Dec 11, 2013

WIP: Grot Tank Weathering

Subtitle to this post: A Hiatus From My Hiatus.

I got a few days off from work over the Thanksgiving holiday and took the opportunity to get some hobby time in.

The siren song of the Grot tank was too much to resist; one day I'll finish the latest additions to my Cawdor gang.

But first things first, some Grot tank progress:

I started by shading the metal pieces with watered-down Vallejo Model Air (VMA) Metallic Black (073) and then drybrushing highlights of VMA Aluminum (062).

Yellow areas received a drybrush of Vallejo Model Color (VMC) Sand Yellow (916), and brown pieces got a once over with VMA Rust (069).

I also detailed the pintle-mounted shoota:

And added a few transfers:

According to the folks at Heresy Online, the driver of this Grot tank likes speed (the "Wazza" symbol on the turret) and is a ruthless veteran (the "Grim" and "Skraga" symbols from top to bottom on the hull).

To lay down the decals, I started by brushing on some Future floor polish to the areas. This makes it easier to slide the transfers onto the model and then adjust them once on. I also used Vallejo Decal Medium (212) to further lubricate the surface and then Decal Fix (213) to keep them in place.

As you can see in the above photos, I forgot to take pictures of previous steps before moving on to adding paint chipping.

To achieve the chipping, I cut up old blister pack foam into small triangles and then lightly dabbed on Reaper High Density (RHD) Armor Grey first and then more selectively applied VMA Steel (065).

There's still plenty left to do before I put this bad boy together. I want to try my hand at an oil wash and then apply powders to simulate rust, mud, and dust. But I'm really pleased with how the weathering has turned out so far.

I have time off around Christmas, so I should be able to put in more hobby time.

Up next: Maybe a showcase of this fine little Grot tank.

So until next time, keep painting!

Oct 11, 2013

SIPtG on Hiatus

Well, the title of the post says it all.

The paints are back up on the shelf, the projects are mothballed, and the brushes are away in their case.

My longer than usual absence from the blog recently has been due to a new employment situation, which will also be keeping me away for a bit longer, thus necessitating the hiatus.

Last month, I left a cushy state government job to throw my support behind a gubernatorial candidate here in my home state of Maryland.

The campaign trail is a demanding one, and I generally work seven days a week for between 12 and 14 hours a day. Thus, any time I had to devote to paining toy soldiers has vanished.

The good news is that the campaign only lasts until either next June or next November.

So, keep an eye out for my triumphant return next summer or winter!

Until then, keep painting!

Aug 18, 2013

WIP: Grot Tank Basecoat, Shading & Highlighting

After some fits and starts, I've finally finished laying down the basecoat and initial shades and highlights on the first Grot Tank:

Taking inspiration from Paul's fantastic Medium Panzer Walker over at the unrealistic artist, this tank is dark yellow with spot colors of blue, red, and various metallics.

As Grots are willing to pull scrap off of anything to help construct their rickety war machines, I attempted to evoke that ramshackle messiness without making the paint job too busy.

I started by airbrushing the basecoats:

The hull, turret, and a few road wheels got a coat of Vallejo Model Air (VMA) Dark Yellow (025). A big thanks to Paul at UA for helping sort out the yellow.

Then, the tracks, grotzooka ammo box, exhausts, and a few pieces of the hull and turret got a once over with Vallejo Game Color (VGC) Charred Brown.

Finally, the big shoota and its ammo box, the pintle-mounted shoota, a couple road wheels, and several hull pieces got shot with VMA Steel (065).

Noticing that the dark yellow had a tinge of green, I thought mixing in a dark green (VGC Cayman Green) to shade would be an interesting experiment:

It was interesting, just not that pleasing to the eye.

You'll notice that I added a bit too much airbrush thinner to the mix and also got too close with the airbrush when spraying, hence the small pooling effects.

Still, I hadn't made up my mind about color choices yet and went ahead with highlighting. I mixed in a touch of Vallejo Model Color (VMC) Ivory (918) to the dark yellow and went for a gradation effect:

I went a bit overboard with the highlights and killed any gradation.

At that point I decided green was the wrong shade color and elected to start over. I taped off the appropriate areas and reshot the dark yellow.

This time around, instead of a green-hued shade I chose VMA Camouflage Medium Brown (038):

The brown is more subtle and helps better unify the paint scheme.

Also, instead of ivory, I picked a less dramatic change in hue for the highlight and went with VMC Sand Yellow (916):

There's still some work left to be done before I can move on to weathering. I need to clean up some overspray, add drybrush highlights, and shade the metal painted areas with ink.

But, I'm finally satisfied with the tank's basic color scheme, which will help me move through the later stages a bit faster.

Up next: Finishing up the latest additions to my Cawdor gang.

So until next time, keep painting!

Jul 17, 2013

SIPtG Turns One!

Just a quick announcement: Today is the blog's first birthday!

Let's all wish the blog a happy birthday.

(Is it weird to wish a blog a happy birthday? Yeah? Oh well.)

Happy birthday, SIPtG!

Anywho, I just wanted to say thank you to all the readers and folks who've left comments. I've enjoyed documenting my hobby work over the last year and appreciate that there are people out there who want to read about it.

Also, the last year has seen a few milestones:
  • In May, the blog hit 1,000 total pageviews, and
  • Since April 20, the blog has received at least one pageview a day.

I know this is small potatoes to most, but I'm happy with the little corner I've carved out on the internet.

If you haven't already noticed, I'm an excruciatingly slow painter. My initial intentions of updating the blog on a weekly basis quickly fell by the wayside, as my generally meticulous nature became doubly so when painting miniatures.

I've been working at getting faster and I hope to bring you more than the sixteen posts I wrote over the last year by July of next year.

Speaking of the next twelve months, I'm planning on finishing up the squadron of Grot Tanks I've begun; completing enough Cawdor models to field a legal gang in a game of Necromunda; and dabbling a little in Oldhammer.

So until next time, keep painting!

Jun 11, 2013

New Stuff: Games & Gears Pro Studio Brushes

Last fall I took the plunge and backed my first Kickstarter campaign. Since then, I've pledged support for a few more.

One of the more recent campaigns I've backed was Games & Gears' Pro Studio brushes. A few weeks ago, I received my order:

I pledged at the £25 level and received a total of nine brushes, as pictured above.

This included the Core Set, which consists of brushes in sizes 000, 00, 0, 1 and 2:

As well as the stretch goal rewards of the 3LX, 4RX, and the S1 and S2 specialist brushes:

All of the brushes are sturdily constructed with big, thick handles. The Kolinsky sable hair bristles are strong and snap back with good resiliency. Also, the bellies provide an adequate reservoir for dispensing paint.

Interestingly, compared to the Raphael 8404 brushes I regularly use, the Pro Studio brush heads are noticeably smaller:

I don't know exactly what this will mean performance wise, as I've only been able to play around a bit with these Pro Studio brushes, but I'm excited to start using them.

I think the dual heads will be helpful in blending better highlights, and I'm looking forward to trying my hand at wet blending. After a little more experience with them, I'll be able to give a more thorough review.

Next up: An actual update on the basecoating and shading of the Grot Tank.

So until next time, keep painting!

May 29, 2013

WIP: Cawdor Gang 2 Basecoat & Shading

Switching from Grots to gangers, here's the latest WIP shot of my two newest Cawdor gang initiates:

The above photo shows the two after a basecoat and shading.

While using the airbrush to lay down a basecoat on the Grot Tank, I thought I might as well use it to put paint on these two as well:

PROTIP: Always properly dilute your paints (about the consistency of skim milk) before putting them through an airbrush.

I got lazy toward the end of the airbrushing session and failed to properly dilute my paint. The Vallejo Model Color (VMC) Burnt Cadmium Red (814) was the worst, as you can tell by the splattering in the photos above, and it ended up giving the airbrush a nasty clog that took a couple of days to properly clear out.

I tidied everything up with some brushwork:

These are the first gang members I've painted that are wearing undershirts. I initially went with VMC Burnt Cad, as you can see in the airbrushing photos, but decided it was just too much red. So, I did them up in the same color as their brethren's tank tops: Vallejo Game Color (VGC) Khaki.

I also simplified some of the paint formulas from the first batch of gang members. I dropped the VMC Red (926) from the pants and removed the Citadel (GW) Rotting Flesh from the skin mix. The changes saved time and won't alter the final look of the models.

Finally, I made sure to completely basecoat both models before moving on to shade them:

There's still work to be done on the Dragon Forge Design bases before I can move on to highlighting and weathering, but these two gentlemen are coming along much faster than the first group.

For details on basecoating and shading, see here, here, and here.

Next up: Basecoating and shading the Grot Tank.

So, until next time, keep painting!
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