Sunday, December 26, 2010

Imbrian Arts - Goblins Pre-order now up!

I'm excited to share the news that the Goblin set is not ready for pre-order!!!  WOOOOT!  For those who have been following the set we're all terribly excited to see this happen.  For those who have not yet seen it, take the time and explore the set, you won't be disappointed!!

And the info from Imbrian:

Over the past few months I’ve been showing previews of the upcoming goblins set on the Imbrian Arts Facebook page and all over the net. Finally we can all breath a sigh of relief and say it’s about damn time the pre order got put up! The goblin set is now available for pre order and will be released on the 21st of January. As a special thank you to those who pre order a set I’ll include prints of the concept art for the goblin shrike and troll druid. This is the only time they’ll be available and the only way to get them is by pre ordering your goblin set.
The Goblin set contains 10 miniatures, including 9 goblins and a massive troll druid. The goblins race is diverse and strange, with each goblin seeming to be a unique creature and in many circumstances bearing no resemblance to its kin. Among the goblins in this set you’ll find 3 goblin shrikes, 3 goblin footmen, 2 shaggamaws, and a goblin cat eater.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Red Fog: Nazi Zombies!!!!

I know it's not mini's but I don't know many figure painters, gamers or mini-fanboi's who don't LOVE the Zombies!!!

Looks killer!! Plus the company I work for is teaming up with them to bring these things to life as 3D models!!!


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Holy end of the year blitz!

OK - I'll be honest, my life at the end of the year is rather over whelming...between birthdays (my 10yr old just tuned 10 on the 16th of Nov, and my 13yr old just turned 13 on the 3rd of Dec), finishing up the term (I teach an animation class once a week), family holiday events...can we say more than one Thanksgiving???  let's not even think about Christmas dinners yet.  Shopping for said Christmas, working on a demo reel to put out to all those fantastic companies out there that need to have an overly energetic super excited animator like me on their creative team and the random 1100 other things to get done by the end of the year...I um...slack on the blog thing.

So this episode we'll hit on a couple of things and start in on a topic that's started to circulate on some of the other pages I try to read when I get a free 32 seconds.

First - Jody over at Imbrian Arts has completed the Goblin set that I'm sooooo looking forward to getting my mitz on.  Lets take a look at some final shots, the last piece and then the group overall shall we...why yes, we shall...since I'm the one writing this thing here.

An early WIP shot of the last fig - the ogre/troll mage!

A little farther along.

The axe complete with familiar.

A few shots of the final!

And the final group shot!!!  WOOOOO!!!

All I gotta say is Jody you ROCK!!!  I'm super thrilled to be able to get my hands on this set, for some reason, I really love goblins, and this set is no exception, but what's really odd is that I'm a huge dwarf fan as well...natural enemy of the goblin.  C'est la vie right???

Next up is a new fig from Cipher for Anima Tactics - 

Raziel Archetypum, Undead Construct

My local play group is working on me to play some AT, but the one time I did play, I didn't feel the pull, but the few games of Hell Dorado we did play last weekend, have me ready to get rolling with that game again!!!  

So myself personally, I've been working on improving my own personal painting skills as I'd like to start competing on the national level and placing in high end comps - so I do my reading on techniques, check the big sites, look over reference and all that fun stuffs, but I stumbled upon a topic that really hits home for me.

Lack of difference in the top tier paint work.

So what exactly does this mean?  Lack of difference in top tier paint work?  Well the one thing I've started to notice, while the top tier work is exceptionally amazing and technically astounding, it is all starting to kind of blend together.  The colors and hues are all heading in one direction, dark and gritty.  Now while for the most part, dark and gritty is pretty damn kule, there are sooooo many other options, that are pretty damn kule as well.

I first fell onto a post by Dave G (don't ask me how I got there I have no clue) - but you can read his opinion on it here:

After reading through that I really felt he hit one of the things I was feeling on the head and continued on to a series of four articles written by Lauby/Laubersheimer - you can start here:

He's also got a pretty similar and decent perspective on the topic.

Now while I will never take away from the skill and absolute beauty of the work that the current stable of winners are producing, I can whole heartedly agree that there is just something missing, and it's tough to put a finger on, but I'll go back to my 'dirty/gritty' comment earlier.  I think that the 'Grim Darkness of the Future' is really being taken to heart when it comes to the current popular painting style.


Yes I do have but or I also have another opinion.  The current painting style also has certain techniques that with a number of the really popular colors tends to mute and drop the hue of the color all while increasing the saturation or hue of the color as more and more successively water thinned layers of color are draped over the surface.

Color choice I think is another contributing factor, earth tones right now are very prevalent, and when the realm of primary color is used, there are a lot of soft earth tones used to surround said primaries or even used to shade and or highlight them.

So I ask you this as I'm sure I'll continue on with musings on this topic for a while...what do you think?  Is the current trend all due to style and the attempt to just out do the last champion or does it all come with the current techniques and color choices?

Overall I'm always excited to see amazing paint jobs and unique pieces...but I'm going to start pushing the boundaries of what is being done with something that might just break the mold...what that is...I don't know yet, but when I find it, I'll share it here!!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Big and bad azz!

So like most of my mini loving friends, I spend a stoopid amount of time ooooing and aaahhng over new things that pop up on the eleventy billion sites I visit all too often on a weekly basis, and that makes it tough to remember to do things like um...BLOG about it...holy crap am I bad at this blogging thing.  I don't have a problem writing, nor do I have any issues typing, in fact that last typing test I took I was blazing along at 66wpm with a whopping 2 why do I always forget to write about the sweet ass stuffs I come across on the ole interwebnation?

Who the hell knows.

Enough ramble onto the really kule things I fell onto earlier this week.  Ladies and gentlemen...well most likely just gentlemen...or prolly just men...boys?  Well anyhow, I would like to introduce you the the next BIG THING in miniature madness errrr gaming.


Weighing in at oh hell I don't know 200 36.8 ft tall (I just made these stats up, so if you expect real gaming data from me about this thing, you're sorely effin mistaken bud) you're looking at a whole hell of a lot fo walking friggin death!  This thing is gonna tear some ish up, and I'm not talking the stuff you dog drops in the back yard either, I'm talking some other monstrosities of metal!!!





I have noticed that half of these things have names of angels...I wonder if that's intentional or if random names were pulled out of a hat???  

Now for a quick scale shot so you can understand a little more about the scale of these things - as they are looking to take on the Legio Titanicus (if I have to explain that then you're reading the wrong blog) in scope of size...i mean these things are going to be epic in size...literally!

Leviathan Mortis and a 32mm model from MERC.

The Crusader with same 32mm fig.

So what's the deal then?  Well these bad boys are the brainchild masterworks of digital artist Mark Mondragon of Sonoma, CA...he's a Sagittarius and owner/operator of DreamForge Games concept artist and designer publisher of Iron-Core.  That's badazz...don't know much about it, but it's just got a ring to it.  Yup badazz...and if anyone knows badazz it's me.

So with the game system still in its infancy, I cannot give you too much in the way of details, in fact if you hit the links about, you'll know exactly the same amount of info that I do...but I will say this, it looks to be one helluva ambitious project, it's got 9 freeking factions listed!  And if each one of them gets one of these hurkin monstrosities, well lets just say the target for execution on what Mark is trying to get done here is HUUUUGE!  If you read his blog you can also see some pretty damn solid WIP shots of the models and masters.  He's also got some great shots of tanks and bugs and a number of other things that he's worked up for some other companies.  Take some time to take a look, I was pretty damn impressed and found a few things I never knew existed.

All in all I'm excited to see what else Mark is going to bring to the table with Iron-Core.  Good luck Mark!!!  and if you need to start in on playtesting, let me know as I've been known to put ace teams together for a few other companies in the industry.  :P

Sunday, November 14, 2010

More bad ass Goblins from Imbrian!

This time we're looking at a pair of Goblin Shaggamaw's - one complete and one WIP - these freekishly huge beasts are going to make a fantastic addition to the Goblin set that Jody has been hammering away at.  This first one has giant teeth, a bigazz axe and spittle looming from his giant maw.

These is the first one and is complete:

This next one is going to be swallowing either a goblin or a hobbit...the goblin idea was my suggestion and I'd love to see him go with it would just make them all the more characterful to me...but I'd settle for a hobbit.  :P

Now this wonderful little project is being chronicled on my personal favorite little hole in the web in the THREAD here.

Drop in and let sprue know what you think of his work.  Me personally, I'm super excited for this set to show up around holiday time!!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Whispers and Howls part 2

Alrighty, last time I left off with just the tower and the pillars for the stairwell carved.

This last week I cut the entry stairs in, and built the archway in the lower right corner, I also changed gears a bit and instead of building a cairn with a rock type Celtic feel to it, I went all out and built a friggin mausoleum.  Yup that's right I built a family style tomb for some dead Orgoth Chieftain with a serious attitude problem.  No I'm sure it's nothing super grand and fabulous and it's no where near as dilapidated as the tower, but it's a little weathered and once I get done gluing it together, I'll work on weathering it some more and breaking it up a bit.

Now the stairs will be cut a bit more and when I drop all the rubble and sand, they will be painted and finished to look like they have been cut right from the stone of the ground.  Now the archway, although carved is not complete yet.  It's obviously two pieces but the pillar arch on the left will be cut where the dark line is and the top piece will be laid beside or behind it.

Here's a closer shot of the detail carving work in the archway.

As you can see the archway has a diamond shape cut into the top of the arch, I think I may paint an eye here as it's what I sketched in there, but I'm not sure yet...still up in the air, but it is recessed about 1/4 of an inch or so into the foam.

So once again I did a ton of research into cairns and really did not come up with anything that I really 'felt' so I started looking into other options and the thought of a mausoleum really started to sound right up the alley so to speak.  Here's a couple of shots that I found that I liked and kind of went with a hybrid design on my own combining a few things I liked from a few of them.

The mausoleum is a bit larger than what I was planning, but overall I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.  Initially I was planning a foot print of 4x6 and it's 5x7ish - I've got it all textured and will do some ornamentation on the top gables and roofing areas and the front right pillar will be cut in half and dropped in front of the tomb where the 50mm base is...and that will also get integrated into the basing of the warjack that will be occupying that space.

I also toyed with the idea of rotating the mausoleum 90 degrees and facing the archway. but it pushes the building way to close to the stairway.

So the overall scope of the project is turning out pretty damn good for my first attempt in my own not so humble pat myself on the back opinion.  I've currently got a ton of water bottles and random foam blox stacked on top of things now as I glue it all together and I'm still toying with the idea of putting the mausoleum on it's own solid base so I could actually use it for a piece of terrain as well, but that may be more than I want to do as it would require cutting a damn perfect rectangle in the top right corner of this thing.  

So the last couple of things to do before I start the texturing process are the broken wall in the lower left, finishing the two pieces chronicled here and the hole drilling for the bases, then a layer of foam tuff and and the paint can be laid....I think.

If something is glaringly missing or you'd like to leave some feedback or comments, I do welcome them as this is my first terrain/display base project I'd like to know what you all think about it and the direction its heading.

Until next time keep your paint thinned and your brushes clean!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Whispers and Howls

Well now...time for a project update.  This project has a dual purpose, to put together a theme based army around one of my favorite Khadoran warcasters, and tie in a competitive Steam Roller list. The second purpose of this list is for exilejjb's Army Challenge over on WaMP.

Steam Roller, which is Privateer Press's official tourney format - in the SR format you can use 2 legal lists and decide which one to use before the match starts.  The size of the lists will be 35 points and I will be using Epic Butcher for list 1 and Zerkova for list 2.

This is the current set of lists:

2 x Doom Reaver unit + UA
Doom Reaver unit

35 points on the nose - this list will most likely see little to no modification as it gets played through more.

My Zerkova list has two options so far:

Option A
2 x Doom Reaver unit + UA
4 x Grey Lord Ternion unit
2 x Koldun Lord

35 points on the nose

Option B
Doom Reaver unit + UA
Doom Reaver unit
Koldun Lord
Devastator Marshalled under Koldun Lord
Koldun Lord
2 x Grey Lord Ternion unit

34 points

Play testing may modify the lists somewhat as I get a better feel for how they perform - painting and modeling updates will be posted to [URL=""]my blog[/URL] once I get moving a bit more.

Working on assembly/conversions and the display base currently, and have been spending a bit of time on the display base the last week or so.

Now this is my first foray into building a display base, well any type of scenery actually as I've never really done anything beyond the overzealous base work before.  So I'm entering new ground and having a fantastic time with it.  This is also my own personal testing grounds for my part in the Dragon Painting Cadwallon Table Project - a giant undertaking by a number of the fine folks and myself on the Dragon Painting board to build a 4x6 modular Cadwallon table in 2x2 sections that can be reproduced by anyone anywhere in the world through a detailed set of instructions and blueprints that will be put forth as each section is created.

Now with the theme of my army obviously being based around the recovery of Orgoth artifacts and the use of said artifacts, I began to think about putting this army in an Orgoth ruins.  I love the concept of the Doom Reavers and the Butcher - tortured souls and all, and the fact that Zerkova and the Grey Lords that are constantly searching for lost Orgoth artifacts and weaponry....totally sweet back story.

As you may or may not know, I'm an animator by profession so that means EVERY project starts with a sketch or two, and since I had a really good idea of how I wanted this to look I just did a brief sketch for layout purposes...sadly I for some reason cannot get my scanner to pick it up - it is pretty light, but still...damn scanner.  So with my plan in hand and my figure layout pretty much set up, off to find a few pieces of reference.  I always suggest using reference for any project you're working matter how great your imagination or memory is, you will always find inspiration in reference, be it photos, drawings or other building projects such as this one.  I went after some ancient ruins photo's - here's a few:

So first step involves setting a base and selecting materials.  For this project I've already selected my color palette (more on that at a later time) - so I don't have to break my skull open and pull something out of the depths of my melon kicking and screaming that it doesn't like the other two colors that it has go with...colors can be so damn spoiled at times...freekin whiners.  A couple of the other things I am trying to keep in mind are this - there's going to be over 40 metal figs on this board - 4-5 on 50mm bases that have some heft to them and it's going to go gaming with me, so it has to be fairly sturdy and easy to repair if needed, but light weight, I know I've got big arms...but who wants to pack around 40lbs of gaming stuff all day right??

Well the obligatory pink insulation foam is always where things start, and I figure if I can get ahold of the right molds, I'll be using some plaster castings as well, but this foam stuff after a little experimenting seems to be a great medium for we'll be using quite a bit of that, also I've read about this STUFF which if I take the writers words at face value will keep my foam from getting I'm down and good to go with the foam carving love, but again if I can get some of the right molds...I'm using some of that too.  :D

Setting the base to means making sure the 2" piece of foam I'm going to use as my base has a good firm base of it's comes the random piece of hard board I've got lying about:

A good amount of wood glue (I don't recommend wood glue for foam to foam...but since the base is wood, it is actually a great option for wood to foam) and a few clamps with a good overnight rest and the two are like an old married couple...damn near inseparable.  

Ok, now I've got my base, time to draw out the layout on top of it and get to work.  I was going to do a Hirst Arts ruined tower in the upper left, but instead carved the whole thing out of pink foam.  I wanted to put the blocks on a foam base to start with and it just ended up being simple enough to carve the whole thing out while watching Kim Possible with my 4 yr old.  I was thinking that I took some WIP shots of my tower ruins, but I am mistaken...I did no such thing.  

I adjusted the photos best I could buy my lighting in the garage is terrible and I was too lazy to grab my high priced flash attachment for the over priced camera I have that I don't know how to use they're a little bright and washed out, but you get the idea.  :D

Next up came the base for the tower, it's cut but not really weathered yet as I want to keep it kind of 'pretty' as it will look like a cut slab, so lots of rubble strewn about, kind of like the Colosseum and the Pantheon.  

I was a little stuck on the stairs and was talking about it with my pal BA and he suggested a pair of pillars instead of the entire set of wrap around stairs I was planning.  PERFECT!!!  He suggested doing menacing faces like on the armor plates of the character drawn up in the world guide, but as I was looking for something suitably Aztec or Mayan online for a reference piece I was struck with an idea.  I'll do the sword/staff of the Doom Reavers instead!!!  So I grabbed a couple of quick shots from the concept art as reference and set about for a couple of hours carving away at two blocks of foam.

As of right now this is where I'm at...I still need to glue the pillars, the tower and the tower base down, but I might actually buy some foam glue for that.

Next up is a ruined wall section in front of the tower base, a burial cairn with pillars to the right of the tower base and a carved stairwell arched entry in the bottom right corner.

I'm not sure which ones first, prolly the cairn or the wall as the archway is going to be two or three pieces which may very well take some time, and I want the pillars to be cast, as I'm not sure I can carve good even cylinders in foam.  :D

Got some list testing to do this weekend, but I'll update when I have more to share.

'til then, keep you paint thinned and your brushes clean!

Friday, October 22, 2010

CASTING CALL!!!! Looking for Red Shirts!!!

One of the few projects sitting on my desk in front of me are the wonderfully put together set of Kobold lackies...errr Warriors and Iron Scales from Soda Pop Miniatures for the upcoming Super Dungeon Explore!

Keep a watch on the Soda Pop Facebook page for upcoming news and a demo set of rules for SDE!!!

To prepare for the inevitable release, I've started work on the minion brigade, the recycle crew, those who live to die....the REEEEEED SHIIIIRT CREW!!!!

I've got 3 Warriors and 3 Ironscales all scrubbed up and ready for assembly and filing.  As you can see, I have assembled an Ironscale and have him primed and ready for only issue is, I can't decide on what color scheme I'm gonna roll with for my about frustrating!

After the Red Shirts I gots to get the Shaman, the Slinger and the Skirmishers done!!!  So time to pick some colors!!!

Tor Gamings Orcnar Eotan

The other day I received a little package in the mail.  It was a pair of Orcnar Eotans from Gavin over the way at Tor Gaming...and when I say over the way, I mean half way around the globe baby!!!  Now these guys are uhgly...and I mean that in a good way...some serious table top nastiness headed your direction with a pair of these.

Now these two hurking beasts are for the Orcnar from the upcoming game Relics now in the open beta stages and with the size and shape of their upper bodies and um...arms.

So Gavin started a pretty sweet little 'club' giving a number of us painters across the world the ability to put brush to mini and showcase these figures.

From the Tor Gaming site:
The Brush Army program we run is a special program where some of the most talented painters are given our miniatures to paint.
The Brush Army members are given full creative freedom to paint the models how they want and you may even see some conversions in there too!! (The Brush Army gallery is not on line yet!!! Keep checking back!)
Now for the last couple of nights, I have turned my attentions to one of these 'things', I managed to snap shots of my work each night.

Obviously the first thing I do it wash the fig with a mild detergent and a toothbrush, fill the flash and mold lines and then give it a prime, I didn't take any shots of if you've seen one primed white beast you've seen them my wife would whup my rear if I was taking candid photos of her sink.

So we'll just start with the initial paint and roll thru the final stages.  This fig was painted over the coarse of 3 evenings.

Since Gavin gave me free reign to do what I will, I decided to use colors that I do not normally use.  Typically I'm a very neutral paint color kind of guy, I do the whites, greys and blacks or the green, browns, yellows and oranges...sometimes I get wild and do some blues or maybe with this choice I figured I'd go with a purple flesh over a deeper green coat of scales.

I'll go over color choices and mixes.  I'm a firm believer in the power of a limited color palette, not just across a single fig but keeping it tight across an army as well.  But this about a single fig and not an on to the base coat!

Paint for this project is limited to these colors:

VGC - Dead Flesh
P3 - Beaten Purple
P3 Sanguine Base

P3 - Ordic Olive
P3 - Cryx Bane Base

P3 - Cryx Bane Highlight
P3 - Menoth White Highlight

Washes and depth:
P3 - Mixing Medium
GW - Black and Brown Inks (circa 1988 - yes I still have originals)

You'll have to forgive my horrible ability to take I'm great with say like sports photos, or shooting the kids...when it comes to hitting the macro I SUCK!

The whole model get an initial thinned down coat of Dead Flesh (I actually love this color very very much...if I could hang out with it on a Friday night I would...cause it rocks).  The scales get a deep wash of Ordic Olive - the whole model is then given a thin wash of Cryx Bane Base.  This sets the base tone and lets me build from there.

Second coat is Dead Flesh with a paint brush tip of Beaten Purple added - this brings my flesh color up to a base purplish flesh.

A light wash of Ordic Olive is then laid down over the whole model to tie the two colors all together.  This also gives the scales a bit more base.

The next step is to bring more depth to the skin, I add Sanguine Base to Dead Flesh and start the blending process.

I add Cryx Bane Highlight to the Ordic Olive and give the scales another coat of paint - now based off of the texture of the scales, I use a very thin paint and take a dab highlight approach vs a blend, I want to build up color on top of the scale and blending it down with a second brush would make it very tough to do.

The entire model is shaded with a mix of Cryx Bane Base with GW Brown Ink and the scale are shaded with Cryx Bane Base with a touch of GW Black Ink (I want more contrast between the scales as well as a tight outline).

At this point I've also started in on getting color on the spikes on the arms. This is a blend of the Ordic/Cryx Bane Highlight and straight Ordic, washed down with the Cryx Band/Brown Ink mix.

From here I am back to the skin with another lighter blend of Dead Flesh and Sanguine Base with a touch of Menoth White Highlight (I love this color of my favorites for adding warmth to a highlight).  I have also added a touch of Menoth White to the Ordic/Cryx Bane Highlight to hit the scales with.

The skin is given a glaze of Cryx Bane Base and then a re-highlight of the last skin tone used.  The spikes are then hit with another highlight, again with Menoth White added to the Ordic Olive.

Finally Sanguine Base is washed into the mouth and eye sockets to create a base color, Beaten Purple is used as another wash to give both a bit more depth.  Menoth White Highlight is mixed with a touch of GW Brown Ink and used to bring the teeth up in color and a final Menoth White Highlight is given to the teeth to bring them out completely.

The base was made by cutting some stone shapes into a bit of green stuff, painted with Cryx Bane Highlight, washed down with the Cryx Bane Base/GW Brown Ink mix and blended with Trollblood Highlight.  Static grass was places between the stones and things were cleaned up.

Overall the Eotan was a great piece to paint, plenty of character and texture, a real solid piece of a real solid Orcnar.

My thanks go out to Gavin and Tor Gaming for allowing me the opportunity to have some fun with this bad boy and if you haven't already, take some time to take a look at the really characterful pieces that are starting to hit the market from TOR GAMING!!!!

Time to pack him up and send him back to the studio to allow someone who actually knows how to take pictures give this guy some decent coverage.  :D

Till next time, keep your paint thinned and your brushes clean!!!