Monday, September 22, 2014

Let There Be Light!

I have been unable to post for a while: Between work and trainings for work, I haven't had a lot of painting time. That said, I have based the first batch of Nomads, and done a necessary repaint of certain parts thanks to a misbehaving matte varnish spray can... (Luckily, no significant damage was done.)

I also had the lamp previously shown broken break again. Debating between buying a new bulb for an eternally tricky lamp, and just buying a second LED snake lamp, I went for the latter. Turns out it was on sale as well!

(I know it's a bit blurry)
Behold! It's the "Studio 3B clip lamp". I found it at "Bed, Bath & Beyond" of all places, and this one cost $25. For it's price it's incredibly bright, has a daylight-tone colour, and its biggest advantage over my previous halogen bulb light: No heat. I can not tell you how many times I went to move it, or even just leaned over the wrong way, and nearly burned myself. This thing can be grabbed at any point and after any length of use without fear of burning. For me it's also about the size of my palm, so it's an easy grab to bend.

This one is what officially replaced the Halogen lamp. I managed to find this one when it was on sale for only $17.50, which made it an even clearer decision than when I first set out! With the two of these, I have almost entirely obliterated shadowing when I paint. The only disadvantage is it's a bit harder now to shadow-find mold-lines, but I'll take the improved usability over that any day!

I'm on track (I hope) to finish off the second wave of my Infinity stuff shortly, and will be seeing what I can do for my geckos shortly thereafter. They've had a bit of fuzzing from the airbrush, so if I can't clean them properly they may get a redo...

Monday, September 08, 2014

Wildcats, Hellcats, and Prowlers; Oh My!

I have finally gotten the first 'wave' of my Infinity painting done! Ten models ready to be matte coated and based as soon as I can get good weather and some spare time to do it. In the meanwhile, pictures for all!

Pay no attention to the background...
I struggled for a while on how to do their symbols. The entire reason for this paintscheme is that it makes more sense for a military unit to be drab than bright red. That is contrasted by the fact that the Nomads primary colour is red. (Also known as the least camouflaging colour you can pick next to "dayglo"!)

I did a photoshop mockup of where I'd put the symbols in each case, and toyed with them until I found a setup I didn't dislike. First I'll show the easier ones to solve, then on to the harder choices.

The Prowler was one of the first models I painted (and one of the first I bought: Such an awesome pose.) He's the test-case for drab, and other than his pistol's grip, is remarkably subtle compared to some of the other schemes I've seen of him. The symbols for him seemed pretty straightforward; Nomad on the left shoulder, Bakunin on the right, so any enemy that spots him will see the "national" pride, whereas his allies will know where he came from.

Next up were the Hellcats. Being troops that scream in from a dropship on jets of antigrav (?), I was less concerned about 'stealth', which is why their shoulderpads have a nice distinctive Corregidor and Nomad icon. The back of their burners have squad identifiers (3-1, 3-2, 3-3) in case I ever have to distinguish them quickly stats-wise.

Ahh the Wildcats. After much debating, I decided to use that random circular patch on their right shoulder to be the Nomad symbol location, and put Corregidor's icon beside it. Their unit identifiers (4-1, 4-2, 4-3) were likewise done in low-vis beside it, with a kind of sci-fi font styling. Since I didn't want big obvious indicators on their leading shoulder, I decided to do an imitation QR code on each. I figure any Nomad helmet and HUD unit will know to read the codes to indicate "Nomad", and perhaps even name, rank, and branch of service. This way you don't lose your IFF even if you're hit with electric countermeasures (just hopefully your allies haven't been as well), and no enemies will be immediately able to identify.

I did struggle with this at first, because though they are line troopers, it's implied in the fluff they're often called upon to do shipboard combat. I figure in such situations, with cramped corridors, and a race against the clock and overwhelming odds, it's more important to whip around a corner and recognize an ally. Also, camouflage in an enemy ship would be difficult to guess ahead of time. Eventually I went more subtle because it kept the theme more consistent.

Also note the Wildcat's random disks at the front of the armour. Again, since Corregidor is often called upon to engage in zero-g or hostile spaceborn environments, having on-suit lamps that aren't attached to a gun or hand-held would be incredibly useful. I figure they're suit lamps (off when in daylight, of course) and perhaps that left-forearm device is as well.

Thus is my war against glowy armour on stealth units going strong! Since these photos I gave a dark, dark cyan wash to the helmet visors to make them richer, and to the gems to help settle the layers in.

Soon, pics of the Reverend Custodier, Zondbots, Intruder, Alguacile... I wonder if I'll have them all done by the time Icestorm shows up!