Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Gecko Escher Madness

Well, gradually things are calming down, and I'm actually getting painting time!

To that end, I finally motivated myself to get done something I'd been staring down for some time and trying to work up the nerve to start.

I speak, of course, of the Gecko shoulderpads.

First up is the Combi-Rifle off-shoulder: I decided to do a neat Gecko/Lizard themed pattern on one that may be familiar to some folks, namely:

(From Wikipedia)
Escher's an artist I love looking at, and I had to recreate it if I could. I don't know the size of the original, but I suspect it was larger than the Gecko!

Sorry for the blurriness; cell camera fun...
The process remains, I suspect, the same: Carefully dot thinned black paint in a hex formation, after which I connected the dots with thin traced lines. This allows me to rough out where the gecko limbs need to be, and how I need to line them up.

Next came a rough initial paint of the geckos. At this stage there are still a few flaws, and the paint isn't too thick, but it gives me an idea of what I need to sort out, where things will go, etc.

The return of real camera!
A second coat followed the first, cleaning up all the lines, thickening the paint, and getting rid of the remnants of the hex grid on the solid-red geckos.

And then it was time for a lot of washes, re-highlights, and cleanups! There's a painted gradation from the left side to right side, since the gun will be held directly into the air. (The eyes have been cleaned up since these photos were taken.)

As a final step, the whole shoulderpad was hit with a coat of gloss to seal it in. I'll probably go over it with a matte finish afterwards, but for now I want to make darn sure it's not going to get chipped or marred!

It was a fun if mind-bending paint, trying to remember where various limbs should go, making sure the paints were thin enough, trying to follow the lines properly. It ends up looking good though! I did have a friend ask why I wasn't doing an entire tag in this pattern, and... I think I'd just snap if I had to fit this pattern around legs and hands!

Next up is the Huntress shoulderpad, which is about half done so far. I've finally settled on all four shoulder designs, so they should be along in good order!

And now, back to painting...

Friday, March 13, 2015

Converting Ice Storm Nomads

I return!

In the last month of not updating the blog, I have gotten married, gotten a new apartment, and attempted to move everything here without resulting in a broken pile of pewter and plastic!

As I settled in, I've done some work on the Morats, and decided to start prepping the Nomads for painting. A friend and I swapped models from two boxes of Operation: Icestorm, resulting in us each having two of everything. I have determined to not have utter duplicates in the force, meaning I need to convert seven models of the box. Luckily, the two male Alguaciles could get away with a simple arms swap, but the female Alguacile was a bit more of a challenge.

Corvus Belli loves giving its female models pinup poses, but luckily there was enough gap between the legs to pull them to a wider (if still a bit hippy) stance, and her arms were thin enough to carefully reposition into a firing stance.

...the one problem was the hair. I had to change it, and the only thing for it was a trip to the barber's shop!

I'm not exactly the gentlest barber... 
(Sorry for the blurriness of the photos; I'm still using my cell for pics!)

I first carefully cut off all the hair and shaved her head down to just a scalp. This took some careful gouges/cuts with a boxcutter, and even closer trims with a craft blade.

Old Man Hair!
Then came careful puttying of the short hair around the sides and back of her head. I wanted to go with a more military-standard short cut, with a bit of a bizarre flare. I want to make the Alguaciles (and Nomads in general) look as though they struggle between professional military and individualist themes. You can also see in this one the modifications to the body pose.

(Whups, flipped the photo order)
Next up, after the first round had dried, I added a blob of putty to the top, gave it a part, and pulled it down on the far side, to give a bit of individual style.

As usual, I tend to work fast when I get closer to the final stages, so here's a 'finished' shot: I used a craft knife to turn the blob into individual hairs or clumps, gave her a single lock over the forehead, and then a hairstyle that's very short on the left, gradually getting longer around the back of the head until it hangs down to the jawline on the right side.

Next up I'll put on photos of the other two Alguaciles. I'm hoping when painted the hairstyle will work. I will likely give her a black wash to see if anything stands out.

See you hopefully sooner than another month from now!