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Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


Is this thread for good painting, or can we also post our own bad/mediocre painting for advice and critique?

Dixon Cox posted:





This always blows my mind, I have a whole sea of paints here and my dudes still look like poo poo, while this is two colors and it's incredible. Curse you, Jen Haley!

Adding content, I own this miniature but haven't gotten the balls to paint it yet, so this is one of the Reaper gallery shots:

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Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


Has anyone used Vallejo's crackle medium? I bought some to try it out, but so far it doesn't seem to work. The guy I tested it on just looks very glossy, no sign of crackling after a full 90 minutes. I'm going to leave him overnight and see if anything develops, but I'm not optimistic.

I'm not sure if 28mm is just too small a surface to get the crackle effect forming properly, or if I missed something. I followed the instructions on vallejo's site, put down acrylic in two layers, then the crackle medium.

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


Thanks for all the feedback. It sounds like a lot of people are having trouble with it, so I guess its good to know that its not just me. It's a pain that apparently its so hard to use, I was really hoping that I would be able to make use of it on some new projects. I guess I'll keep trying and see if I can get it down.

Bobx66 posted:

Can you link me to the guide? I have a bottle of it laying around. No idea what I would use it on...
Yea sure, this is what I was using

Fix posted:

Are you sure you did it right? You're supposed to put down your base color, then the crackle medium, and when that's dry, apply your top color. Reading what you wrote it sounds like you put the medium on top.
Vallejo describes two techniques for using it, one of which is what you said and the other is to just put down the the Crackle medium over your paint and then apply a glaze or wash to bring out the cracks (you can see about it in the same link above). The second one sounded easier, but apparently no go. I'll try it between the two layers and see what happens.

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


I just thought I would drop in an update on my battle with Crackle Medium. I found this discussion on using it, and so I tried four different layers: paint, paint, medium; paint, paint, pva, medium; paint, paint, pva, medium, paint; and paint, paint, medium, paint.

The PVA didn't seem to make any difference at all - I still didn't get any crackle on the first two, and both of the last two crackled equally. The crackle effect is actually not too bad, but the final, cracked layer is very fragile. I tried to apply a wash on one to emphasis the cracks and ended up destroying it, and I tried drybrushing the other but the differential between the 'plates' and 'cracks' isn't enough for that to work.

I'm kind of stumped on how to use it, because the only way to get the crackling visible is to have a dark color under it and a light color over it (or, I suppose, the other way around). The problem is that you can basically only paint one layer over the medium - if you try putting another layer, you will basically destroy the cracks. This means that you can either put down one thin layer which doesn't completely hide the darker layer beneath, or a thicker coat that risks detail and brush strokes.

For what its worth, this is the look I am trying to emulate. I think it might be a lost cause, but I'll try anything people can suggest:

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


MasterSlowPoke posted:

Have you tried gloss coating the crackle after before painting the top layer?
No, I haven't. You mean putting a layer of gloss over the successful crackle effect, to protect it, before trying to do anything else like washes or highlights?

Zarkov Cortez posted:

Ashcans have you read the WIP of that one giant marine? He uses the crackle medium for the off white areas of the armor.

http://www.coolminiornot.com/forums...d.php?tid=31535

He starts using the crackle on page 4 but uses a different company.
Funnily enough, the same guy that did that commented in the CMON thread I was using as guidance - he's the one that suggested using watered PVA. I might just go out and get the crackle set that he used though, if it gets a consistent effect.

PaintVagrant posted:

I bet crackle on top of gloss, as MSP suggested, would work well.

When I was in art school I did a bunch of paintings that I would seal with watered down PVA, then apply gloss acrylic varnish on top of that. The gloss would crack and it would look rad
So it would be: Paint, Paint (however layers needed to get the color/etc I want, then a layer of varnish/gloss, then Crackle? I was trying to do that with the PVA, but its very possible I just didn't do it properly or thinned it too much. I'll give it a shot with a gloss and see if that makes a difference.

This does seem like it would be very work intensive to apply to a whole army. If I can get it working I will probably still have to restrict it to characters/vehicles/special models.

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


Plastruct also sells a pretty dizzying range of tubes and tanks that you might want to look at. It's probably the most expansive store I've seen.

Honestly the Chemical Plant is probably a good buy because it will come with all sorts of other bits and pieces that you can use to modify the tank or other models.

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


The GW 'Green Stuff' is just Kneadatite Yellow/Blue. If you google Kneadatite putty you will get a dozen places selling it cheaper than they do. I'm pissed I ever bought any from GW.

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


I think that you're going to be challenged in that most of the SOB figures have your blue areas covered (chestplate and upper arms). It makes your template a little misleading. You might want to consider expanding the blue areas to make up for how most of the models are posed.

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


Fix posted:

Yeah, I think you're probably right. I'll put some on the pack on this one and try another one tonight with bluetit. Mix it up a bit in the squad.

Edit: Fixed the gold, trying PV's method, cleaned things up a bit.


I like your scheme, and I think its coming in pretty nicely. Have you considered lining the shoulders in blue instead of grey at the edges? I think it might pull together the greaves nicely.

Bistromatic posted:

Theres a stuff called The Masters Brush Cleaner and Preserver, it's some special kind soap and will easily get any paint out. I could go into a full-blown advertising rant about how amazing this stuff is, even if your brush is totally crusted with paint you cant get it out with a bit of work.

Yea, this is the way to go. I do a ton of drybrushing on my stuff because I am a fat lazy ham. Trying to switch colors on the same brush is just a bad idea. Once you've finished your current color, wash your brush thoroughly with this cleaner and then wait for it to dry completely. If you don't clean out the brush you are always going to get the color bleed you are seeing, and if you don't wait for the brush to dry it will smear and run instead of dusting. The solution is to have a handful of different drybrushes so that you don't have to wait.

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


Cthulu Carl posted:

While I'm painting my Catachans and Mentors, I'm planning my next move for my Orks, specifically my Warboss and his Cyboar Warbike.

I think I have enough tubing, and gubbins for it, but I'm wondering about the propulsion for it. I don't have a bike or buggy to scrap, so here's my harebrained scheme:

Cyborg pig bike with Tau drones instead of wheels -- Good Idea or Bad Idea?

It sounds like a bad idea to me, it seems like it would end up looking like a hobby horse or something. I would try and bionic-up some legs personally, but if you're set on wheels I think you'd get a better look by building some orky wheels right out of plasticard than nailing drones to it.

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


Oh, that sounds considerably better - I thought you were talking about flipping the drones on their sides and using them as wheels, which sounded kind of terrifying. A hoverpig would be better, but I still think not as good. Part of the problem is that I have trouble imagining how a cyboar without legs wouldn't look ridiculous - I mean it would sort of look like a fuzzy sausage with just the head on the front, somewhere between completely surreal and just silly.

If you have a boar model that you're working with as a base, bionics can be as complicated as you want to make them. You could either snip off the legs and rebuild them completely, or basically ad struts/bolts/cables to the outside instead. I was screwing around with a similar project (only a Cybear) although it has dead-ended and I don't have pictures on hand (it is bad work).

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


Cthulu Carl posted:

I'm going to try and use this Orc Warboss. I was thinking of putting one dron between his tusks and replacing the back legs with the other, that way he still has the front legs.

I hadn't seem that model before, it's nice. Is it a plastic kit? That would make things a lot easier. If you have the stuff on hand I would try fitting the drones on using a quick tack, see how it looks. If it turns out badly, just pop them off and build on bionic back legs for the boar - that way you wouldn't have to scrap or restart the whole thing.

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


enri posted:

There was an RT era cyboar that had something like this, the back end was just armoured and it had a wheel in place of its back legs. Googling like crazy to find an image but not having much luck at the mo.
I remember that guy. I'll take a look in the 2nd edition books for him when I get home.

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


Yea, there was someone who made a 'travel 40k' board using epic figures and just used magnetic paint for it. Epic-sized figures are tiny, using even a tiny rare-earth magnet for them is going to be a huge overkill, and probably a lot more trouble than just paint.

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


Yea, primarily it's because most people doing this are just hobbyists, and lots of them are also kids - they don't have the knowledge to mix up all of their own colors, and they're not really interested in doing it.

It's also because people often spend a long time assembling and painting a force that needs to look coherent and uniform - its nice that you can spend years assembling your army, and any time you need to add something to it you can just by a pot of X color, knowing that you're going to get the same shade across all your men. It's really frustrating if you mix your own stuff and you paint one unit/squad/vehicle, and then six months later when you are adding to the force you can't quite get the same shade again.

I actually have this problem because I mixed up some colors to paint my Stegadon in a particular shade. Now I've decided that I want to make the two different heads swappable, but I can't seem to match the color mix I used - so the second head is going to end up a slightly different color unless I want to keep working at it forever, or repaint.

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


I'm not sure if this is totally appropriate to the thread, but oh well. I want to take a minute to make sure people know about the magnetic basing kits that Gale Force Nine makes. The kits are basically a big sheet of that sticky-backed magnetic plastic you see on fridge magnets and stuff, and then X number of bases with solid magnetic bottoms. I'm not really sure what the magnetic bases are made from, it looks similar to the magnetic plastic but its considerably thicker and stronger. Anyway, the idea is that you switch your stock bases, and cut the sheet to fit your movement tray.

I was a little worried about this initially because I was concerned it might not be strong enough, but their cavalry bases will hold my Saurus Oldblood (solid metal figure on plastic mount) to his tray even upside down or vertically. The hold is very good. Their 20mm bases will actually hold a large pewter miniature with no problems at all - I have a Hordes Gatorman stuck to my light at the moment.

Now obviously most people aren't interested in paying extra for this kind of thing. I think its cheaper to just go with mighty putty and rare earth magnets. But if you're in a situation where you need to buy bases anyway, they're a really good deal. If you buy bases from GW, for instance, you get 10 20mm bases for $4.50. Gale Force Nine gives you 36 magnetic 20mm bases, plus the movement tray insert, for $11. So considerably better value.

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


aldantefax posted:

You mentioned you used this for a Hordes mini, but what is the use in doing that for a skirmish level kind of game like Warmachine and Hordes? I figured movement trays etc would be useful only for much larger scale games, and I can see it becoming kind of an issue when moving around on terrain.

One of the reasons that I am magnetizing all my bases is actually for transport. Rather than using a padded carry case, I have a big toolbox with metal inserts. The magnetic bases hold stick to the inserts and prevent anything moving, and I feel like it's a better arrangement than stuffing things in and out of foam all the time. So for my Hordes/Warmachine/Reaper stuff, it's a transport and storage solution more than something for the game.

The other reason is that the Hordes Gatormen actually double up as Kroxigor in my Lizardmen army - I already had them, and I think the miniatures are better suited than the GW Krox. So in my particular case, the magnetizing also means they lock in nicely when they're being used with my Skink units.

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


I don't know if I am in the minority these days, but I think that its best for bases to be well done but fairly minimal. You don't want to do so much with a base that it draws attention away from the actual figure, and really basing should serve to unify the whole force. That doesn't mean just using green flock, some mixed terrain or a nice cobblestone effect is often a very good look. But doing things like making your entire army marching across a field of corpses can actually detract from the overall appearance. Some flourish on a character base can be nice (Wood Elves have some nice examples of this) but be careful about going over the top on the rank-and-file.

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


Fyrbrand posted:

Anyone else care to give an opinion on my painting plans? Otherwise looted wagon it is. (Way to circumvent democracy PV )
It's kind of hard to argue against the looted wagon, the Basilisk is a really nice tank and looting one should be awesome. You should have a Grot lodged in the gun barrel, or possibly getting stuffed into the breach.

Zarkov Cortez posted:

Are you knocking my partially submerged cadian in a pool of slime for my dreadnought <>
No, the dreanought base is awesome, and one of the reasons that it works is that the dreadnought itself is a nice, big centerpiece model that is really impressive on its own - so you can put some nice garnish on the base and its not going to unbalance the model. But you wouldn't want to base on top of a wrecked rhino or something, which would be the equivalent of putting your Plague Marine on a half-inch layer of corpses.

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


If he's been there for a week I don't think its going to get any better. Have you changed the simple green? I usually find it best to put the model into a sealed container (a jar or tupperware) of simple green, and then change it out after a few days if it hasn't moved everything I want gone.

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


Fyrbrand posted:

a) 9 lootas + KFF mek
This is my vote, but its pretty much just because I'm never terribly interested space marine oriented.

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


Fix posted:

Not really, and the idea of attempting to sink two magnets side by side without them flipping out of their holes while you're trying to glue them down and flinging superglue everywhere makes my skin crawl.

Yea, don't try and do this, it's an immense pain in the rear end. Even if you do them one at a time, when you're placing the second magnet you have to get it right into position immediately and then hold it there long enough for the glue to dry without getting yourself stuck to it as well.

If you want to magnet something on without letting it spin/tilt, use one magnet, and then sink a pin into one side and drill a matching hole on the other part. The magnet will keep the thing together, and the pin acts as a stabilizer. Note that this is a huge pain in the rear end and probably not worth it for more than one or two models.

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


Feeple posted:

CROSSPOSTIN'

First Lizardman painted! gently caress, I don't know how you WHFB people do thing umpteen billion times.


This looks really good, and my answer to you is that we (I) don't paint individual guys to nearly that standard, I just do them well enough that the blocks of 20 look decent.

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


JackMack posted:

Has anyone found a modelly use for crackle medium. I got some of the Vallejo stuff as mart of a mediums set (which also included some putty which is cutting down on the number of big ugly gaps in models - I can recommend it).

I have had a go on my 2e Space marine who is the subject of all my experiments. As far as I have managed to use it it simply looks like bad paint application. With one crack near the top of the holster which was my testing ground.

I applied in over a brown basecoat and then put yellow over it. I was pretty liberal and applied it to the whole surface. I had Bad Moon Orks with cracked paint over their armour in mind. Looking at the internet mankind is yet to have any success with this stuff, I was wondering if the esteemed cohort here had any thoughts.

In short, no. I wanted to use this stuff on some Eldar to give them a weathered/ancient look, but it was basically nothing but frustration. Like you've found, it doesn't really crackle in a way that is particularly interesting or striking on miniatures - this isn't really the fault of the product so much, it relies on a mechanism that just isn't well suited to the small, curved surfaces of our miniatures.

The other serious issue I had was that it's very delicate. If you can get the stuff to crackle at all, you have to basically seal it at once and leave it be. You can't wash, drybrush, or highlight over it, because the crackle will flake apart and destroy the effect.

I would love to find a way to make it work, but everything I have tried was either a mess or too unpredictable to be useful in painting more than one guy.

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


Fix posted:

You could always seal it first and then do your washes and drybrushing, couldn't you?

Not that it will make things better because crackle medium only works on larger surfaces.

That's possible I guess, I admit that I gave up making it work before giving that a try. The real problem is that while you can get the crackle work on smaller surfaces, its really unpredictable in doing so. So you basecoat ten guardians, put down the crackle, top coat them all - and them make 3-6 will actually get any interesting crackle effect. If you want the others to have, you have to strip and start again (or I guess keep stacking coats and losing details).

I think it might be something that would work well on vehicles, where you have large surfaces that don't have a ton of inherent detailing. If I come back to it, I will try using it on a Wraithlord head to see if it works better on the large surface. But regular guys it would probably be easier to practice freehanding crackles and painting them on.

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


Yea, Rackham didn't have the issue with their metal casts, which were just as high quality (and frankly, often better) than GW stuff. It might be something to do with the casting method, as I imagine that GW runs a much higher volume than Rackham did, but there are clearly ways to avoid it.

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


I don't think it has anything to do with everything being the same temperature? At least I have never heard that. I think the issue is that below a certain temperature the cold messes with the way the propellant works, and your spray isn't going to deliver a proper mist. Read the instructions, I would almost gaurantee that it says you need to use it between 50-85 degrees or something like that.

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


I was taking pictures anyway, so I figured I would get my workstation. Here we go:



My actual worktop is pretty small, so I had to step back and get a shot of the whole area:



The red shelves hold all my paints and general modeling supplies, with by brushes/etc next to them. All that crap at the bottom of the shelves is boxes of bits and things that I am promising myself I will get to at some point soon.


Now the real reason that I was taking pictures. I am sure all (some) of you know that Lizardmen are lead by giant frogs on floating thrones. But some (none) of you may also know there is a special character skink that also gets a throne! I have been trying to put together a usable Tetto'Eko, and this is what I have so far:





I am not sure how I feel about the whole thing at the moment. He is a lot smaller than the Slann that usually sit on the Palanquin, so I don't want him to get lost amid the base. At the same time he already has a big staff, improved headgear, and a little bench to sit on. I don't want to clutter up the whole thing. Any thoughts?

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


Blade_of_tyshalle posted:

Pretty much this. If the throne is cool greys and such, just make him one of those vivid warm-toned Skinks. He'll stand out well enough. You can even make the area of the throne directly surrounding him darker, to increase the contrast and draw the eye to the Skink.

Thanks guys, I was thinking all modeling and no painting, color differences didn't even occur to me. My rank and file skinks are pale green (Dead Flesh) with orange scales. I could make him straight-out orange and red. Would purple work? It's the Lizardmen color for Tepok, their god of magic, although I hate using Warlock Purple.

And yea, the staff to is from the plastic battle wizard kit. I got it off ebay for $3, and it came with a bunch of other pieces that I am sure I will use at some point. The Skink himself is the Priest from the Stegadon box with some small changes.

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


How cold is your work area? Refrigerating green stuff actually stops it from setting, it tells you to put it in the freezer to stop the reaction completely. So if your work area is really chilly, it might be drawing out the cure time. You could try putting it under a warm lamp (not the oven though!)

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


chelsea clinton posted:

Red would work. Yellow might work too. The pictures aren't exactly clear but the orange looks a bit brown-ish so anything that goes well with that would be nice.

Pale green and orange is one hell of a combination, though.

My Saurus are brown with orange bellies, and I was planning to paint the Slann red with black patterning. So I think I will go with a yellow on the priests to make them stand out, while hopefully not looking too radically out of line with the rest of the army.

I think the green/orange comes out pretty well:

I hate taking pictures of my miniatures because it reveals what a terrible painter I am. Good enough for the table though, which is what I am aiming for.

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


Le Saboteur posted:

Honestly, I see nothing wrong with that mini other than an unfinished base. I'm just starting up in this hobby and I can only hope to paint to that standard.
It's less obvious on the smaller picture, but viewing a 10mp picture of your models reveals tons of flaws. For instance, there are couple of nooks on the shield that aren't actually painted, the red in the eye bleeds over into the lower lid, and I missed a couple of moldlines. I mean obviously looking at a 3000x2400 image of something that is actually only an inch tall is kind of misleading, but it still makes photos frustrating.

The base is kind of a mess than I do intend to fix when I finish up the current batch of skinks.

For what its worth, that skink was a very straight-forward job. Paint the entire thing with Dead Flesh, pick out the scales with Blazing Orange. Do the shield in Scab Red, then details with Brazen Brass, Blood Red, and Vermin Brown. Hit the whole thing with Badab Black. There is basically no shading or highlighting going on, the wash does everything. I think it looks pretty mediocre when its up in this thread with PVs stuff and Arlaharen's bear and everything else, but its a decent tabletop standard and, mostly importantly for me, its very easy to repeat consistently.

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


Goddamn I love that stuff so much. Its a good thing that I can't justify buying any of it really. Maybe some day someone will agree to play Inquisitor with me and I can justify a bunch of 1/35 stuff.

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


Goddamn, those are some nice looking stealers. Can I ask how you did the red for them? I'd love to get that color on my Slann, and its one model that I would actually be able to put the time in needed to steal imitate your technique!

This has nothing to do with your work, but the pile of skulls on the Broodlord drives me nuts. There are a few skulls that are weirdly elongated because of the casting, and it just jars with what is otherwise a really excellent sculpt.

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


Ok, for a while now I've been thinking about trying my hand at some sculpting. I've done some greenstuff work on conversions and so on, and while I'm not great its not like I'm going to get better without practice.

What I would like to do is sculpt something from the ground up. Armature, body, details, whole shebang. I know there are some companies (like reaper) that sell 'dolls' to work from, but I'm probably going to go with an oversize project to make things a little easier.

So my questions would be:

1) Anyone actually do significant amounts of sculpting and want to tell me where to look?
2) What do people generally use for armatures? I have a bunch of different wire, but I'm not sure how thick/thing/malleable would be appropriate. Does it matter?
3) Are there better putties for building the base shape, the details, etc? I have a tube of greenstuff, but if there is a better product to work the initial shape, I don't want to be struggling because I am using terrible tools.

There isn't much in the way of sculpting in the OP, so maybe this will kick off some interesting discussion or projects people have done.

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


Thanks for the advice guys. I think that I will look into getting some more material (possibly try ProCreate) and some better tools. I do my current GS work with toothpicks, a hobby knife, and a set of those green clay tools. I have some floral wire and green foam around (fancy that) so I can start working on an armature right away.

PierreTheMime posted:

Thanks. I may try that on the next set, but I've still got a good deal of GS left and the torso is already 60% done (just need to fill the top level of chitin). I have faith it'll come out nicely but it would be good to have better materials to work with.

Edit: Also, is there a particularly good place to find plsticard in the United States? I've tried looking in local shops and modeling stores but haven't seen it yet. I usually try and buy locally when I can, but this does not appear to be possible. Is there a good website for it?

I have used Plastruct in the past. I don't really know how their prices compare, but they have a pretty ridiculous range of different sorts of tubing, panels, piping, struts, etc. I mean really anything you can think of they probably have in stock. Including tiny chairs!

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


PaintVagrant posted:

Theres really no need to have a gigantic bag of ballast/static grass/etc

Only if you don't see the wisdom in flocking your entire living room floor for those serious Apocalypse games

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


PaintVagrant posted:

I did consider tiling my bathroom and kitchen with heroscape hex tiles, dont know if that counts

I painted a number/letter grid on the floor of the office and the spare room. When I have friends over I am going to have half of them lie down in each room, and then we and my wife can shout coordinates to each other. Party Battleship!

Now I just need to get ten friends

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


GoodBee posted:

What on earth are you asking me?

I think he wants to know if your brother is still selling his Eldar and, if so, what it includes. Although it appears that he had a stroke while asking that.

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Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!


Chenghiz posted:

I just finished painting my Rune Priest/Njal Stormcaller in powered armour! Wee!


And yeah I'm freehanding that insignia on every shoulder pad in my army

Any advice/crits? I'm starting to regret the red in the runic weapon's haft already.

It has come up in this thread and the other thread, but I think the glowing eye needs some work. I totally understood what it was supposed to be, but I can also see how its getting misread. It's difficult to tell how much of that is the camera. If possible, I would try to go back over the details of his eye, brow, etc, with a slightly darker blue in order to give them definition. I think that would make it seem more 'glow' and less 'splat'. I don't do well with lighting effects though, so perhaps PV or one of the other more advanced painters can give you a hand.

Edit: I also think the red looks pretty good, its a nice balance of color. vv

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