DayZ and more time painting.

This week (or week and a half) I once again have the big Scibor marine on the workbench. I spent the better part of Saturday afternoon repainting the black armor trying to get the highlighting just right. Rather than just half ass it and slap a highlight of Codex Grey on the raised areas, I blended in six layers of color....Ceramcoat Payne's Gray and Cape Cod Blue. The result is a nice subtle highlight that emphasizes the rounded contours of the shoulder armor as well as a nice contrast to the giant areas of black on the flat areass. I've also gone in and prepped the trim for gold by adding a coat of Apple Barrel Black mixed with Ceramcoat Spice Brown...the former for the "roughness" of the finish and the latter for its muted color. This will give the gold metallic a nice background as well as a good surface to adhere to. I'll once again use Apple Barrel Antique Gold as I find most hobby paint golds to be way to yellow or orange. Warhammer 40K is supposed to have giants wearing ancient suits of armor with baroque sculptures worked into it...and a bright warm gold just doesn't say "gothic" or "baroque" to me.
The next additions to the Workbench are a GW Imperial Death Cult Assassin and a Foundry Darkest Africa Explorer. The assassin is part of a commission I've been working on for a long, long time customer and will probably end up getting the "text book" GW color scheme...modified of course. When I think assassin...I first think the word "ass" is in there twice and then I think of other words like "stealthy", "subtle", and "shadow". So, you can be sure there will also be a lot black on this model along with a nice red spot color to break it up a little.
The explorer model will get a more historically accurate paint scheme, probably using some muted greens and tans. I've actually had this model for over 10 years now, and I figured now is the time to paint him and give the other parts of my "Darkest Africa" collection a facelift. It is the line that got me into historical miniature collecting, so it deserves more love than I have given.

I have been promising a painting instructional over the last couple of posts, but I just can't think of what the very first one should be. Should it be one for a specific techinique or for a specific model? As soon as I have that figured out, I think the rest will fall into place pretty neatly.

That's all for tonight. Hopefully, I'll post again before a week and a half slip me by.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Workbench Update

Picked up the paintbrushes for a bit tonight to paint some 28mm models before I jumped back on the big Space Marine looking guy. He's almost done, but I just needed to paint something for me tonight. The fellow to the right is an Devout Dwarf Skeleton for Chronopia. I had painted this model as an example of what I consider my "Army Display Standard" for commission rates. He's still not quite complete as I need to flock his base and slap some Dullcote on him. I am really happy with the weathering on him, especially on his sword...really gets across the "been dead for a while" feel I was going for. I still have the other three guys from his blister pack to paint and then I'll be taking a "glamour shots" type photo of them that will be on the new Paintshop website once it goes live.

In historical news, there is this guy. If I haven't said how much I dislike Wargames Factory's models recently, allow me to remedy that. They are the Old Glory of plastic models. Their only saving grace is their price (which is also Old Glory's saving grace, but that is for another day). This is what I consider my "Gaming Standard" painting level for models....although I'm rethinking the eyes as it kinda just highlights how crummy the sculpt is. If you are wondering, I charge roughly 5 bucks per model to paint to this standard (not including assembly as they have a lot of little fiddly parts). Doesn't sound like much, but I can paint 5 or more of these a day (if not more).

That sums up tonight's Workbench Update. I'm getting ready to work on my first painting instructional in a few years...trying to figure out if I want to cover undead flesh or orc flesh. These will be formatted 11x8.5 so that I can fit it all one one page and so you won't have to scroll down to read it all. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Finished AWI British

All done. That's fourteen 54mm British guys painted to a nice gaming standard. To give you an idea of how big a deal this is, I painted maybe 6-7 minis to completion last I'm two years ahead now. I think I will apply some of the lessons and shortcuts I learned from these models to my 28mm models starting with some West Wind WW2 models. Time to knock out that Fallschirjaeger squad.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Why has been a week since I posted last...

After a hectic week of freelance graphic art and design, I managed to get some time to paint some little metal men. Tonight's update sees some more work on the AWI British Infantry from All The King's Men miniatures. They are getting very near completion as all that is left is detail work and some touch up. Since my left hand is shaking like a leaf in the wind at the moment, I'm having to stop earlier than I planned tonight. I love the big models, but trying to hold them steady can be a challenge when you are used 28mm models. And trying to due precise black lining when you can't hold the model steady is damn near impossible and creates even more touch up work. These guys should be done by Monday night though....and then I'm back onto 28mm for a while.

To give you a hint of what is up next in my "personal" painting cue, I give you this:

Saturday, May 5, 2012

More painting....

Forgive the lack of painting updates, but I've been up to my ears in commission work and freelance work. So over the last week or so, I've been chipping away at the AWI British commission that I've been working on over the last few months (can't believe its taken me this long).
This photo is a day or two old and I've progressed further along. The photo shows the models after I've finished "blacking out" the details and given them a coat of Apple Barrel Pewter Gray mixed with a little Ceramcoat White. You'll also notice some of the areas where I've gone in with a .005 Micron Pen and black lined the areas where the coat and blouse meet the details. I've also cleaned up some of the red where some of the black paint strayed (I really need to pick up a new brush). Oh, and I've also blacked out the base. Ken at All the King's Men will apply all the basing materials, so blacking it out is sufficient.
This photo shows where I've gone in and painted all the white areas on the straps and cleaned up the white areas on the blouse and pants. I then applied a wash of Pewter Gray to give me a little depth and contrast (it really helps the folds in the fabric stand out). I've also applied the fleshtone basecoat...first an application of Ceramcoat Autumn Brown followed by a thin coat of my own special fleshtone mix (Ceramcoat Medium Flesh, Autumn Brown, Anthracite, & a tiny hint of Kelly Green). I then applied a wash of Ceramcoat Dark Burnt Umber to bring out the details. I've also painted the "secondary strap" with a mixture of Antique Gold and Cape Cod Blue. I've applied this color to the satchel on their backs as well.

In the non-historical side of things, I've made some more progress on the Sci Fi Knight from Scibor Miniatures.
This is his scenic base, which is a miniature unto itself by the way. It was basecoated with Pewter Gray mixed with a little Black. I then drybrushed and stippled lighter tones on until the desired effect was achieved. I then did a few washes of Ceramcoat Burnt Sienna to give it a rusted and weathered look. The broken sculpture was painted more traditionally...a little blending to give it a smooth appearance and then I applied glazes to give the appearance of weathering. The whole idea I kept in mind while painting the base is that it needed to look good, but not stand out so much that it would "compete" with the mini mounted on it.

Speaking of which, here he is. He's getting closer to completion. This photo is actually a little out of date since I've actually painted his right shoulder pad and finished up his tunic. Currently, I'm working on his "boots" and shading the black armor a little more to get more contrast. Next up is his shield and sword. Then I'll be moving onto some "smaller" models :)

That's all for tonight. Hopefully the next post will show the completed AWI British detachment along with the completed Sci Fi Knight.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Where the f@(k have I been?

Been a while since I had a chance to update the blog. Since my last post, I started working on some AWI British infantry from All the Kings Men which is owned by my good friend Ken Cliffe. These are something new for me as they are 54mm and from a historical period I've never painted.
While the 54mm aspect is sort of intimidating for me, they are really fun to paint. The details are nice and large and I seldom have to use a brush smaller than a Citadel Standard Brush. Pictured above are the first 7 models...sort of the trial bunch as I've been trying to work out what painting methods work best for me. Another great thing is that painting these is forcing me to paint multiple models at the same time and I plan to take the lessons I've learned from these and apply it to some of my 28mm historicals (and maybe one day to my GW stuff....). Stay tuned as I will be posting some more photos later this weekend...hopefully finished shots of the guys above.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Workbench Update for 2/20/2012

Yes, after a couple weeks of nothing, I have returned bearing images of non GW type Space Marine sorts of guys. Well, only one of them but since he's about the size of a 40mm model he sort of counts a two.

This particular model is the Templar Knight from Scibor's Monstrous Miniatures and I belive they are from his Sci Fi Knights line
. As you can see, I am painting him in the classic Black Templars color but without the Black Templar chapter markings. Not really a space for them really.

The model is incredibly detailed although some of the definition of the details leaves a little to be desired but there are no major flubs on the model. I opted for an antique and aged look to the model as I wanted my version to
be a departure from the other versions I've seen. I wanted to push the whole Gothic Sci Fi feel and I didn't think brightly painted pastel color metals could get that feeling across. And before you say I have a problem with NMM, let me say that I am currently working on my NMM technique for painting up my Super Dungeon Explore models. That is one place I feel that style is appropriate.

The gold metallic on this model was painted over an undercoat of Ceramcoat Autumn Brown. I then basecoated with Apple Barrel Pure Gold which was washed with Ceramcoat Dark Burnt Umber. For the first highlight, I mixed Folk Art Pearl White into my gold and built up the highlight by gradually adding more. The final highlight was done with Violator Metal from Prince August's Warzone paint line. The tunic is Ceramcoat Sandstone with Charcoal Gray added in. I highlighted by adding more Sandstone and small amounts of white to the mixture. Once the final highlight was applied, I glazed the tunic with the basecoat color in order to blend the highlights more. The fleshtone is my special fleshtone mixture of about seven different colors. That was highlight by adding small amounts of white to the mixture and was then glazed with the basecoat color.

I still haven't made up my mind about freehand designs on the cowl as of yet. Since the model is so detailed, I really don't think it is necessary and might muddy up the final product. I am also refraining from battle damage and rust on this one. I think some weathering is appropriate, but again I don't want to muddy up the final product.

That concludes tonight's blog entry. I promise I am working on updating the blog more often as well as working on getting the Paintshop of Horrors website back up and running. Until next time...good night.

Mike C.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Workbench Update...

I have been neglecting you internet and for that I must apologize. Been busy restoring some old books to their former glory and making frequent visits to the Department of Labor. But I did manage to get a little bit of painting in this week.

First up is a Devout Risen for Chronopia. His skull was basecoated with Ceramcoat Sandstone mixed with Ceramcoat Charcoal Gray. I gradually added more and more Sandstone to the mix and then a small bit of white for the final highlight. I then glazed over it with slightly darker shade of the basecoat. It was kind of odd to wash and glaze with a gray tone rather than a dark brown. However, I really think it really makes the skull really pop.

His armor was basecoated with Citadel Boltgun Metal which was washed with Dark Burnt Umber mixed with a little Black. I built the color back up by adding small amounts of Mithril Silver to the Boltgun metal. Once that had dried, I stippled on Ceramcoat Burnt Sienna to give the metal a rusted look. The gold areas were first basecoated with a mix of Ceramcoat Autumn Brown and Charcoal Gray. Once that had dried, I applied Apple Barrel Pure Gold which was highlighted with Mithril Silver. I've got the next couple of areas I intend to tackle blocked in hopefully can knock through them this weekend.

I'll be painting up the other three Risen from the blister pack as well and selling them on Ebay. So if you are a Chronopia player, check back in a week or so for some "glamour" shots of the four of them along with a link to the auction.

Next fellow up here is Orin Ramhelm from Reaper. This is the P-65 version of him and it will the second version of this dwarf I will paint. While I'll be keeping some of my earlier color scheme, I will be incorporating some new colors and techniques to really make this model shine. It is still one of my favorite Jason Weibe sculpts to date and he isn't too "Warhammery".

I'm strongly thinking about doing a glow effect on the runes and keeping the weathering to a minimum. I won't remove weathering altogether, but I will keep it to a point where it just looks like wear and tear.

Yes, he is on his original sculpted base. The first version I painted was removed from his sculpted base, but as I said I wanted to do things differently on this model. Honestly, the sculpted base looks better than anything I'd put together for a custom base and since a lot of the fantasy RPGs out there use grid maps rather than wargame style measuring, the base really isn't an issue.

Not pictured on this update are my Imperial Regulars Sergeant for Warzone which there hasn't been too much progress on. The Medusa model from Kabuki is in the Pinesol as the reasons why I shouldn't have primered her white became very apparent.

So that is all for today's entry. Sorry it wasn't my usual rant about some facet of the miniature painting/modeling hobby but I promise I will write one very soon. Keep checking back as I will be posting some in progress photos of me painting my very first miniature from Scibor's Monstrous Miniatures. It is also my first foray into the wild world of resin models so wish me luck.

Later Alligator,

Thursday, January 19, 2012

This week's workbench post!

Hello again and thanks for joining me for this week's workbench update.

As you can see from the photo I have a few figures in progress. Some are a little further along than others, but trust me progress is being made. As I've mentioned in previous posts, my skills had gotten rusty due to not really having a lot of time to devote to my painting, but they are coming back.

The first thing I'd like to point out are the two skeletal dwarfs primered black at the bottom of the image. These are Chronopia models and they are from the Devout army collection. A friend gave me a bunch of these little guys which I am painting up for my D&D collection. The two you see here are going to be for my commission painting rates page. One will show my Level One and Level Two paint jobs. And just so we are on the same page, my Level One is pretty good looking as it's the standard I paint my Old Glory and Westwind Models to. I had thought of doing just the basecoat and wash Level One, but I figure you can get that anywhere and

I'd much rather focus on the higher end stuff. My Level Two is standard which I paint my troop models to. To give you a rough idea of what that looks like, see the image below.

I actually paint about 80% of my models to this standard as I like to save the really time consuming painting for the really detailed models like commanders, heroes, and personalities. It'll be much clearer once I get the samples painted up and do up a nice diagram.

Back to the workbench update. The mostly nude lady is from Kabuki Models and is from their Dark Prophecy line. This model is getting a really detailed paint job (some sites call it a display or showcase level). When you look at all the detail on her, you'll understand why. She'll be getting black hair and a bone white tunic which I will attempt to paint as sheer silk. Her armor bits will get a nice greenish blue color with gold trim and details. She also has a silver chain that wraps around her body from the top of her head to the bottoms of her feet. This particular feature has me thinking of trying NMM again as the detail is really fine and I worry metallics will clog up them up. At the moment, her fleshtones are about halfway done. I still have several more highlighting passes to make before I'm ready to move onto the next area.

The final subject tonight is the Imperial Sergeant. As you can see, he is about 75% done. Right now he only needs the black areas shaded, his paints highlighted, his boots highlighted, and the metallics added. Sounds like a lot to do, but trust me it isn't. I'm hoping to finish him this weekend and model a nice urban combat styled base for him. All part of my "modernize" the Warzone paint schemes from the 90s. If Prince August wants to make this a brand that sells like it once did, they really need to modernize the look of the models and updating the paint jobs is much cheaper than sculpting new models.

Well, that does it for this week's workbench update. I'll be posting progress shots throughout the weekend and maybe get around to my plastics article.

Good night!

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