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Crusader Army Pictures

June 3rd, 2009 1 comment

You've been patient.  I finally have pictures of the complete* Crusader demo army for your review.

Sir Conlan is the sergeant of the troop.

These guys are the rank-and-file who do their very best to smack down whatever Sir Conlan points them at.

Stabby death at a distance.  And they provide some nice support for those poor schmucks above.

More stabby death at a distance, just farther away.  These are the guys I converted to have bowstrings.

And finally, one kick-butt monster.

Tomorrow I'll post up the other demo army.  But I'd like to let these guys shine for a bit.

If you want to see everyone, check out the collection below.  There's a lot of not-quite-as-good pictures in there but you still get to see everyone and booty shots.

* When I say 'complete' I mean I've painted up all the models I got for the army.  However, the new data cards coming out mean that I need to add a few to this army to make it legit and to balance it out.  So there's a few more to be painted up once I pick them out.

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~tap tap~ Is this thing still working?

February 11th, 2009 1 comment

Or, more to the point, is Rastl still working?

Sure, I'm going to use that as my excuse for not posting anything.

The Crusader demo army is done.  Fini.  Complete.  All ready to go slaughter something.

The Hirst Arts pieces are coming along nicely.  Of course, I need to cast more bricks to complete the main set much less the cool extra piece.  But that's not such a big deal.  I need more bricks anyway.  And yes, I've slowed down and am making them to a higher standard.  It means that it takes longer (of course) but I'm not nearly as frustrated as when I rush along and find all the problems when I'm painting.  By the way, paint covers a whole lot of issues.  Kind of like ivy.

As you can tell, no pictures.  I just haven't been able to set up anything to get good lighting.  That's what is keeping me from doing this.  And yes, I know all about light boxes and other equipment.  The problem is space here, not equipment.  I'm hoping that if the craft room gets organized and some more shelves put in place I can have a spot to put a light box and use when needed.  Hope, mind you.

The truck is back from the shop and looking sharp.  There's a lingering odor of paint when you get into the cab but overall it's not a bad thing.  I'm hoping that it fades out rather soon tho.  I'm not sure it's good for the ol' brain cells.

Right now I'm working on a few miscellaneous minis to get them to their respective destinations and/or off the unpainted shelf.  That's why I pushed back the next demo army until next month.  I knew I would have more than enough to fill this month without setting myself up for failure by trying to work on that too.

Oh.  I showed restraint.  Yes, honestly.  One of my favorite online gaming stores is having a clearance sale on Mega Minis.  And I so wanted a few things for something that's been in progress for a while.  I even had them in my shopping cart until I really sat back and thought about it.  I ended up removing them.  I did want them and I even had a use for them but it was a single, specific use.  So rather than clutter up the place with more minis that gather dust I gave in to my practical side.  But if anyone is feeling generous – the cows, the pigs and the rabbit swarm.  Really.

And I don't think I mentioned this one yet.  I'm going to be running some games and teaching a terrain painting workshop at Who's Yer Con in March.  So I'm still trying to design the terrain piece that people will be detailing so they have something to take home.  I've had a few ideas but nothing really jumps out.  And no matter what, more casting will be involved.  Of course.

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Busy, busy, busy

February 4th, 2009 1 comment

Setting goals really makes things annoying.  Once those goals get written down somewhere then there's some pressure to actually get things done.  And when you write them on a public forum (err, or blog) then there's even more pressure.  But then again, I am getting things done.  So maybe it's not all bad?

My Crusader army is two steps closer to being complete.  The bases have their rubble painted up and the bases are sealed.  Last two steps – adding the snow and then the final coat of varnish to keep everything in place.  I didn't make my January goal of getting them completed but they were painted by the end of the month.  That's something, right?

I've been working diligently on my long overdue trade pieces.  Those are the Hirst Arts arena terrain pieces I've mentioned a couple of times and shown in very bad pictures.  I've got a lot more of them painted and a goodly number waiting for paint.  And then there's the ones in various states of construction.

I'm going to digress onto construction here for a moment.  Most of these pieces were made prior to my decision to slow the heck down and not try to make things as fast as possible.  So they're not quite as neatly constructed as I would have liked.  A pillar set was so misaligned that I just put it aside and started assembling a new one.  I can use the old one myself but not as a piece for someone else.  Luckily the rest of the current pieces don't have those kind of glaring errors.  The new ones are being built with much more care and attention to detail.  It takes longer, especially since my dedicated building area isn't available right now, but I think I'll be much happier with the results.

I'm hoping, really hoping, to get some pictures posted up this week.  There's enough arena pieces to make things interesting and even without the snow the Crusaders will work well as models to show scale as well as help the composition be more dynamic.  The only problem is that I don't have floors made up so the pictures won't be as inclusive as I would like.  But those will be better than no pictures, I'm guessing.

Side note.  I'm rather trapped at home since we're down to one vehicle again.  Mr. Rastl was involved in what turned out to be a minor accident due to his excellent defensive driving skills.  Had he been less skilled, the accident would probably have been very, very bad.  So the truck is in the body shop having the entire passenger side fixed up, leaving me home while he takes the car.  I can work from home so that's not really an issue and since he tends to get home later I have even more time to work on this stuff.

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I should have been productive, right?

January 30th, 2009 No comments

Gotcha!  I have been.

All the figures for the Crusaders army are painted.  Well, the monster has just a couple of little touchups to be done from when I cut off the integral base (giving myself a blister, I might add) and I only saw them when I was painting his new base.  That's not bad and shouldn't take more than 10 minutes, including time for the paint to dry.

I also was able to finish up one of the Mega Miniature figures I had partially done.  I like having a few of those handy so I can test color schemes as well as use up paint on the palette.  This one was 99% done but I was stumped on what color to paint a final detail.  My online painting friends helped me out, as usual.

I was also going to try doing some freehand design work on her dress.  I put down the first line and realized it wasn't going to happen.  I painted over that.  Now she's just going to dry overnight and I can varnish her tomorrow and call her done too.

My goal this month was to finish painting up the Crusaders.  Technically I met that goal but they don't have their scenic bases done.  I'm going to hold off on my next big project so I can finish those, paint a couple of figures that have been in queue for a while, and generally get caught up.  The next army is already ready for painting so once it comes time I can get right on it.

The terrain painting is also getting done.  I have a few more of the arena pieces done and I did some pre-painting on pieces so I can assemble them without really futzy paint work.  Actually I had to do these pieces in this order.  They have gates that are far more fragile than you would believe when those gates are cast out of plaster and not resin.  So I glued them to clear plastic backing and now they're nice and sturdy.  So I had to paint them before gluing them to the plastic or it wouldn't have been clear plastic any more.  Make sense?

Next up, building more terrain; painting some figures that need to be done; casting more bricks to make more terrain.

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Back to painting .. stuff

January 21st, 2009 No comments

I've had some time here and there so I'm trying to fill it in with useful projects.

I have a few more of those arena pieces done and some others in various states of being painted.  I'll try to get pictures this weekend – no promises.

I also realized that I had a self-imposed goal of finishing up those Crusaders this month.  I happened to look at the calendar and saw there isn't much of the month left.  So I picked up my paintbrush and finished up the sergeant.  There wasn't much to do, honestly.

Then I put the basecoat on the monster/Guardian Beast/Doom Kitty.  I'm going to do a slight experiment with colored metallics in that I'm using the dark blue metallic as my darkest 'silver' and working up from there.  It's looking good so far but I can see that at least one wash is going to be needed to blend the transitions a little.  The dark blue metallic paint left a bit of a gloss finish.

I was thinking about putting small wires into the bases of the models so color-coded beads could be used to track various effects and damage.  Yeah, that's out the window now.  It's an interesting concept but more complicated than I want to do and it has the potential for being too delicate.  I'll stick with the tried-and-true methods of tracking.

This morning before work I glued together two more arena floor tile sections for my arena.  They aren't glued to the foam base but they are in the required 6 inch by 6 inch section.  I saw at least one more of them sitting on the bar so I'll have to poke around and see if there's any others waiting for foam.  I know the ones I did base only have the darkest color of paint on them so it will be easy to catch up.  In total I need 36 of these floor tile sections to make a 3 foot by 3 foot arena.  I don't remember how many I have but I know it's not nearly 36.

Now that I've done some more casting I can make the rest of the arena pieces, start in on my challenge build, and work on another build I was doing for another project.  Yes, I've been putting off building things.

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Crusaders and terrain

January 16th, 2009 No comments

Two things that go well together, right?

Well, yes they do as a matter of fact.

The terrain is part of an arena set I'm making for a friend.  I posted some of mine earlier with blue marble detailing.  His has the tried and true 'black and gold' detailing.  The Crusader figures are in the picture for scale reference and because they look cool.

Speaking of Crusaders, here's shots of just the guys.

Not the best, I was using daylight since I wasn't about to set up my very unhandy lighting rig for these.  But you can get the idea.  Yes, I strung the bow on the archer.

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Sergeant is progressing

January 13th, 2009 No comments

I guess his name is Sir Conlan but heck, like I'm going to remember that.

I decided to try and get fancy and paint some of the faction symbols along the bottom of his cloak.  I'm giving myself a C+ for the effort and I'm not painting over them.  They look like I tried and that's all that's important.  If anyone gives me grief then they better have a decent paint job to hold up in comparison.

I need to paint a few more bits as metal and then do some detail work but overall he's going much quicker than I thought he would  And that's even doing his armor in two colors.  I looked at some of the paint jobs on the Reaper site and found out that some arm pieces are supposed to be metal.  So I paint them like metal.  No biggie.

I'm still keeping the paint jobs simple so that they show up well and I'm not killing myself trying to get them done.  I'm quite pleased so far and they'll look just fine on the table.

So it mostly looks like detail work is left to do on him and then he's ready to set aside for varnish.  I was not expecting that.

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And the archers are done

January 12th, 2009 No comments

The archers are done except for their coats of varnish.  None of the models have their bases done – they're just painted and waiting for the actual scenic stuff.

I made life simpler for myself by limiting the number of colors on them.  There's still a fair amount but I reused colors when I could so that there are actually fewer than the color cards would suggest.  The cards list the color for each 'item' so the same color can be used many times and just not be obvious.

I'll try to get pictures tomorrow when there's some natural light to help me get a good picture of them.  They're kind of a different faction within the army so they look a little different.  But they're all on the same side.

I painted a little more on the sergeant tonight.  His face is done (see previous entry) and I started on his cloak since that's the farthest thing in on the figure.  Standard logic holds that you paint from the inside out.  So I did.  The transitions are still a bit abrupt but I can look at it tomorrow and see if it matters, really.

I do want to do some freehand on the cloak but since it's a repeating emblem I'm going to cheat and try to make a stencil.  Fill it in with a watered down color and then I can paint it in as I like.  There's a special effect I'm going to try for.  Let's see if I can do it.

Otherwise he's going to use most of the same colors as the other Crusaders.  Just in different places since he's fancier than the mooks.

Once I get started with him I think I can get him done in a few night's sittings.  I've gotten used to fiddly bits over the last year or so and they no longer stress me out.  I can paint up a belt buckle like no one's business.  I'm quite proud of that.

I'm still considering a 'work in progress' for the monster since he's pretty cool.  But I'm not sure how helpful it will be to others painting him since he's not a very complicated figure.  I'll take an informal vote and see what the prevailing opinion is.

OK.  Off to sleep.  It was a good evening's work.

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Crusader progress!

January 11th, 2009 No comments

The archers are about 3/4 finished.  That's a good thing.  I made darn good progress tonight once I got past a mental block of "what is that and how do I paint it?" on one part.

The next session should finish up those archers.

I also did put some paint on the sergeant since I had the skin color out and he might as well have the same one as the others.  His face is the only skin visible so it made sense.  That's a fiddly bit and now it's out of the way.  Yay!

I'm well on track for having all these figures painted by the end of the month.  The only thing that might slow me down is if I do a work-in-progress of the Guardian Beast (aka Doom Kitty) because stopping to take pictures at every step adds quite a bit to the total time to paint something.

I also remembered to write down the colors I used in case I add onto the army so the new ones will match the ones I've already painted.  I don't plan on adding on but it doesn't take much to do this and it isn't a bad habit to get into when painting armies.  I think I need to go back and write down what I used on the other figures but since they're in full armor and a more limited palette it should be easy enough.

I'm really hoping to have these guys done by the end of the week but life has a way of interfering.  We all know this.  I want these done more quickly so I can spend more time on the sergeant, as it should be.  I have an idea for something on his cloak and that will take some real painting attention, not like a normal cloak.

I've also got a couple of other figures being painted with the colors I'm using here since I hate to waste paint.  So there are even more partially painted figures on my table.  It's kind of fun when suddenly there's a half dozen finished figures because of other projects.  Of course, they're all just cannon fodder for our game but at least they're nicely painted cannon fodder.

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I couldn’t resist

January 8th, 2009 No comments

I did finish up a miniature at paint night (pictures later) and did some work on yet another partially finished one.  Rather productive.

I needed a little project to fill the hour or so before I was going to head up to bed.  So I thought I would touch up the primer on the last Crusaders.  Spray primer doesn't always get in all the nooks and crannies.  I did.  I also used some craft paint to finish up the back of a terrain piece but that's a different story.

I still had some time so I gave in and started painting the archers.  There's only two of them and they're completely different from the other grunts in that they're not in full armor.  So, I have to think about more colors.

Right now I would say I'm maybe 1/4 done with them.  The undergarment is done.  The tunic skirt is done.  The overtunic is done.  Sounds like a lot but they're pretty easy.  I still have a lot of fiddly bits like the straps to paint up.

I was able to use some of the paints on other primed figures.  The warm grey from the tunic skirt is on the hose of a court figure.  The khaki brown from the undergarment is on the scabbards on my half-orc.  I like using up paint and that's why I have so many partially painted miniatures.  I'll have some extra on the palette and slap it on a convenient mini.  Then it sits until I have more paint that will work or I just give in and finish the thing.

Total painting time invested tonight – about an hour.  I don't count the primer touchups since that's prep work.

I tried taking some quick pictures but the lighting was way wrong.  These are primed black so they really need good light to get a decent picture while most of it is unpainted.

I'm not 100% on the colors so far.  The warm grey skirt with the ultramarine overtunic is a bit of a contrast but then again maybe that's what is going to work.  We'll find out, now won't we?

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