Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Do you think he'll notice ... ? X


Having ruined the painting of the copter for my diorama I've taken a break from that and I've been playing about with the soap effect I need to complete my Diorama of Doom entry. I've tried half a dozen different methods, some very unsuccessful. Photographs of the best two are below. Click on the pictures for a bigger image which better shows the detail.

These samples are VERY difficult to photograph well as the light bounces off both the white of the ink and the shiny bubbles as well as the glossy sheen of the PVA seal over the top leading to overexposure. I'll get better photographs on the finished diorama when I get diffused light through my light tent.

The right hand side of the sample shows a test 'pool' of soapy water, and the 'strokes' on the left show how this soap might be washed onto a surface.

I prefer the second as it has a murky quality with more depth than the first. The sample is not as bright white as it appears in the picture. Its a little cartoony, as the bubbles to scale would be up to 4" diameter, but I think it's clear what is being represented and its not grotesquely caricatured.

It's made by coating the area to be soapy with PVA glue, then strategically placing tiny glass micro beads (used like glitter in card making) one at a time with tweezers. The location of the beads is not something to do randomly - I start with the 2mm beads placing just a few in small groups, then build up round them with the 1mm beads and then finally a scattering of the 0.5mm beads leaving plenty of clear bubble-free space in the centre of the big pools of soapy water.

Then once dry I mix white Daler Rowney Ink with water in 10:1 ratio. I'm not sure what base the ink has, but it doesn't fully mix with the water leaving the slightly oily separation effect you see. This is then flooded on and allowed to settle around the beads. Once dry a final coat of PVA is applied to seal the whole thing.

I think this has worked pretty well, and am looking forwards to applying the effect... wish me luck!

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Do you think he'll notice ... ? IX


I got my airbrush running and undercoated and then painted the urban/snowy waste camouflage pattern that I've previously used on my vehicles, and I blocked in black the areas of the vehicle that needed to be painted differently.

All was going well, and then it came to washing the vehicle to highlight the panels and such like. Now i used to do this by thinning GW ink a lot and then running it through my airbrush and letting it dry.

SO I loaded up my airbrush with GW wash (Devlan Mud mixed with Badab Black) spray it and then the phone rings. When I get back I have this...

I think I forgot to thin the wash!!! And clearly the wash settles and dries very differently to the old inks. It has completely obliterated the camouflage pattern!


I don't want to try and strip this so i'm going to try and re-paint over it... wish me luck... and the clock is ticking!

On a better note, these arrived in the post today!

So I now have everything i need to complete this project (except the time and enthusiasm...sigh!)

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Do you think he'll notice ... ? VIII

Meet the GAFFER... Grymn Pilot of the VTOL craft parked in front of Bob and Dave in my Diorama of Doom entry.

As can be seen from his helmet and shoulder stripes The GAFFER (Grymn Air Force FlyER) is a member of Red Squadron - and that colouring will be evident on the flyer itself. The flight suit webbing and life-vest are painted to match my other painted Grymn.

We see him here relaxing with a strong brew and watching something closely, somewhat distracted from the antics of Bob and Dave...

I'd drooled over this figure ever since Kev White of Hasslefree Miniatures had show it on his WIP web site over 6 months ago. He was kind enough to send me a master copy of the figure, and the detail on it is incredible. The front of the life vest (i assume thats what it is?) is amazingly detailed and a real challenge to paint accurately. The figure is just 23.5mm to the top of his helmet. I hope Kev thinks I have done this justice!

In addition I've also completed the base. Well, I say 'completed' what I mean is painted, there is still a lotto be done to this the figures need to be mounted and then I have a LOT of detailing to do...

There are 12 separate colours used on this base, not including any i mixed myself. Trying to get the stippled grey of the tarmac surface was a bit of trial and error, hope it works. Tarmac is not black!

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Do you think he'll notice ...? VII

Meet Bob and Dave ...

Two of the principle characters from my Diorama of Doom IV WIP.

This is Bob, the older supervisor of the 'crew' complete with polystyrene cup of tea and a nonchalant 'seen it all' world-weary look, surveying the latest mishap of his more junior colleague Dave. He thought he'd seen it all, he keeps his tea hot and his gloves clean as he tries to keep his young enthusiastic, energetic staff out of trouble. He ignores the health and safety regulations and refuses to wear his hi-vis jacket.

And this is Young Dave, otherwise known as "Dave down the pub", the guy who waxes lyrical on all manner of subjects but has no common sense. Nothing is EVER Dave's fault! He wears his high vis jacket with pride as Bob told him it was a chick magnet but he's cut the sleeves off his company coverall to avoid looking like a gimp in a suit (like Bob).

In the Diorama Dave and Bob are discussing Dave's latest 'incident' and surveying the consequences.

It is Dave questioning his boss Bob with the line after which this diorama is named. "Do you think he'll notice?"

Great Heresy sculpts and highly recommended. a joy to paint. The high vis jacket is a challenge - its actually painted with fluorescent yellow paint and shaded with GW Thakka Green wash. I'm not entirely sure it works, but it is bright!

I still have a few details to paint - Bob's hair, Dave's wrist strap and both their ear pieces. Plus a bit of touch up here and there. Better pictures will be taken when they are complete.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Out of the mouths of babes...

I've ranted a few times here and on forums I frequent such as the FoD about the silliness of futuristic walking robots - don't worry I'm not going to go over the long list of compelling and cogently argued technical and economic reasons why such things will not come to pass...

Anyway it was my son's 9th Birthday the other week and he got some cash to buy what he wanted. Now, being a sensible sort of child he decided he'd like lego. In my (not so) humble opinion the best toy ever invented. No argument.

So we go get our shots and venture into the local Toys R Us. (Don't get me started on TRU and the way their banal lowest common denominator product selection policies have bankrupted every other toy shop in town without actually stocking anything like as good a range as the shops they replaced.) Now TRU doesn't have the best range of lego to look at, but its either there or Argos, and call me old fashioned but I'd like to look at what I'm buying before parting with cash, and do not gain any kind of thrill at seeing my product hurled down a small conveyor at the back of the warehouse where marking something "fragile" seems to mean "Only thrown underarm!"

So, we're stood in front of a rack of lego and my son decides he likes the look of the Power Miners range. Well, he's only 9, so i decided it was a little churlish of me to point out that pointed mole drills are useless means of mining in anything other than soft earth, or that the so called "rock monsters" seem to be the innocent party defending their home against the invading and clearly imperialistic power miners who are intent on pillaging the rock monster's domain for crystals.

"Ok," I say, "so what do you want?" knowing that he had enough money for a large set and perhaps a small one too. Well off he goes and adds up the prices and such like and comes back with a Rock Crusher kit - nice and big and suitably WOW to a 9 year old i think. Good choice!

Except in his other hand he had another small model which he presented to me with a huge grin on his face.

"I can afford this too Daddy!"

"Oh." I replied somewhat crestfallen. "Why that one?"

"Well Daddy, Its a walker robot and they are sooooooooooo cool!"


Thursday, 17 September 2009

Do you think he'll notice VI

A little progress. Composition finalised, slotta-tabs removed and figures pinned temporarily in place. Road barrier completed and undercarriage design finalised.

However I had a real light bulb moment and have ordered an additional figure from Hasslefree... no i wont tell you which one, you'll ahve to wait for the finished piece.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Do you think he'll notice V

Look what arrived at the weekend!

The Grymn Air Force FlyER (or GAFFER as I am calling him) is the soon to be released Grymn Pilot figure from Hasslefree miniatures. My enormous thanks to Sally, Kev and Kate of Hasslefree for sending me this present ahead of its release date.

It is also the last remaining figure I needed for my 2009 Diorama of Doom entry. Now i have no excuse not to finish this project ahead of the 31st October Deadline.

Now i'm not normally a starwars fan, but I can't help looking at this figures flight suit and thinking - Ooh! that would look smart in orange!

Poll results - Go Go Dropship!

Well the poll results were in a few days ago but its taken me a while to get round to posting.

I can't say I was surprised by the winner. I guess the Grymn Dropship has been something of a signature project for this blog so I suppose its only to be expected that it got most votes.

So I've bought a shed load of new plasticard and have rubber and resin on order.

The Grymn army came in second, again perhaps unsurprisingly as so many pictures of this have been posted already on this blog.

So my plan is to complete these two projects by Christmas. So if you see me doing anything else... then make sure you shout at me!

I was a little surprised that Rogue Trooper and the ABC warriors came in 3rd and 4th. I guess there are more 2000AD fans out there than I realised.