Friday 27 July 2012

Bange and Oafson - part six

The Trolkin twins, Bange and Oafson from Alternative Armies (LE045), finished.  I have painted the base in my usual manner, varnished the miniatures with Ronseal Gloss Varnish and then two coats of Galleria Acrylic Matt Varnish before adding some clumps of static grass applied over uPVA glue.

Photo One - The Twins.

Photo Two - Bange. The miniature has been slightly modified from the original casting with higher trousers, a revised rear jacket and some Green Stuff buttons.  I painted the spectacles with a bright pink colour as it is well know that Bange sees the world of Valon 'through Rose coloured glasses!'

Photo Three - Oafson. The 'brute' and armed with the modified lance. Once again the casting has been remodelled with Green Stuff.

Photo Four - A rare view of the rear of these two Trolkin showing the conversions and painting.

Photo Five - A different view, with Oafson having yet another disagreement with his twin and Bange left wondering what it is that has upset his brother.

These Limited Edition miniatures are available from Alternative Armies, for full details go to this link.

I have already commented, that with this pair of figures I was trying a new painting technique. One that I feel did not suit my own painting style, however the Block Painting/Wash technique did work for the grey skin tones (Trolkin are supposed to be 'as tough as granite'), so I would have to admit that it has been a partial success.

The Pledge 2012, has so far, moved along quite quickly. However unlike earlier months I have (at least so far) not chosen a subject for the August Pledge.  This may change, but also it will be good to have a month off.


Wednesday 25 July 2012

Flintloque - The Alternative Sharke

Barking Irons Online have uploaded another Miniature Workshop article written by me and labelled Rekhardt Sharpe The Alternative Sculpt. The short article details how I based and painted what is a very rare Special Edition figure of the Flintloque hero Sharke that was given away free with subscriptions to the Orcs in the Hills magazine.

After a long delay between writing and publishing, the article was released yesterday morning and then last night I received a comment on this very Blog from Marzio (Fog Soldiers) giving a link to his own miniature painting tutorial of the very same figure. For more details go to this link for an update on the painting and this link for details of the bare casting. Marzio's painting style is very different from my own - but well worth checking out as he produces some fantastic painted miniatures and it is a great comparison of styles - as we are using the same basic figure.

For more Flintloque Miniature Painting articles, go to this BIO link.


Tuesday 24 July 2012

Bange and Oafson - part five

Since the last post I have painted over most of the miniatures, using my traditional or usual style (dark base colour and two or three highlights). The one exception is the skin or grey flesh areas which I have left as the original Block Painting and Wash finish.

Photo One - Bange and Oafson just waiting for varnishing and flocking.

Photos Two, Three and Four - Detail shots of Bange.  I have kept the rose-tinted glasses, repainted the trousers with gold stripes and finished off the knapsack and Bakur Rifle.

Photos Five, Six and Seven - Detail shots of Oafson. His trousers have been over-painted in Skull White and his Green uniform highlighted in a brighter or lighter Green. I choose a Blue and White stripped bed roll to add some colour and as above, the knapsack and Bakur have been painted.

Both miniatures have had their metallic areas painted with GW metallics. I use metallics in the same way as plain acrylic paint - that is a darker basecoat and one or two highlights in brighter metallic colours. All metallic areas have been washed with the GW Sepia or Black wash (as is my usual style or technique).

It would be fair to say that the Block Painting and Wash technique has not been a total disaster, but I don't see me painting other miniatures in this style, preferring as I do my tried-and-tested Black undercoat with bright or primary layers with two or three highlights.

In summary Bange and Oafson are fantastic miniatures to paint and the 'mix-and-match' painting technique seems to have worked in this instance.

In the next post I plan on showing the varnished and finished Bange and Oafson from Alternative Armies. More (but not too much more) to follow.


Monday 23 July 2012

Some experiments with a Light Box

This afternoon I have been experimenting with a 'Heath Robinson' Light Box built out of a couple of sheets of cardboard, a melon carton and some bamboo sticks.

Photo One - A plain white background in direct sunlight.

Photo Two - Again the plain white background and direct sunlight, but this time with the Macro setting on the digital camera..

Photo Three - Indirect sunlight through a diffuser, some clear packing film held in place with masking tape. (I told you it was Heath Robinson!)

Photo Four - As above but with the Macro setting.

Photo Five - Artificial light this time, a single 60watt standard bulb lit from above.

Photo Six - Artificial light but with the Macro setting.

Interesting experiments. At this moment I am going with the diffused lighting as it has less stark shadows.  However what am I going to do when the winter comes and good sunlight is in short supply?

For the past three/four years I have been using a pale blue background (see earlier posts) but I have been told that if I want to proceed with a PDF book on building wargame terrain, I will need A - a better camera (unlikely at this moment as funds are tight) and B - a light box.

I'll keep you informed of developments.


Sunday 22 July 2012

Wargame Terrain for sale on e-bay

I have decided to sell these two pieces of Wargame Terrain on e-bay.

The first building is a Stone Storehouse built from blue foam and mounted on to an oval of MDF. The building is 78mm wide x 90mm deep and 100mm tall.

The model is finished to a very high standard and is suitable for 28mm wargame figures.

The second model is a converted plastic kit of a Ruined Gateway. Once again mounted on to MDF, the model base is 180mm long x 130mm wide and 80mm tall.

The model is finished to a very high standard and is suitable for 28mm wargame figures.

Both items are now sold.


Friday 20 July 2012

Bange and Oafson - part four

Just to re-cap. I have decided to paint these two Trolkin from Alternative Armies in a new or different painting style. A simple block painted basecoat with Citadel washes. This is a style of miniature painting that I first saw/read about on a You tube video from Rob Alderman.

Stage One.  The two figures have been roughly painted in a style that I believe is called 'block painting'. The flesh is cold stone - Vallejo Stonewall Grey, the uniform Forest Green from Foundry and the trousers Off-White (a mix of Ivory, Stonewall Grey and Skull White). Prior to washing the figures, I have tidied up the Chaos Black undercoat.

Stage Two. I have 'washed' the two Trolkin with both Badab Black and Devlan Mud (the original washes - not the new ones) from Citadel/Games Workshop.

Stage Three. I am not happy with the finish, but have persevered and highlighted the Grey/Green/White areas with at least one highlight, added the Gold braiding and detail as well as adding some additional colour - the Blond Mohican for Oafson and the Rose-Tinted spectacles for Bange.

These Troklin Limited Editions are full of character, really nice sculpts which seem to come to life when 'washed' but is still some way to go before the miniatures are finished. I have to admit to not enjoying this new painting style. In fact I have thought about repainting the Black undercoat and starting again! As I proceed, I find myself using the Block Painted/Wash technique as a base painting technique, but adding layers in my usual style.

I will review progress before my next post.


Thursday 19 July 2012

The Knights Tomb on Barking Irons Online

Craig Andrews has just uploaded my latest Modelling Masterclass article The Knights Tomb on Barking Irons Online.

The simple terrain piece was built as an addition to my group of Witchlands Cemetery scenery and uses a simple 'toy soldier' model on a scratch-built cardboard base.  The same techniques could be used to produce a statue or fountain.

Photos One and Two - The finished Knights Tomb model.

Photo Three - A close-up shot of the cardboard built base.

For even more examples of my scratch-built terrain please go to this link.


Wednesday 18 July 2012

To Publish or Not - part two

Since my first post on the subject of publishing a book on building wargame terrain (see this post) I have received a great deal of both encouragement and advice for which I am very grateful. Thank you.

I am either working-on or have finished six scratch built terrain pieces, details of which to follow, but I have a question. I tend to take loads of images of both the construction and the finished project set against a neutral back drop (see first photo). However as work continues I have also taken 'staged' photos, (see second image).

My question is; "In a book on terrain construction is it preferable to have a 'staged' image to better illustrate the finished piece? Or are images of the finished piece against a neutral backdrop OK?"

I am asking now so I can build up a portfolio of images prior to publication. Publication that will more-than-likely be an e-book or e-publication.

Photo One; The Stone Barn (details of which can be found here)

Photo Two; A 'Staged Photo'

It is also my intention to have a variety of gaming scenery, from simple terrain pieces to highly detailed structures, all with numerous work-in-progress shots.

I will post details once I have more information.


Tuesday 17 July 2012

Bange and Oafson - part three

As you can plainly see, I have undercoated the two Alternative Armies Trolkin miniatures ready to start the painting, proper. I am going to attempt to paint these figures in a different style - a technique which uses one coloured basecoat and washes which I have read about/seen on Rob Alderman's You Tube videos.

My own figure painting style has developed over some considerable time and to summarise; bright primary colours from what is a limited palette over a black undercoat with each separate colour built-up with a strong base layer and at least two (usually more highlighted layers).  I have also become used to applying one (or more) of the new Citadel washes in selected areas, Sepia and Black being my favourite. The technique suits the 'over-the'top' Flintloque castings giving an almost cartoon-y effect.

In this test I plan on using just one (OK - I may need two or three) layers of colour and then wash the whole figure with Badab Black wash from Games Workshop.

In the past I have tried a number of different painting styles - notable the Dallimore style used by Wargames Foundry, but have always gone back to my usual, mainly through comfort and ease of use, OK, through habit!

These images have been taken with just the Chaos Black undercoat and show how the modifications (shown in the earlier post) blend in.

Finally - I am not going to paint the skin colours in the bright, colourful schemes shown on the Alternative Armies website, but use more subdued and stone/rock or natural colours instead.

More to come.


Saturday 14 July 2012

OGAM & STONE Narrow Gauge Railway diorama layout

Ogam & Stone - Stone Masons is a small self-contained narrow gauge railway layout that was built some years ago as both a means of showing off my 'scratch building' skills and as a promotional layout for the 7mm Narrow Gauge Association.

The layout has featured in Narrow Lines The Magazine of The 7mm Narrow Gauge Association as well as being seen at a number of local railway and modelling shows in the Midlands.

The track layout is a simple oval with one turnout/point which leads to the front of the main building and over a (non-working) turntable.

Most of the items on display are either scratch-built or converted. For example; The main building is built from card with Das modelling clay stonework carved on. The roof has been tiled with individual paper roof tiles and the windows are clear plastic with hand built window frames.

The smaller building or workshop is again built over a card core but this time with balsawood cladding and a plastic card corrugated roof.

While the external office (or small green shed) is again scratch-built, this time from mounting board.

The crane is operational (it swivels) and the turntable was built from plastic card.

99% of the 'clutter' is scratch-built from mounting card and plastic card while the groundwork is actual sieved Droitwich dirt laid over a plaster core.

The layout is finished to a very high standard with every detail painted and matt varnished. While the inspiration is fictional, almost every item (building, signage, clutter and equipment) is based on an actual item or original.

The Name OGAM & STONE was made up after seeing a stone/gravel lorry with the name OGAN. In Celtic Lore, Ogam is a magical written language carved into stone. Hence Ogam (stone carving) and Stone!

Technical Information;
Built to the scale of 7mm = 1foot (or O gauge) with 16.5mm gauge track imitating a 2foot 3inch Narrow Gauge Prototype - O-16.5 Notation.
Base or board size; 790mm x 450mm
Main Building footprint; 260mm x 150mm
Track; Peco 'Crazy Track' well weathered
Turnout; Peco Standard Gauge left hand turnout (heavily modified)
All Track is live - there are no isolated areas
There is RELCO unit built in to the main building
Power to both the track and RELCO unit is via the four pin connector to the front of the layout (see first photo)
The turnout is operated via 'wire-in-tube' and although the operating arm is broken the point still works via a short wire pin on the centre of the wooden walkway (again see first photo)
The Layout runs well and will operate with any 16.5mm gauge Tenshodo Spud based engine

I am contemplating selling the layout, both to make room and (in these difficult times) make some money. My Wife thinks I should keep it!