morsla: (purplemantis skyline)
2012 is the Year of the Thesis, but I will also be doing some painting as well. It's become a bit of a tradition to track that, so I know what I need to finish (and how much I've done so far). This is the 2012 Uberlist - a list of the painting projects that I've started (italics), finished (strikeout) or simply added to the to-do list (regular font).

If you're interested in seeing what's on my painting desk at the moment, you can find the list behind the cut )
morsla: (lookin)
I've been trying to finish off some Firestorm Armada figures for ages now. There have been some technical hiccups (several failed attempts to attach them to perspex stands using rare earth magnets, and cleaning up the awful mess from poorly cast resin pieces), but a general lack of inspiration has let those setbacks stop the project dead.

I've started looking into a new (steampunk!) game by the same company, called Dystopian Wars - and went fishing on the Spartan Games forum for some pretty pictures of painted figures for the game. While I was there, I stumbled across Giovanni, the studio painter for Spartan Games.

These are a few Firestorm Armada ships that he painted for a client, from the Aquan Prime faction. The bigger ship is about 10cm long, while the small escorts are only a couple of centimetres wide. He's painted them with a combination of airbrush and traditional brush techniques, using a picture of a rainbow trout for reference... I particularly like the scales, stencilled in using a bit of brass-etched mesh.



His CMON gallery has pictures dating back to 2005, though most of them have been taken since 2009. The early pictures are good, but the level of improvement in the past two years is phenomenal.

It's inspired me to use my airbrush for more than just applying base coats and doing a bit of shading. Today I dialled the air pressure right down, and finally finished painting all of the Dindrenzi fleet... I'm really enjoying using the airbrush as a fine detail tool, instead of just a spraygun.
morsla: (purplemantis skyline)
I'm beginning to lose track of what I need to paint when. These are my current painting deadlines, for the next two months. To be fitted into one day a week (around my PhD), and an hour a night on some weeknights.

Monday, March 7th
Commission job.
To paint: Razorback tank and turret.
For: Denis F.


Sunday, March 13th
35 point Warmachine/Hordes tournament at Battle Bunker.
Taking: Cygnar (Major Victoria Haley).
To paint: Black 13th, Gunmage Strike Team (3 models).

Friday, March 24th
Commission job.
To paint: 6 Infinity (Yu Jing) figures.
For: Nick.


Saturday, March 26th
35 point Warmachine/Hordes tournament at Hampton Games Club.
Taking: Khador (Butcher + 5 Heavy Warjacks + 4 wreck markers)
To paint: all of them (10 models). These are a commission job for Joel D.

Friday, April 15th (Melbourne in Flames weekend)
Commission job.
To paint: 10 Horrors of Tzeentch, 9 Chaos Havocs, Firestorm Armada fleet.
For: Ian A

Friday, April 15th (games weekend)
Commission job.
To paint: Hell Dorado starter box, Doppelsoldners & Captain, Swashbuckler (9 models)
For: David P

Friday, April 22nd
50 point Warmachine/Hordes touranment at Conquest.
Taking: General Adept Nemo (list 1), Major Victoria Haley (list 2).
To paint: Stormblade unit and Unit Attachment (8 models).
morsla: (purplemantis skyline)
The tradition continues. Here's the 2011 Uberlist - a list of the painting projects that I've started (italics), finished (strikeout) or simply added to the to-do list (regular font).

If you're interested in seeing what's on my painting desk at the moment, you can find the list behind the cut )
morsla: (purplemantis skyline)
Seems like ages since I posted any painted figures in here. It probably has been, as I rarely remember to set up the camera before sending commission figures away...

These are some of the figures I'm working on for Arcanacon. Technically I'm running the tournament, and so won't be playing. On the Saturday night, however, there's a grudge match between two pressgangers: me (representing Melbourne) and Terry (representing Adelaide). He's assembling a pious group of Morrowan paladins; I've opted for the far more interesting Dark Twin in the form of a murderous crew of Thamarites.

These are some of the figures finished at 3am yesterday...

Fiona the Black:


Mariner, Heavy Warjack:


Buccaneer, Light Warjack:


Vanguard, Light Warjack:
morsla: (purplemantis skyline)
I need to finish a painting commission before I go to sleep tonight. I haven't been taking many new jobs lately, but I've still managed to accumulate a large pile of figures on my desk. Four regular customers keep me in enough work to fill the time I have available, and I've been turning down a lot of work lately.

Problem is, I can't start painting just yet... I got home from the gym a little while ago, and I feel like I've been hit by a truck :) Once I've cooked something substantial for dinner, hopefully my hands will stop shaking. I think there's probably about 3-4 hours of work left in the figures, so if I can start by 9ish I'll get them finished in reasonable time.

If I ever feel rushed, I just think of Paul Kodish playing the drums to this track live... and then everything feels so much slower in comparison...



I've been listening to a lot of Pendulum this week. It seems easier to do those hundreds of little jobs with a soundtrack pounding away at 170bpm.
morsla: (purplemantis skyline)
I went to the third Little Wars event on Sunday, and had a great time. After finding out about Larb's death the previous night, I wasn't entirely sure if I'd make it out of the house on Sunday morning. I'm glad that I did, though.

Little Wars is an annual one-day wargaming event, bringing together clubs, stalls, painters and sculptors from around the country. It's held at Club Tivoli on Dandenong Road: sharing the space with the German Club. As a happy side effect there's a restaurant (good German food, but terribly slow service) and a licensed bar. A pint of DAB with some friends goes a long way to lifting my mood.

Little Wars is also home to a painting competition run by the local OzPainters crew. Despite my late arrival, I managed to get an entry in just before they started judging. They made the final cut but didn't place, which was nice - same result as last year, when I entered another figure from the same army. I didn't paint them with a competition in mind, so it's nice to know that my gaming figures are at a decent standard when compared with the rest of the entries. Next year, I'd like to work on some entries aimed specifically at the competition. You can see the full results (including photos of almost all entries) here.

These are the figures I entered: Remotes from the Nomad army, from the game Infinity. They are some of the most complicated metal figures I've ever assembled (even the Tsyklon's ammo feed is a separate piece, needing to be glued in two places), but I think they're worth the effort. For an idea of the scale, the bases are 40mm across.

Salyut Zond, carrying an EVO repeater for hacking support


Reaktion Zond, with a heavy machinegun and mines


Vertigo Zond, with a guided missile launcher


Tsyklon Sputnik, with a spitfire and marker
morsla: (Default)
I played in a Malifaux tournament a few weeks ago, and tried to get some figures painted in time for it. It's a fun little game, using a deck of cards instead of dice: you flip cards for challenges, can "cheat" using cards from your hand, and generally get screwed over by jokers appearing at exactly the wrong moment.

The tournament games were a bit of a baptism by fire. Quite literally, in the case of the first round: I drew the eventual winner of the tournament, with a witch-hunting Guild army that proved to be both immune to my spells, and capable of incinerating everything on the table. I learned a lot about how to play the game, and ended up losing most rounds by a single control point.

That left me in second-last place, but I managed to pick up the painting award :) These are the models I used at the tournament, from one of the Arcanist starter boxes. At $30-40 for enough models to play a game, it's a hell of a lot more affordable than some of the games I've played...

Rasputina:


Ice Golem:


Ice Gamin #1:


Ice Gamin #2:


Ice Gamin #3:

Painting

Apr. 16th, 2010 03:15 pm
morsla: (mantis04)
I don't seem to get much time for painting my own figures these days. Tournaments are a good incentive: they guarantee that I can play a few games, and give me a deadline to finish painting things by... without the deadline, I don't seem to do anything but commission work.

I've just finished assembling four Valkyries for a commission job, and will be getting the airbrush out later on this afternoon. They are huge, and are probably the most complex plastic kit I've assembled. I'm looking forward to painting them. The airbrush takes care of all the boring part (basecoats and shading), and lets me spend more time weathering the figure: adding paint chips, rust, dust and soot to make it look less like a shiny plastic toy.

I'm playing in a Malifaux tournament on Sunday. It uses about 4-6 models per side, and has a deck of cards instead of dice. The figures are a nice mix of weird west, steampunk and Victorian horror. I have a painting diary here to keep track of what I've done, and new techniques I've experimented with.

I've only tried two games so far, but have been enjoying the game so far. The tournament will have four rounds, which means I'll know a lot more about the game by the end of it...
morsla: (purplemantis skyline)
This is my entry from Iron Painter, Round 2. The theme this time around was "villainous" - so I've decided to use the contest as a good excuse to finally paint some Wyrd miniatures that I bought at GenCon Indy in 2007.

Wyrd now have a skirmish game called Malifaux, using all the figures they've sculpted to date. No idea how it plays, but the miniatures are nice... These figures mostly fit into the Resurrectionist faction: neo-Victorian necromancers and their assistants, with a host of different undead. I've also converted the figures a bit to make them fit in with an Unhallowed Metropolis RPG that I was planning to run.

From left to right:

Sebastian: "Doctor" with a bonesaw. No conversions here, but I tried some new techniques for gore and splatter using red ink, black paint, and an old paintbrush.

Mourner: Made from a Dark Age miniature (previously carrying a flamethrower), now with a new right arm, a rifle, and an umbrella to keep some of New London's acid rain at bay.

Nicodemus: One of the necromancers; usually carrying a vulture familiar on his right arm. Aristocrats in UnMet often pick up ranged weapons to stay away from the zombies, so I've given him a sniper rifle.

Mortimer: An Undertaker, with a multi-purpose shovel (and a jumper his Mum knitted for him). Good for dealing with uncontrolled zombies, or creating more bodies for the Master to raise.

Thrall: A familiar from Rackham's Confrontation line. When I saw the little creature lugging a shovel and a sack of body parts, I figured it needed to join the crew...



More pictures beneath the cut... )
morsla: (mantis04)
[livejournal.com profile] aeliel is up in Blackwood this weekend, giving food (and love, and attention) to two attention-starved‡ dogs while her parents are on holidays. I spent most of the day out at Battle Bunker teaching some new people how to play Warmachine, and then got home and remembered about a painting competition entry that I needed to send off. Unfortunately, the laptop that talks to my card reader is currently in Blackwood...

Many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] miss_rynn for letting me borrow her computer to download some photos. Also, happy stealth-birthday to [livejournal.com profile] bishi_wannabe (for the remaining five minutes!). I like living in bike-riding distance of people, as it's nice being able to drop in on people at super-short notice :)

WargamerAU has just started an Iron Painter competition: pairs of competitors, each given two weeks to paint something to match a fairly vague theme. The theme for Round 1 is Weather / Whether, which had me stumped to begin with. My entry was done in a bit of a rush... assembled on Thursday, and painted on Friday.

I decided to paint a model that I bought during last year's Bushfire Appeal auction. It's a Cygnaran Ironclad, which I didn't bother putting into paint stripper - I just painted straight over the old colours. I also bought some soft pastels (Raw Umber, Burned Umber, Raw Sienna) from Riot! art supplies, and decided to interpret the theme as meaning "weathering" - the dust, mud, oil and rust that machinery develops when left exposed to the elements.

Pastels are very easy to use. I painted some water-based matte varnish onto the figure, then dunked the brush into a pile of powdered pigment, and dusted it straight into the wet varnish. Repeat that a couple of times (until the area is dry), and then you have a dusty-looking surface that won't rub clean as soon as it touches something.

Here's my entry:

Ironclad

‡ That's if you listen to the dogs. Humans might tell you that the animals have had regular meals and visitors for the last week, but the dogs are convinced that they've been abandoned forever by their owners...
morsla: (Dawn)
For some reason, this is my most productive month of the year.

Lots of painting happens, because the three biggest wargaming events in the country all take place on the Australia Day weekend. Combined with having virtually no time to work on commission jobs during the December Madness, it means that I have to work fast during January.

Painting and heat don't go well together, so I have to become more nocturnal than usual: working until 2am or later, and sleeping in the mornings when the house is coolest. It seems to work well enough - I've now finished all the current figures for Arc and CanCon, though I'll be receiving a batch of Syd miniatures to paint next week.

This year, I've also spent much longer than usual on the Indigo Publishing books - receiving manuscripts right into January, for a full re-write of the Economics study guide. I finally got the layout completed yesterday, which means that I've finished three books in the last month.

Tomorrow, I go back to work at RMIT. I don't know if anyone else is back until the 19th, but I have a chapter draft to write before then. I also got the last of my methodology books in the mail today, which means that February's reading list is sorted.

Airbrush!

Jan. 3rd, 2010 11:03 pm
morsla: (purplemantis skyline)
I was meant to leave the house today. Instead I started experimenting with using an airbrush to paint 25mm figures, and lost track of time during the afternoon...

It's already proving itself well worth the investment. I've basecoated and highlighted a Skaven team for Blood Bowl, used mossy greens and earthy browns to shade some Kingdom of Avalon figures for Alkemy, and prepared some Infinity figures for painting. When I've finished work on the study guide books, I'm looking forward to clearing this desk and basecoating an army of Deathwing figures that have been sitting in a box for almost two years. As it is, I've now covered every available flat surface with basecoated models :)

The airbrush isn't very good for applying an undercoat, as the paint can easily rub off a metal or plastic surface. However, it's fantastic at applying colour and shading over a black undercoat - so I use cheap black enamel spraycans from Bunnings, and then airbrush my colours over the top.

With the Infinity Nomads, I'm trying out some new techniques for zenithal lighting - painting each figure with a clear light source in mind (in my case, directly overhead). I've airbrushed white over the black undercoat to pre-shade the figures, helping to pick out areas that should have their highlights or shadows exaggerated. It gives the figures some subtle monotone shading, which I'll try to preserve by painting very thin layers of colour over the top of.

The airbrushed layers are very easy to paint over, too. No brush strokes, no globs of paint obscuring details, and a very matte finish that takes paint and glazes well. I think I've passed another turning point in my painting style, as I'm likely to use the airbrush to prepare all my figures from now on. It feels light years away from the techniques I started with. I'm also a bit horrified to realise that I started painting twenty years ago, and have been steadily working since then...
morsla: (Default)
The tradition continues. Here's the 2010 Uberlist - a list of the painting projects that I've started (italics), finished (strikeout) or simply added to the to-do list (regular font).

If you're interested in seeing what's on my painting desk at the moment, you can find the list behind the cut )
morsla: (lookin)
Chapters for the Economics study guide are beginning to appear in my email account, which means that the time before and after Christmas will probably become a mad rush to get the book ready for printing on January 6th.

I've almost finished painting some Imperial Guard tanks for Dave T, which I've been enjoying so far: I'm using a bunch of new techniques from the Forgeworld Master Class book (thanks [livejournal.com profile] fetnas!), making them the most detailed vehicles that I've painted so far. The airbrush is a godsend for this sort of work, and hopefully it will help me to clear out a lot of my unpainted backlog next year.

Then, I have two figures to sculpt for [livejournal.com profile] lena_supercat and [livejournal.com profile] altheas's wedding cake. I'm planning to use Sculpey for these, over an aluminium wire armature. Sculpey is much easier to rework and add detail to, but it means I'll have to finish an entire figure in one go - once it's been baked, I can't readily add putty to it.

January's commission painting project is a Blood Bowl team for one of the guys playing at CanCon. I want to sculpt my own Blood Bowl figures one day (for the Nurgle's Rotters team), but I'm unlikely to get motivated any time soon... there are too many other games that I want to play first.

The rest of January will be occupied by writing a literature review, and a draft of my methodology chapter. There's a large shipment of qualitative methodology textbooks inbound, courtesy of the remainder of my 2009 research funds :)

I really want a holiday, but I think I'll have to wait until February as I seem to be working three jobs at the moment. At least the summer of commission work madness will help to pay for some of our furniture, and a new computer for [livejournal.com profile] aeliel...

Ghost Town

Dec. 14th, 2009 09:49 am
morsla: (Default)
I'm getting the distinct impression that I'm the only person working on this floor of the building today... everyone else seems to have taken off for their holidays. When I came in at 8am the place looked like it had been deserted for weeks.

Unfortunately, my year isn't exactly winding down at the moment.

I've finished the conference season of madness, with only a small amount of residual madness hanging about the place. It's been a productive few weeks in terms of meeting new people (industry folks at Social Media '09, and lots of other students at the CRC conference). I even managed to win an award, which was nice. Now that I'm back in Melbourne again, I'm getting stuck into all the writing that I didn't do while I was away.

The end of the year is also publishing season for the Indigo books. I've updated two subject guides (VCE National and International Politics), and sent them off to the printers. This week I'll get the files for the last of them - a full re-write of the Economics book, which I'll be typesetting from scratch. It won't be printed before Christmas (deadline for that is today), but it should be ready to go in the new year.

Our home internet problems were sorted out, though not in the way we'd have liked. Apparently the building is on a pair-gain line - i.e. Telstra saved costs by splitting the copper line, instead of running copper to each house. That means they meet their Terms of Service (providing a voice phoneline), but we can't get ADSL at all. We're stuck with wireless broadband for the time being, as it's marginally cheaper than cable. Not impressed at all.

On a more positive note, I bought an airbrush and compressor last week. I have a vast pile of figures that need painting over the next six weeks, so airbrushing the base colours should speed things up dramatically. I still need to experiment with the various acrylics that I paint with, to find out how best to thin them down.

I'm looking forward to trying it out. Last time I used an airbrush, I was putting together a graphics folio (and walking to school through the snow, dinosaurs snapping at my heels...).
morsla: (mantis04)
Three P's that are consuming most waking moments at the moment. And in the heat, I'm spending most of my moments awake.

We now have a working phone line in the new house, which I assume Netspace is responsible for - it's now been a week since I called about setting up a new connection. Unfortunately, the phone connection doesn't actually appear in our Netspace control panel, and so isn't available for me to relocate our broadband connection to...

Publishing:

I have corrections and updates for one and a half study guides (National Politics Units 3 & 4, and International Politics Unit 1). In the next few weeks, the remaining chapters for IntPol Unit 2 will arrive, and then there's an Economics guide due in December. Due to major changes to the course, the Economics book is being completely re-written for 2010. Judging by the number of tables and graphs in the current book, layout for the new version could take quite a bit of work.

I'm going home at lunchtime today to work on the Politics books. I could work from the air-conditioned comfort of my windowless box at RMIT as I'll be using my laptop. Unfortunately I need a proper mouse for InDesign, and mine has just run out of batteries... and I'm loathe to buy more rechargeable ones when there's a box of them at home.

Painting:

Three Ulthwé walkers, currently almost finished. I've been asked to add rare-earth magnets to all the possible weapons, so I still have a handful of weapons to finish painting today. I hope the house isn't too hot to paint in.

Four Imperial Guard tanks, assembled and ready for magnets in all the optional bits. I'd like to buy an airbrush to paint these with, as there are many more of them on the horizon. Unfortunately a decent double-action airbrush and compressor (reserve tank, pressure regulator, inline moisture trap) are likely to cost around $500, so I might have to paint them by hand.

PhD:

Literature review chapter has fallen by the wayside. I've gathered a bunch of articles to read through, but as it's not directly needed for any other tasks it's been put on hold at the moment. I still feel like there are dozens of articles that I need to track down, though I'm not sure if that feeling ever goes away.

There's a student conference for the CRC in December, up in Sydney. I'll be flying up early on the Tuesday morning, going to training workshops during the day, and presenting a poster the following day - and then flying home on the Wednesday evening.

I'm starting to wade through the paperwork for my Ethics Application, as I need approval before going any further with the research part of my project. Most of it should be pretty straightforward (while I'm dealing with people, I'm not trying to exploit them for anything) but there are many, many pages of forms to fill out. Most of it will feed into my Methods and Methodology chapter though, so it's still a useful exercise to do.


In non-work news, Sunday was our first wedding anniversary :) [livejournal.com profile] aeliel and I spent most of the day lounging around the house, and cooking or eating lots of good food. We've also started unpacking wedding presents that have been in storage for the last year, so it's like receiving them all over again, and actually getting to enjoy the gifts properly this time.

Some time soon we'll have a housewarming (once we have furniture for people to sit on, and fewer boxes full of stuff). Ye been warned!

Ow

Oct. 26th, 2009 02:12 pm
morsla: (mantis03)
Painting weekend contained much painting (of houses, this time!). And pain, though I think that's necessary when spelling it out. I have several newly discovered muscles, all of which can clearly say "Ow!" when requested to move.

[livejournal.com profile] aeliel and I stayed at the lovely [livejournal.com profile] umbra_mentis's house on Friday and Saturday nights - replacing long drives back to Somerville with good company and good food. We had some help from Em (Saturday & Sunday morning), Wally (Saturday and half of Sunday) and Robyn (Saturday), and got a fair bit of work done.

Yesterday was a long, long day. [livejournal.com profile] aeliel and I got home after midnight, after painting for a little over thirteen hours. We still haven't finished everything, so I guess we'll move the furniture into the middle of each room... there are two wallpaper borders to go up, and a few rough patches to fix. Still, pretty good for two days of work. Borders will probably need to wait until we have extra hands to help - even if we hadn't been exhausted and needing to go home, I don't think the two of us could have put them up last night.

I still like painting, despite it eating my weekend. I think the rest of the house will gradually get some more colour over the years - like a big cherry blossom mural on the bedroom walls, 'cos we can :)
morsla: (purplemantis skyline)
I recently finished a figure for the sci-fi game Infinity, and entered it into the Little Wars painting contest where it made the finals, but didn't place.

The figure is about 50mm tall. Compared to the other Infinity models, it's quite a large mech - most of the human figures are sculpted in "true 25mm" scale. I originally painted it in very cold colours, and then decided to go back and use much warmer whites and browns to contrast with the turquoise. I think this works much better with the warm colours on the base: rusty metal and yellowing grass.

Some old Eldar transfers were used to add some more detail on the flat surfaces, and I used a torn piece of sponge to put rust and paint chips onto the figure. The real trick is making the details small enough, so that a relatively small figure ends up looking like it could be huge...

I also played around with ink and varnish on the ammunition feed (which was tricky to pin in place, as it's barely wider than my smallest drillbit). Some of them were a bit strange (yellow ink is very highly pigmented...) but it's fun trying out some new techniques :-)



morsla: (purplemantis skyline)
It's been ages since I posted photos of models in here. I've started painting figures for Alkemy - a French skirmish game that uses ~5-10 figures per side. I like the system, and love the figures. An English rulebook should be released at GenCon Indianapolis next month.



Larger versions are behind the cut )

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