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!!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A day at Cipher Studios

A couple weeks back I was up a Cipher Studios.I had my camera in tow as I thought it'd be pretty sweet to show those out there in minifandomland what a casting operation is like from the inside.  And for those of you who are fanboi's of the Anima Tactics line, this might be a little treat for you as well.  It's pretty sweet.

So meet the men behind Cipher -

On the left we've got Mr. Kai Nesbit - he's the guy who makes the decisions and tells peoples what to do  To the right is Dave Freeman - he works on development and other stuffs. These two can generally be found above the room they're standing in feverishly pounding away on a keyboard trying to get something important done.  Personally I think Dave needs to type faster, but hey...we've all got our faults right?

This fine young man is Joel Lehner...I stole this photo from the website as when I headed up to snap shots, Joel was working hard on getting a mold I didn't want to interrupt him for a glamor shot.  :P  Joel heads up all things mold related, handles the sales and marketing side of things and if you happen to be a Free Agent, well then this is the guy you report to...that's pretty sweet.

So after the sculpt is done, what process does that little model go thru before it gets to your grubby lil hands???  Well first the master mold has to be made - and this I didn't actually get shots of as Joel was working on making a production mold when I was there.

A mold starts out literally as a lump of clay.

Studs are added and it's build around a set of 'masters'

Hmm...looks like a horse...

After both sides are set, it's off to what I consider the kulest name machine on the planet....


The newly prepared soft squishy mold is placed in that giant iron pie pan and stuck into the VULCANIZER!!! which heats that thing up to 315 degrees and drops 1500 psi on it to make it a semi-flexible solid set of RTV molds.  It's pretty damn sweet.

After the mold goes through the VULCANIZER!!! it gets pulled out and trimmed up a bit, some extra flus are added to help with the smaller fiddly bits to make sure they get enough metal when spun and the details come out right....then they are handed off to the MIGHTY KJELL!!!

He's the guy that actually makes your figs.

So once the MIGHTY KJELL! has the newly vulcanized mold, what exactly does he do with it?  Well he gets to run a few tests...he has to set pressure, rotation speed and a couple of other things to make sure that the mold produces the figure the way it's meant to be.

A newly prepared mold ready for testing

On the left here is the spin caster, that thing on the right that looks like an industrial crock pot, pretty much's full of metal.  I didn't get any photos of the bars they melt down, but they look just like bright shiny bars of silver that you see in the's pretty sweet.

Here's a better shot of all the molds they have in current production that's a lot of parts!

So when running some tests, heres what we're looking for in regards to setting things properly.  It's really kind of a fine little art as the bigger figs tend to separate or split and the smaller models tend to not form fully...I gotta see's pretty sweet.

Here's the Iron Chef from Soda Pop and you can see where the cast doesn't quite come out right...back into the melting pot Mr. Chef!!

A lil closer for those of you who are vision impaired!

This one is for those of you who are just plain blind!

Now I'm not going to get into the packing it's just taking this part, that part, some tokens, a piece of foam and a card or two and sticking them into a blister, dropping half dozen into a box, a dozen boxes into a case and hitting them with a UPS label to send them off to parts unknown.  

So that's the process, it's by no means a detailed breakdown, but just a brief overview of what it takes to get those lil metal men into your and my hands!!  All in all's pretty sweet.

Make sure you drop by to see what's new, what's coming and even drop the guys a line, they're very happy to chat with their customers and fans!

Well I hope y'all enjoyed this little incursion into Cipher Studios, and I want to extend a HUUUGE thanks to the boys in the band for letting me interrupt their hectic day to show me around and toss me some really sweet swag...I'd show you guys, but they won't be released yet for a couple of months and was asked not to photo them yet...THAT'S MIGHTY SWEET!!!

Til next time!!!

keep your paint thinned and your brushes clean!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Imbrian Arts - Goblin Shrikes

So over on we're blessed to have a few outstanding mini artists, painters and sculptors who share what they're working on,

One of those little projects happens to be something that I'm really keen on, super excited to see complete and well I pretty much can't wait to get them in my hands...and the funny thing is, they're GOBLINS!

Being a huuuuge fan of the almighty fantasy dwarf, one would expect that I have a nature dislike for all things goblin right?  For the most part, it's true, I dislike the little greenskins and their larger cousins the orcs.  I will say however that I do like the GW knoblars that go with the OK, and there are a number of really characterful pieces from the old Confrontation line that I truly enjoy, but I must say these little guys certainly are certainly worth a bird in the hand, hell even two in the bush!

Now if you're unfamiliar with a little studio by the name of Imbrian Arts...well you better take notice - - we're already seeing some fantastic figs come out of this studio and this set of Goblin Shrikes,  will be one that takes the Goblin community by storm!!!

First a little about Imbrian -
My name is Jody and I'm a painter, sculptor and an avid war gamer. I've been painting miniatures and playing war games for about 15 years now. Up until recently, I had confined my activities to merely painting miniatures and collecting every war game I could get my hands on. After moving to Australia I found the price of miniatures heart wrenchingly expensive so I started scheming and dreaming up new ideas for war games, thinking that one day, I'll be able to make miniatures for others that even I can afford.
Imbrian Arts is my way of sharing my love of art and wargaming with Australia and the rest of the world. My goal is to create unique sculptures that have a character and a personality of their own. As a miniature, they're not just about pieces for wargaming but they have a story to tell.
Now on to this little project he's got going.

Jody has been unveiling these little guys in a great thread over on dragon with some WIP's and final shots. Again the set is compromised of what he calls Goblin Shrikes which Jody claims is about 25% done (that means at least 12 figs since he's got 3 done) and I believe he's going to add a Troll to the set as well through what he's been adding to the thread.  As you'll see all the goblins have birdlike details.

These images are all used without permission, so for more details and a complete set of pics I invite you to drop in to the dragonpainting site and take a look here:

Goblin Shrikes by Imbrian Arts

I never thought I could get amped up about a goblin range, but low and behold, Jody has pulled something extremely unique and fun out of the Aether and is making a go at it.

Once again drop by the Imbrian Arts website and show Jody some support by picking up his models.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Holy Heresy Dragon!!!

Well now what have we here????

Consider this bad boy on pre-order!!!

I'm in for sho...have the no longer available Netherlord and I love it...this thing is siiick! Might just have to get 2!!

Heresy - multi-part fantasy miniatures for your dungeon