lördag 31 augusti 2013

Opus Magna 2

I could not help my self and today I started the Opus Magna build. I started out with cutting out the bottom and top of the base. Then I cut a lot of ribs to make a frame go in-between the the two large plates. I also added cavities where the water jets will go, four in the aft and two in the front. After putting on some glue I needed to put some press on it while the clue harden. I ended up almost emptying the bock shelf to get enough weight on it so that it would lay flat on the table. Once this is cured and I have made sure that it will stay together I will add some side covers. This will the work as the base plate on which the rest of the Magna will be built It is quite a ridiculously large build and I am not sure where to put it.

torsdag 29 augusti 2013

Lord of skulls

Just a short update on the progress of the Lord of skulls. It is now mostly finished. There are some parts that are missing but they will have to await the finish of the Warbird dropship build to make sure I do not need them in that build. Over all I am satisfied with how it turned out. I did have some creative ideas in the beginning of how to make it into some walker type but in the end I decided to make a more conventional build. Only to late did I realize how I should have done to make it a spectacular walker but at that point I did not feel like tearing it apart. So I will probably end up with another one of these at some point and then I will make a better job of painting it. I did try some different styles of shipping on this one and it shows if one looks closely. Also, most of my paint are drying up and are making a mess of my paint brushes. But all in all a decent build. I am however not to impressed with the mechanic of the sculpt. It is to static to make much of alteration in the pose or to get some dynamic into it without some serious surgery. I do think GW needs to let go of the "dynamic" cad sculpting and return to straigt parts and ball and socket joints where the builder gets  to choose the pose. I can only imagine how 3 or 4 of these would look to gather on the front-line in exactly the same pose, and this is farm from the worst of these new static pose 3D sculpts. as single miniatures it is ok, like for charters but not for large kits that you might have several of. Well enough rambling and back to painting.

I will now return to the warbird and get it finished and ready for paint. During this time I will finish of some Desert Eagles in master crafted power armour that has been hanging around the to do shelf. I will also continue with the planing of the Opus Magna. And I NEED to get some new paints. Well, I do have my work cut out for me this autumn. I will try to keep a more regular posting also

tisdag 27 augusti 2013

It's a trap, its a trap I tell you...

(Left: sharp light edges to the damage gives a distinct 3D effect. Right: Toned down edges gives a more flat appearance but agrees more with the general paint scheme.)

It's a trap, its a trap I tell you...  all those painting guides. You have to be careful about all those painting guides out there.

There are a lot of painting guides out there on the internet. They really can improve you skills and teach you techniques that will make your models look marvellous... or they can make you a hodge pot painter with out a distinctive style. In my last post I tried some chipping techniques that I read about in a painting guide, and I have seen a lot of models painted using this technique and they have all looked astonishing. And so did my chipping, it really did have a 3D look to it, some real depth and so on... but the rest of the model did not look the same, it has a more subtle 3D feeling to it. It does not have sharp highlights as it is drybrusched and shaded in many layer of paint, it uses real metal paints, again in many layers to give it a multitude of shades and depth, no NMM, no even colour fields, it looks like (my opinion) more like reality than a painted model. And this is where it all goes wrong. This nice chipping technique does not work together with the rest of my painting style, it looks to good... and that makes it pop as unrealistic on a model that uses more colour variation as 3D technique rather then a pure artistic painting style 3D technique... So what I finally realised is that is not all about technique, it is also about the right choices, you have to choose the right combination of techniques to give the models the look that you want to portray. It is not all about a display of the most advanced techniques and cramming as many special effects into you model as possible that makes it a great master piece, it is the leveld combination of techniques and the blend that over all makes the model look realistic that will really make it pop. So even if I now realise that I can master (even if I am not there yet) the chipping technique using a light border to give the damage depth it does not go together with the rest of my painting style.

But this give me the idea to paint a model using "artistic" painting on one side and "realistic" painting on the other to using the same colours to illustrate the point... we will see if I get around to that.

But be careful out there, do not just buy into the techniques that you see on other models just because they look great, make a call about weather they fit into your style or risk adding components to the models that look out of place.

måndag 26 augusti 2013

Lord of Skulls update

I am back at work, both at home and at work. Even though I am planing the Opus Magna build I am chipping away at the Lord of Skulls. I really ought to get it done so that I can finish up the dropship, war-bird, build before starting any new stuff. The colour scheme on the Lord of skulls is quite straight forward, red bronze and metal. This means a lot of drybrushing to get the colours an weathered look but it is good as a soft start-up for the season. I am also testing out some chipping techniques for battle damage. Usually I have done some dark background and bolt gun metal as battle damage. Now I am experimenting with adding a bright edge to the damage to give the illusion of depth. I am not quite happy with it yet, but sooner or later I will get the hang out it. One just have to be careful so that it does not start to look to painted. This is some thing of an balancing act. I have seen models that are beautifully painted, with lots of NMM, source lighting, 3D chipping etc...  but in the end, however good they look, they look more like something out of a painting then a miniaturized warrior of the battle field. Some times less is more. At some point I will probably paint another of these models, mixing it with a Helldrake, and then I really should have the damage part down as such a build will be quite the centre peace of my display. Now, back to painting.

tisdag 20 augusti 2013

Opus Magna

The Opus Magna is an Amphibian Assault Carrier, or an aircraft carrier on tracks. I have to admit that the inspiration to building this comes from Klaus over on Dei Greci and his Athena build. I am by no means as skilled in plasticard building as he is. But During the Desert blade and dropship build I have come to realise that I like scratch building and that I need to improve. First I thought about building a leviathan, I found a picture of one on Google (leviathan) that was build from the imperial bastion and two bane blades. In the beginning I though about building something similar but I could not get a silhouette that I liked with out doing more or less a copy. Then I started to play with the idea of having a landing platform at the back using the skyshield landing pad. This was however to big for the small frame of the leviathan. So what to do? Make it bigger, and bigger it got. Now the design is based around four bastions, two baneblades and three landingpads. I did some to scale drawings using measurements from parts that I have and numbers from the internet. From this I can get the dimensions of the build. The over al length of the Opus Magna will be around 1.3 m, it will be 25 cm wide at the tracks, 40 cm over the flight deck and some 30 cm to the deck. I will continue to do scale drawings to confirm dimensions and to get a feel for the proportions before actually building something. To do this build I will need a lot of plasticard even if quite a lot will come from different kits. But the Evergreen plasticard is quite expensive, especially if you are building big things and using thick sheets. But in the end plasticard is just polystyrene sheets so I did some search on the internet and found a supplier, Plexiglasbutiken, that sold sheets 1 m by 1.4 m in 1 mm and 2 mm thickness where a 1 mm sheet is the price of two Evergreen sheets. With that I could start contemplating to actually build something this large. The sheets arrived to day and now I can start to plan and cut out the bottom and see what kind of rigidity I can achieve. Once I am sure that the build is possible I will rob the piggy bank and make an order for the rest of the parts that I need for this. This will very probably be a very long project with a lot of scratch building but also incorporating parts from other kits. Is this something that is worth doing? I dont know.

måndag 12 augusti 2013

Lord of skulls

This time it really has been some time since my last update. It is frankly because I have not had time to paint or build or do anything with my hobby this last month. The house has just eaten all my time. But now it is done and I hope to have some time to finish of some of my projects before starting new ones. Talking about starting new projects. I where happily working away on the dropship when it suddenly hit me, I was starting to get sloppy in my hast to finish it. So before I ruined to much I stopped work. There are some thing that I have to go back and redo but I think I managed to stop in time. So as I could not work on the dropship I thought that I should get a model and simply build it out of the box to have something to paint as I waited for the dropship mojo to return. As it happened this coincided with the Apocalypse release so I bought a Khorne Lord of skulls. I am not really a big fan of the model. I did have some idea about rearranging the parts but in the end I just made some minor modifications. I shortened the main body armour, turned the back tracks around and decreased the pressure tanks to two. No major re modelling so that I could get painting. I did see some early work on a walking type with the pressure tanks as legs but did not like it enough to make the build. However, later, when I was almost done with the build I came across a version utilising the defiler legs and Helldrake wings, which gave me some ideas. I will have to see if I will do anything with it in the future. As of now I will just finish it as it is, then get back to the dropship and finish it. Then hopefully I will have enough inspiration to get back to the Mechanicum and finish some of the myrmidons and knights that has been hanging around my to do shelf for far to long. Once this is done I might treat my self to a new big project. I do have an idea of building a large amphibious assault carrier with a full flight wing. This is still in the planing stages but I am tempted. But I will have to finish some of the other stuff before I can get that going.