Sunday, September 11, 2016

The eyes have it

Photo 1 - in process

Life as a color blind painter

Being color blind is a strange thing. While it isn't a full disability, it has prevented me from pursuing certain careers of interest in the past since it is an automatic disqualifier. Now, I don't think of colorblindness as anything other than it is a part of me and definitely not a disability. So long ago (about 25 years ago), I started playing Dungeons and Dragons with some friends and as part of that we decided to paint up some miniatures for our games. Sure everyone does that, but as I now know, there are specific items that I did differently from others.

Sure the materials we were using were crap. We used Tester model paints, whatever brushes we could find, and low quality miniatures. As time went on, we discovered better paints, brushes, and miniatures and slowly self-taught ourselves some minor skills. One thing that I always had to do, was to ask about the colors. I remember having concepts in my head about colors, but would (and at times still do) have to ask someone to identify the colors and help me match some of those to the concepts I had.

Photo 1 - in process (B&W)
As I have learned now, I have protan color blindness and as a result have difficulty with red-green differentiation. I'm not going to go into all of the details of colorblindness, but if you would like to learn more then you can see the color blindness Wikipedia page. This also means that I have difficulty with blues and purples and other things, all pretty helpful when you want to translate reality onto a painted miniature. Now add to that issue that I have no formal training and here I am.

So what is there to help if you are color blind. Well one great tool that I have is a color wheel. I picked up from Ironheart Artisans when I went to AdeptiCon a couple of years ago. This is great because it provides for determining complementary colors and opposing colors, but also helps identify the colors of shadows and highlights.

Photo 2 - revised in-process
The next really helpful things has been the ColourWise Facebook group. This was started by Shoshie Bauer and Morgan Brebner and has brought cohort of color blind miniature painters with non-color blind painters together. It has been a great resource for sharing miniatures, getting feedback, and sharing techniques.

This takes me to why I am writing this post. I am working on the Reaper Bones Cloud Giantess ($6.99), which was sculpted by the great Patrick Keith of Bombshell Miniatures, right now and though I didn't get it done in time for the quarterly painting contest, it is helping me push to do something new post-NOVA Open. I have included some images that come from the work I am doing and though when it is done will share a better set of images and write-up, these are helpful to discuss. One of the issues with being color blind, which I have just really learned is that contrast is a significant issue. This is because color blind people see less contrast. As a result the models we produce are missing contrast.

Photo 2 - revised in-process (B&W)
One tool that the group shared with me is to use a black and white photo to see the contrast as a proxy and then develop the shadows and highlights. I've included four images within this post. Two color images and then two black and white versions of the same images. Now, the level of contrast is something that I regularly think about and was actively working to make the contrast match what normal color seeing people would do, but even after all of that work it is apparent in the first photo that I was not able to achieve that. Thankfully the group took a look and provided the great black and white photo trick. From that I was able to deepen the shadows to provide some additional contrast and brighten the highlights to do the same. Now it isn't finished yet, but is getting very close and will be ready for the next post.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Farewell Mighty Warriors...

This Is Not A Test Peacekeeper Warband

NOVA Open Lot
As this posts, the NOVA Open came to a close. With it, the NOVA Open Charitable Foundation Silent Auction will also be closing. Attached are a couple of photos of the auction lot, which included the first ever released hard back rule book, a Gas Mask Girl sticker, the quick rules hand card, and the Peacekeeper warband. My sincere thanks to Dave Taylor of davetaylorminiatures for getting these great photos.

Peacekeeper Warband Close Up
I am hoping to find out who wins the auction and if I can will see what sort of commentary I can get from them about the warband and the rule book. I do know that this lot helped the Silent Auction totals come to nearly $5,500 raised for the charities which is about twice what was previously achieved.

I imagine that most people who are reading this either supported the Kickstarter or will be getting the rule book otherwise. Those Kickstarter items will be shipping as soon as the miniatures start arriving. Keep an eye out for your delivery!

Dragonforge Designs Kickstarter Update

Free to backers at $1100 funding!
With just 4 days to go, the Oakk - Wood Floors campaign is moving along, albeit begrudgingly. These are fantastic bases for any campaign. I have a warband of Brigade Games miniatures that will be based on these miniatures as soon as I can get my hands on them. The details on these miniatures is fantastic, with rich wood grain, wearing, and tiny details, like nails!

These bases are fantastic for Guildball players and anyone who has a water's edge, pirate, or western themed warbands or characters.
On the horizon at $1300 funding!
As I write this post, the funding crossed $1,100, Coming quickly at the $1,300 funding level is the heroic set of bases. These had some really great looking flooring contrasts. These are really great for a variety of steampunk themed miniatures, but work great as the top decking for steamships, airships, or interiors. I imagine it might also be good for many of the Wyrd miniatures.

Other ways to stay in touch...

For everyone who has taken the time to read this, thank you for your interest and support. If you want to see other content, then you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well.

If you have a blog or Facebook artist page or other things, feel free to post in the comments. I'd like to tag along with what you are doing. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Roll Call...Riot Officer

This Is Not A Test Peacekeeper Officer

There are only a few days before NOVA Open and the last officer to come to the warband is another Peacekeeper Officer from Officer Pack 1 ($13.00). No patrol is complete without an officer with a shotgun. The last officer to report is eager to blast your opponents with his Mossberg 500 riot shotgun. The shotgun has some great advantages when used in close combat situations, an added point of weapon strength within a 12" range.

This Peace Officer is decked out in the standard riot armor, but without the heavy coat or cape of some of the other warband members. The officer has the standard MSP Stetson, painted with the Vallejo Khaki Grey with Khaki highlight. The riot armor was based with Reaper MSP Military Grey and then washed with Vallejo Dark Grey Wash. The officer has Army Painter Leather Brown. His boots are Vallejo Black Grey with Citadel Boltgun Metal spurs.

With the warband finished, it was a matter of packing it up and shipping it off to the NOVA Open for the Charitable Foundation Silent Auction. There are a number of other great raffles that are available and all proceeds go to some really fantastic charities: The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Doctors without Borders, and the Fisher House Foundation. I hope everyone is able to support these great charities with the chance for some really amazing armies and pieces.

Dragonforge Designs Oakk - Wood Floors Kickstarter Update

The Kickstarter campaign is quickly approaching $1000 and hopefully will make it to the $1100 mark to unlock the next stretch goal.

Currently there are sets of bases for 30 mm, 40 mm, 50 mm. The first stretch goal unlocked the 80 mm and 120 mm bases. At $1100 all pledges of $50 or more will receive a free set of small crates. Following this, should the Kickstarter get to $1300 then the Heroic Set One will be released.

If you get in on the Kickstarter campaign, you essentially save 10% over retail prices. I've used lots of Dragonforge bases, many of the Peacekeeper warband were. These bases will be a great addition and will go very well with some of the Brigade Games miniatures that will soon be started for another This Is Not A Test warband.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Janie's got a gun

This Is Not A Test Outrider

Outrider (front)
With NOVA Open fast approaching, I had to get moving quick to make sure the last two pieces were finished and shipped to for transport to the NOVA Open Charitable Foundation Silent Auction. Thankfully my #HobbyHangout pals are always available with words of encouragement and banter to keep me going.

Janie, the Peacekeeper Outrider ($6.50) was the last miniature that I finished before the Open, but I am going to cover her before the other officer. I painted this entire miniature in about 2.5 hours, which I believe is the fastest that I ever painted a figure. Sure it helped that I had already painted 5 others and the color scheme was already worked out, but I managed to keep to task for the entire time.

Outrider (rear)
 As with all good forces, it is helpful to have the advantage of sight. The Outrider is just that for the Peacekeepers. Taking advantage of keen sight, the Outrider finds the right vantage point and can keep opposing forces from advancing. With advanced optics, the Outrider's rifle allows her to hit targets from a distance.

This model follows much of the same color scheme as the other Peacekeepers. The cloak is Vallejo Olive Drab, with some Stained Olive splash, and touched up with some Golden Olive highlights. The leather vest was painted up with Army Painter Leather Brown. The Stetson is the same color combo of Vallejo Model Color Khaki Grey and Khaki. The pads/armor pieces are Reaper MSP Military Grey. The boots are a combination of Army Painter Oak and Reaper MSP Woodland Brown. The Model is based on one of the Dragon Forge Designs Urban bases.

Now with the force nearly complete, there will be one more opportunity to post prior to the Open. I truly hopes lots of people take advantage of the Silent Auction and take part in the other auctions as well.

NOVA Open Charitable Silent Auctions

Tickets are already sold out for the Pride of the 14th Legion army. Three raffles supporting Warhammer; Da Bad Moon Skwadron, Mjolinar Space Marines, and Novamarines Adeptuc Asartes. There is a WWII Soviet Tank Company for Flames of War and an Emerald Empire Squadron for X-Wing. Tickets for each of these raffles are $1 each and total 500 tickets for each raffle.

There are also a bunch of specially painted models that are up at $2 per ticket. Corvus Belli Studios made a studio painted Achilles model. Neil "Zab" Szabo provided an Adeptus Mechanicus Ironstrider. Duncan Rhodes of Games Workshop donated an Archaon, Exalted Grand Marshal of the Apocolypse. John Stiening created and painted a Bolt Action King Tiger and a Primarch Angron.  David Pauwels created and painted a Carcharodon Captain. Roman Lappat of Massive Voodoo fame, put together a Crashed X-wing scene and the NOVA Open Virtue statue, Raffaele Picca of Massive Voodoo fame, created and painted First Ranger Mira and the  Great White Werebull, A Khorne Chaos Champion was created and painted by David Faust-Du Sablon. The Ork Warlord "Overfiend of Octarius" was created and painted by Sean Fulton.

Dragon Forge Designs Oakk - Wood Floors Base Set Kickstarter

Just in time for the net projects, Dragon Forge Designs has released a great set of round lipped wood bases. These bases are perfect for a new warband that will be starting soon. Though the wood floors have a great pirate ship feel, I will be taking them more in the direction of a dock on the North Shore. So far all of the Dragon Forge Designs bases that I have used have been fantastic. This Kickstarter works as all of the others did, pledge an amount and pick that much from the available basis. Once you hit the $50 amount, you also get any of the stretch goals.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Walk softly and carry a big stick

Line Breaker Model

This Is Not A Test Line Breaker

Whether you are facing a bunch of hippies at a sit in or fending off mutant cannibals, you don't want to on the the receiving end of the Line Breaker's baton. The Line Breaker ($6.50) is the latest of the Peacekeeper warband in the NOVA Open Charitable Foundation Silent Auction.

I went slightly different with this model. Since the Maryland State Police wear camouflage uniforms for the special weapons and tactical teams, I went with more of a Baltimore feel for the model.

Maryland Flag Visor
The Baltimore SWAT units are equipped with practical equipment, the Line Breaker is ready to punish with a spiked club and a spiked, full-body shield. Both at the ready to smash his opponents. When holding the line, his tactical riot armor will help defend equally from knife sticks and small arms fire.

Since I was going with a real city feel, I went with a round lipped 30 mm sewer base from Town Square set ($10) offered by Secret Weapon Miniatures. I think one was a part of the NOVA Open 2015 swag bag.

Line Breaker (front)
While finishing up a previous model on one of the Hobby Hangouts, we were discussing freehand technique. For some reason while discussing freehand techniques for the trim of capes or the back of the capes, I decided that I needed to do a Maryland State flag ...and I needed to paint it on the visor. Now I am not sure how this officer can see out of the visor, but with a big spiky club; he may not care. The Maryland state flag colors are red, white, and black. The flag is the heraldic of George Calvert, Lord Baltimore. I tried to match the layout in style since the visor isn't rectangular and made it as close as possible. When the model was done, I used the Army Painter Anti-Shine to take it to a matte finish.

The base color for his uniform pants and shirt are based with Vallejo Blue then washed with the Vallejo Blue Shade. This took the flat blue to a more navy color like the S.W.A.T. uniforms.

Line Breaker (Shield)
The riot armor has the feel of a catcher's breast plate in texture, so I went with a pretty safe layout for that. The base was the Vallejo Black Grey. To get it darkened up, I used the Secret Weapon Soft Body Black wash. Though this is a wash, it covers pretty well and it rather opaque. The wash doesn't run off as readily as many other washes so I had to do a touch up on top with the Black Grey. The straps for the armor were done with Vallejo Black. His badge is a duel layer of Citadel Boltgun Metal with the star done with Citadel Shining Gold. The shoulder pads and the little protective pads on the gloves were painted with Reaper Military Grey. The gloves are painted Vallejo Leather Brown.

Line Breaker (Rear)
Most riot shields are either black or very dark grey. I went with a the black grey, but mixed in some of the soft body black wash with some bolt gun metal to give it a little shimmer. The mix provide some slight sparkle to the shield, but doesn't make it shimmer or take it too far from a flat metal look. The spikes on the front are painted with the Vallejo Boltgun Metal. The helmet is reaper Nightmare Black, which has a heavy purple base to it.

The sewer cover was based with the black grey and then touched over with Vallejo Tinny Tin. The tinny tin was added sporadically to give some low cover shimmery effect and a bit of the metallic rust color. On top of this was added some of the Secret Weapon Pigments (entire set of 23 for $99). I used a combination of Ancient Earth, Dark Earth, and Clay Earth. This was of course fixed with the Secret Weapon Pigment Fixer. This doesn't show up much int he image as the fixer was still wet. It will brighten up a bit when dried completely. You can see that at the NOVA Open in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Get 'em while you can

Kickstarter Roundup

Secret Weapon Tablescapes Dungeons

Core Set Components (Stair Set not shown)
Core Set Components
Secret Weapon Miniatures has developed a new area of your table top environment, Dungeons. This extension of the previously successful Tablescapes Tiles. The Tablescape Tiles product allows for a very quick set-up for war games or overland scenes for role-playing games. The new Tablescapes Dungeons is a fully compatable sister product that allows you to take your adventure underground or into a cavernous mine. The Tablescapes are also fully compatible with the Dwarven Forge and Fat Dragon Tiles.

As the Kickstarter campaign enters its last few days, let's take a look at where it stands. There are two entry levels for pledges, $5 (allows purchase of add-on items) or $75 which gets the contents of the campaign and can purchase add-on items. The $75 pledge level so far will get you the Core Set, Core Walls, Core Passageways, Core Floors, Stair Set, Door Set, and Bridge Set. The funding stands just over $120,000 and at $140,000 will unlock the bridge set. You can see most of the components released so far in the image to the right. This image excludes the stair set, which is three additional pieces (floor stair entrance, two levels of stair risers). 

In addition to the Core Set, you can add a Mine Track set ($18) or a Troll Hole ($6) and lots of options for Reaper Bones, Secret Weapon Crystals, and Reaper Paints. 

The Hobby Transporter

Another campaign which is coming to a close, is the Laser Shark Designs' hobby case. The Hobby Transporter ($95 AUD/~$72 US) is miniature case designed specifically for those who travel with hobby gear and models around the country or world. This case is designed to open entirely (top and front open) and houses a removable shelf to give two levels of model storage and removable tray to hold hobby supplies. There are pledge levels that include additional shelves or multiple cases. 

Open case with tray and shelves
Hobby Transporter with shelves and hobby tray
The case has latches and locks, but is TSA compatible to ensure ease of transport across the United States. The shelf is made of clear acrylic with a laser etched Laser Shark Designs' logo. There are a number of shelf guides within the case to allow for the safe transport of any sized model. 

As add-on you can get steel shelf liners which will allow the use of magnetized bases instead of using blue tack. Additional shelves (acrylic and paint trays) can be purchased as well as the newly developed leaf punches. These are similar to punches for scrapbooking and come with designs for Oak, Maple, and Birch leaves. 

If you are travelling with models for display or models for competition, I highly recommend this case. Designed and developed by professional painters for just this reason. 

Linebreaker Preview

Later this week, I will be completing the next This Is Not A Test Peacekeeper for the NOVA Open Silent Auction. When people get out of hand, you want the Linebreaker ($6.50) on your side. This one got a little freehand (my first ever) and when it is your first attempt, why not tackle the Maryland flag on a helmet visor? Well, here's a preview to Sunday's post.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Role-call Lt. Strong

This Is Not A Test Peacekeepers

When the Road Marshal starts role-call, his go to second in command is Lt. Stong. He is the Road Marshal's Quartermaster and there to keep the troopers in line and on point. After many years on the force he knows the units, knows the procedures, and knows the gear. Ready to tear a weapon down and reassemble at a moment's notice, Lt. Strong is the most dependable of this veteran force.

Armed with an AR-15 capable of fully automated fire, the good lieutenant is ready for action. As with every good Quartermaster, he is not concerned with the performance of the weapon because he treats it better than his lady. 

Lt. Strong (Front)
The Quartermaster is decked out in the standard Stetson straw hat and Maryland State Police (MSP) winter coat. The hat was painted with a base of Vallejo Khaki Grey with a highlight of Vallejo Khaki. This Khaki was carried down to his shirt as well. The heavy coat follows with the MSP Olive Drab. Highlights were applied with a Reaper HD Stained Olive and Golden Olive. All of the buttons were done in Citadel Beaten Copper to match the theme and style of the Road Marshal. As with Road Marshal, the Quartermaster has pants of painted with Army Painter Leather Brown. His gloves and the scabbard for his knife are painted using Citadel Snakebite Leather. 

Unlike the Road Marshal, standard colored chaps were not available, so he got some Harley Davidson stock chaps and modified them for duty. These are matched by his Harley Davidson riding boots, nicely accented with silver spurs. The chaps and boots were base coated with Vallejo Black Grey. The chaps were washed with Vallejo charcoal grey extra opaque and deepened with Secret Weapon Miniatures soft body black. 

Lt. Strong (Side)
The AR-15 was painted with the black grey, they washed in small spaces with the Vallejo Dark Grey Wash. Some wear marks were added using Citadel boltgun metal. The ammo pouches on his belt were done with the black grey with beaten copper buttons. The beaten copper was carried tot he ammunition belt across his chest. All of the armor and pads were painted using the black grey with a cover of Reaper Military Grey to provide some contrast.

The model was based on a Dragon Forge Designs 30 mm Round Lip Concrete Finish base. This is a few layers of paint and washes. The base color is Reaper Ash Grey. The areas between the slabs were washed with Vallejo Dark Grey Wash and then brought back up with Reaper Ash Grey.

If you want to see this one and take it home, be sure to check it out at NOVA Open and bid on the warband in the NOVA Open Charitable Foundation Silent Auction

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Hell hath no fury...

Like a Woman Scorned

Agatha Fox (front)
As part of the Reaper Bone Kickstarters, I picked up hundreds of miniatures and many of those are still sitting around collecting dust. With my involvement with This Is Not A Test, I have found a new use for many of the miniatures. Originally I picked them up for all of the fantasy figures for use with on-going D&D campaigns. Well a couple of years later, some parts from the Bombshell Couterblast Kickstarter and inspiration strikes.

I started with the Agatha Fox Bones miniature ($2.49) and made a little modification. The original figure is a peaceable enough looking woman, but with a secret, she is a spy after all. Tucked up behind her purse is what appears to be a Walther PPK (think Bond, Jane Bond).

Now while this is a fine enough figure and has been painted by many rather good painters, I decided it needed more. I liked the pose overall, but there wasn't enough oomph in the gun and I didn't see a spy in this figure so much as I saw a woman scorned. Perhaps beaten and broken, she was seeking revenge in one final confrontation.

Agatha Fox (rear)
I selected a handgun from the Neiran Weapon sprue ($2.99) since it had a much more American six shooter look to it. I had to do a little surgery on Agatha, but since it is the Bones material that is a really simple task. The material is a sinch to cut and move around. For this, I had to slice where her right hand falls behind her purse and separate her purse from her body. I cut off what was the Walther and opened the hand so that I could add the Neiran gun into a position that keeps the profile and the gun can't be seen from the front. This is similar to the work I did for the Reaper Bones Strumpet (The road from lovely scrumpet to deadly vixen).

Once the conversion was completed, I selected one of the newer Dragon Forge Designs bases, a round lipped base from the Cobblestone Rubble 30 mm sets $10.00).


Agatha Fox (Front)
I tried to keep a rather domestic look to the figure to keep with the basic idea that she is meeting up with a lover/husband and exact her revenge. She has a very fair complexion, Reaper MSP Maiden Flesh. The hair is a base of Vallejo Mahogany Brown with highlights of of Reaper MSP Griffon Tan. A wash of Vallejo Flash Wash was used to mark the line from the hair to the skin. 

The coat is based with Vallejo Khaki Grey with the Flesh Wash to add depth. The lapels were painted with straight Khai Grey. To finish off the coat, the belt was painted Mahogany Brown with a Citadel Shining Gold buckle. 

The gold carries to the purse which also has gold buckles on a Vallejo Flat Blue base. This was mottled with a Vallejo Grey Blue after a Vallejo Blue wash to give it a color similar to a Coach purse my wife has. When originally done though, the blue was too predominant and drew attention away from the face of the model. I increased the layer of blue grey and that toned it down significantly. For some additional consistency, she was given Mahogany Brown boots to complete her outfit. My thanks to some friends in the Facebook #HobbyHangout group for helping with feedback and color choices for the belt and boots. 

Agatha Fox (Rear)
The base was coated with Reaper MSP Ash Grey then some color was added to a few of the cobblestones using the Grey Blue. The highlight color was Reaper Concrete Grey. The sewer grate was painted with a base of Citadel Boltgun Metal which was then covered/washed with Vallejo Black Grey. 

After finishing it up, there was still something missing that I felt was needed to give it a bit more life. Since her colors were fall in palette, I went to the Secret Weapon Miniatures Masterclass Scenics and added some Fallen Leaves to the base. These were added in a bit of a clumpy fashion but coming off of the base to give it some action, something like the leaves being blown in the wind. Something to add to the chill nature of the act about to occur. 

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Peace Officer

This Is Not A Test Peacekeeper Road Marshal

Blocked out colors
When faced with the constant attacks and chaos of the wastes, gentler folks look for peace wherever they can find it. When the Road Marshal ($6.50) brings his posse to town, they are ready to lay down the law.

The original kit from This Is Not A Test includes two weapon options, the submachine gun or a pistol. Since this is the leader for the NOVA Open Charitable Foundation Silent Auction, I decided to give him the SMG. To give him a more action intense pose, he is pointing to provide direction to his men.

Details being worked out
The original package come with two head options, one that is wearing a helmet with a gas mask and one that is totally open with mutton chops. I decided that the scheme for this warband would be close related to the Maryland State Police (MSP) Troopers since they are coming from the National Capital Area. To make this work, I selected one of the heads with the straw Stetson hat as worn by the MSP.

To get the hat color I started with the Vallejo Khaki Grey and then added some highlight with straight Vallejo Khaki. The highlights are along the ridges of the top of the hat and along the front brim of the hat. Along the front brim of the had, I extended the highlight back a bit more to bring the focus toward the face.

Final (front)
For the face, I wanted to show him as well exposed to the sun, so I went with the Reaper Sunburned Flesh as the base. I added some touch up to this with Reaper Caucasian Flesh. His hair started with Reaper Concrete Grey that was washed with Vallejo Flesh Wash to give it some added brown to the hair.

The traditional colors of the MSP are Olive Drab winter coats, khaki shirts, with brown pants with a black stripe. Now, the Vallejo Model Color USA Olive Drab worked really well with this figure and I used the Vallejo Stained Olive to deepen the contrast on the coat. The turned section is done up with Vallejo Golden Olive to make a stark contrast with the exterior of the coat and lighten up toward the face. The shirt is done with the Vallejo Khaki paint with the belts painted with Vallejo Gunmetal Grey. The center section and all of the rivets, buttons, and buckles were painted with Citadel Beaten Copper.
Final (Side)

The belts that are on the exterior of the coats and the chaps and belt pouches were started with Vallejo Black Grey. To deepen this, I used Vallejo Game Exta Opaque Heavy Charcoal watered down to be a wash. Usually I would highlight with a lighter grey as well to bring show wear and add highlight, but I left the bottom half darker to keep focus moving up the face. The small area where the pants can be seen was painted up with Army Painter Leather Brown. That was washed with the Game Color Flesh Wash.

Final (back)
The SMG was based with the black grey and then touched in a few spots with Vallejo Game Ink Black. The boots were painted strictly with the Heavy Charcoal.

The base is a Dragon Forge Design 30 mm Round Lip Concrete Finish base. This is a few layers of paint and washes. The base color is Reaper Ash Grey with touch up of Reaper Concrete grey for the highlight/wear locations. The areas between the slabs were washed with Vallejo European Dust, Vallejo Light Grey Wash, and Devlan Mud.

Be sure to check out the final set when it gets to NOVA Open this September.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

You can Depend-O-Bot on me!

This Is Not A Test Depend-O-Bot

Blocked colors
Keeping the peace sometimes requires a carrot and sometimes it requires a stick. When the Peacekeepers need a really big stick, they call in the Depend-O-Bot. Created just prior to the Great Fall, the Depend-O-Bot was the latest and greatest in the unmanned fighting force. Able to run efficiently on any available fuel, the Depend-O-Bot is a rugged and robust machine of destruction.

 The Depend-O-Bot ($6.50) provides an assured level of protection for a reasonable amount of barter script. The issue is more about finding a working Depend-O-Bot in the midst of piles and piles of rubble. Once it is found, getting it in working order can be an ordeal.

All of that stress and trouble is well worth the price when the bullets are flying or engaged in close combat. The capability to have an integral weapon allows the Depend-O-Bot to be equipped with a two-handed melee weapon as well as a ranged weapon. The additional armor keeps it running through whatever the enemy forces can throw at you.

Factory Paint

Depend-O-Bots were produced for military and civilian purposes. I chose a civilian outfitted model with a police style paint scheme. I blocked out the figure with Vallejo Model Color Flat Blue. I graduated the armor plating using a Vallejo White and Vallejo Light Gray blend. I started with an even mix for the first level and then slowly added more white to the mix to bring it up.

For all of the components of tubes, I used a mix of Vallejo Gunmetal Grey and Vallejo Black Grey. There a few sets of pipes along the neckline and going to his weapon and for the joints at the hips and back of the knees. The gun is a base of Vallejo Gunmetal Grey with an ammo feed of Citadel Game Colour Beaten Copper.

Most of the model was washed with Vallejo Dark Grey, mostly in the recesses. Some Citadel Boltgun metal was used to make some sections of wear to the model. I over painted the wear marks, then went back with the Vallejo Flat Blue and stippled it in to break up the wear marks.

Finished Depend-O-Bot
The "eye" was done with a base of Vallejo Flat Red which was followed with a lighter area of mixed Reaper Sunrise Orange with the Vallejo Flat Red. This didn't have enough of a pop to it though, so I added a center spot of Reaper Candlelight Yellow. To add some rusting to the body, I layered some wash with the Vallejo Dark Rust.

I based the miniature on a Secret Weapon Miniatures 30 mm round sewer base which I got as part of a swag bag from the NOVA Open. You can get it as part of the Town Square set ($10.00). This was painted up with the Vallejo Grey Black then highlighted with Citadel Game Colour Tin Bitz and washed with Vallejo Dark Grey and Vallejo European Dust.

This will be one of the Peacekeeper sets that will be part of the silent auction at NOVA Open this year, so stay tuned as the Peacekeepers get put together and painted up.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Not all Roaches are bad, some are Rad!

This Is Not A Test Rad Roach

Rad Roach (primed)
You can count on two things surviving the apocalypse. One is goo filled and leads to an early grave, the other is the cockroach. Once you just needed to get past the ick factor and put a boot onto them, but those days are long past.

Creatures of the darkness, scavengers of carrion, and opportunists to attack unsuspecting wastelanders. The Rad Roach ($6.50 for 1 or a swarm of 5 for $29.50)  a far surpassed survival. Thriving on a study diet of the detritus of the wasteland, the Rad Roach has adapted to tolerate high levels of radiation, either from direct exposure or bio accumulation.

Much as in days of the past, the Rad Roach is a nuisance in the wastes. And much like the days of the past where there is one Rad Roach there are many. Unlike days of the past, these will take down a herd of cows (or Caravanners) and clean the bones in a day.

Initial complete phase

Rad Roach Painting

 For this version of the Rad Roach, I decided to base it on an actual cockroach. Unfortunately, I am color blind (protan if you are interested) and I didn't have a direct match to the colors I wanted to use. I decided to mix up something that might work enough for what I needed and started to paint.

The main body of the Rad Roach was created by mixing Reaper HD Sunburn Flesh with Reaper HD Sunrise Orange and Vallejo Mahogany in a 6:1:4 ratio. To bring the color up, I added 1 drop each of Vallejo Candlelight Yellow and Sunrise Orange tot he remaining paint. I continued to bring the contrast up by repeating this step another time. With the layers of color added, the entire model was washed down with Devlan Mud. A round of touch ups to clean up the wash layer. Six additional drops of of the Candlelight Yellow to the remaining paint mixture and the final touch up for highlights.

Final model
With this base color applied, the roach that I selected had a highlighted color on the top of the carapace and on the legs. The actual roach's highlights were amber, an amber that I didn't have. I went with a bit of a wilder decision. I went with some Citadel Ivandian Darksun for the face, topmost carapace, and spiny protrusions.

Final Model
This gave me something that wasn't quite right, but I could not put my finger on exactly where I needed to make changes. I went to the Hobby Hangout Facebook group and solicited some advice. I was given suggestions to add some banding to the antenna, ink the lines, and bring the highlight color (Ivandian Darksun) up more. I used Game Ink Black to do the lining. I used another layer of the Ivandian Darksun to add the bands and the carapace highlights.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A return to glory... life in the Sunshine Wastes

The Sunshine Wastes

It was a beautiful Spring day outside of Them Parks. One of the few remaining before the start of the wet season in Florida when the trade winds blow into the winds of the Gulf causing regular showers and thunderstorms.

Tom Tibedeaux, Lord Reclaimer of the Brighter Yesterday Society, took his crew out to recover or salvage some ancient materials to bring back to the settlement. The group started out early on a Sunday morning to some nearby ruins. The band consisted of Doug Faraday (Reclaimer), Seamus Bell (Arbiter), Glocken Musk and Spiel Jobs (Seekers).

As the BYS scoured the Industrial Wastes of old Orlando, the group ran into a group of Raiders known locally as the Waste Hounds. Though outnumbered, the BYS spread out to secure locations to ensure the reclamation of materials to restore the glory and light to the area and to prevent the destruction or sale of the materials. The Waste Hounds moved quickly into the area and spread out to cover as many as the sites as possible.

Mad Dog and Goliath captures the first site, but were quickly engaged by Tom, Seamus, and Doug quickly took positions to engage. Seamus was able to unleash the minigun in a hail of lead to take out Mad Dog. Tom quickly followed with his laser carbine to bring down Goliath.

Continuing the push, the Waste Hounds sent Blitz, .30, and Prometheus into another ruin site and were engaged by Glocken and Spiel. Prometheus moved forward with his flamethrower, but when the pilot light went out he was quickly knocked down by Spiel with a gut blast of his shotgun. With fire coming in from .30, Glocken charged to run him through with his bayonet. .30 was able to avoid the attack and took Glocken out with his large machine gun. The shots were close and in the end proved to be too much and devastating to Glocken.

Seamus moved forward under cover from Tom and Doug to capture a site. During the gun fight, Faraday blew a motivator and went down. After clearing the issues, he took a number of shots from Wayne and went prone to avoid additional shots. Tom also started taking fire from two additional Waste Hounds and was forced into cover. After recovering the two immediately re-engage.

Spiel jumped into one of the ruined buildings and blasted .30 from behind. With mounting loses, Blitz attempted to move to a better support position, but as a result moved into an exposed position and was knocked down by Spiel.

With the Waste Hounds tucking tail and running, the Brighter Yesterday Society was able to secure the remaining sites. In the search, the group was able to find a shiny object in the rubble.

On the return trip, Spiel in an effort to deal with the loss of Glocken went off to clear his head. While on his journey, he wandered into what should have been a devoid space. Here he ran found himself in a dark place and one to which he narrowly escaped. He came back to the settlement with a quiet stillness and darker look in his eyes.

With the recent success and apparent growth in competition, the group picked up two additional members. These two excavators will be added to help do the heavy lifting of recovery and transport.

Upcoming Projects

With my move completed and us mostly settled into the new house, I have re-established my hobby spaces and have been regularly working to get things in order and to get projects started. I will be working to complete the Paladin of Serenrae very soon to get that shipped out. Then it is a schedule of working on the NOVA Open Charitable Foundation Silent Auction pieces from This In Not A Test and on to additional pieces to support the game. Lots of things are stacked up to get done.