30.11.11

Logos and details

Despite my previous attempts being still fresh in my memory, I took yet another attempt at cockpit jeweling. As usual, I mixed a neutral orange and applied it in the windows. Then I added some yellow, mixed, reapplied covering a bit less. Repeated a couple of times. I still don't do this too well. A part of my failure may be because I practice on such small areas but most of the fault is because I just can't do it. There's no denying that ;)
Next target: those logos!

That's how I started the Clan logos. As the background I painted a small circle with grey-black, then I painted a blue x- over it. The shape is easier to do this way than trying manually to make the angles hold while painting six individual lines and making sure the center is kept clear. The center that's going to be painted over anyway.
Sadly the Hellbringer didn't have any prominent, large-ish area for the logo so I had to paint it on the top of the 'Mech, behind the head. Summoner on the other hand had a nice patch for it on the left shoulder. That was like planned for these things. I just couldn't try to paint these odd shapes on any more difficult surface. It's difficult enough already :)

Next I painted Stonewall Grey "arms" on the bars and later a Cold Grey blob that was supposed to be a bear's head's shape. On that I applied a couple of black dots to represent the facial details of a howling Ghost Bear. As usual, these things look a lot worse in photos and much nicer when viewed for real, with a naked eye.
Cameras are unforgiving.


The rest of the details were a lot simpler. Those PPC lenses (the crystals didn't fit, sadly) I painted with a metallic paint, just like the searchlight's face. later I applied a bit of Citadel's ancient Blue Glaze on them. The searchlight and the cockpit windows each got a bit of equally ancient Yellow Glaze.

Then I took some German Yellow and fixed the caution stripes that I smudged up the last time. After that I chose a place on each 'Mech for the Galaxy logo and painted four lightning bolts to mark the place. I have to say that the lightning bolts were the only things that looked recognizeable. Later I painted a bear-like form with Cold Grey and on that some faint black lines to represent torso shadows. Supposedly.

Last week I was pondering on which Cluster I would put these in. Finally I ended up with the 73rd Battle Cluster ("the Lash") so that these don't get mixed with my friend's units. And it's a semihandy excuse for them looking so different from each other. For some reason neither Camospecs or sarna.net had a logo for the Cluster so I just painted a red 73 on each 'Mech's left knee to mark their Cluster. There has to be something, right?


While I was painting tiny numbers I decided to give these things their own unit numbers. I went with the numbering method I've "always" used: first there's the Trinary number, then the Star's number and finally the Point number. Nicely enough I came up with this when I had already built and painted two dozen 3rd Falcon Talon Cluster 'Mechs... These things happen.

The number of this Trinary (314th Battle Trinary) is 2, as sarna shows the Cluster's composition in 3058 and I - for some reason - didn't want to assign these to the Command Trinary. Because of the same reason I didn't assign either of these things as the #1 Point, Star Captain Hee Silva shall get his/her own 'Mech according to hard facts, not because of my randomness ;)


As the beautiful end I applied a dab of red on the lasers and green on those two somethings on Hellbringer's lower Right Torso and in the corner of the SRM-6 launcher. I decided that they're some sort of targeting thingamagicks, especially as TRO didn't say anything about the RT parts.

There's some touching up to be done, but mostly it's ready. As long as we're talking about the paintjob, that is. The same goes for the Summoner.

I feel that these tiny hex bases are a bit too small for the 'Mechs so I think I'll dig up a sheet of styrene and a real pewter hex base. So I'll craft a couple of better-sized bases for these units. It'll take a couple of evenings, maybe, no more.

Ahahaha. Aha. Ha. Hrm.

24.11.11

OmniPlastics

Naturally my current project-in-progress is this tiny subset of the introductory box: the two plastic OmniMechs. It's a distinct pleasure to work with them, especially after those other things. The basecoat was applied weeks and weeks ago, so I didn't need to worry about it at all. I painted some sort of two-tone camo on their surfaces with Stonewall Grey and Cold Grey. Next I touched up a couple of smallish pieces of the Summoner with Enchanted Blue, as Camospecs declares: Ghost Bear's Delta Galaxy's units are painted gray with light blue highlights.


Rather surprisingly the next thing that followed was the highlighting round of the Hellbringer. I tried to avoid going for too similar parts so these brother models wouldn't be identically highlighted. Just to add some variety.


The contrast between these two greys bothered me a bit, so I tried to apply a wash on one of Summoner's legs to see how it works. To me it looked just fine so I washed the rest of the mini and then continued on doing the same to the Hellbringer, too. I think it's a fine effect and it makes them look less like circus cars. And if I'm allowed to say so, more realistic.


With all my excitement I painted a bunch of narrow yellow stripes here and there around the torsos and arms. As usual, this was done to lay the groundwork for the caution stripes I like so much. When I later painted the black diagonal stripes to finish the patterns, I had used too big a brush and some of them got ruined. Caution stripes, not the brushes, of course. I'll be fixing them later. Grumble.

I finished the Summoner by painting the face of its LRM-15 launcher black. Maybe I'll apply some metallic paint on it and then wash that brown again. We'll see. As this session's last step I painted the missiles of Hellbringer's SRM-6 launcher white to make them stand out nicely. A while later I painted the tips red, so the SRMs are different from the usually smaller LRMs.


Next time I'll be working on Hellb's searchlight and I think I should try to use some of those tiny jewels I bought for the Marauderi on the PPCs. That could be a lot cooler than my earlier silver + blue glaze -approach. Cockpit windows may end up being orange, even though one sees the cyan+orange -combo quite a bit all around the world nowadays.
Oh, and I shall not forget the logos on these things.
I should dare to go for the Clan Ghost Bear's own logo, the Delta Galaxy's logo and maybe even the Cluster's logo, whichever Cluster I end up choosing... Years ago I painted a couple of Stars for our GM and he was going to assign them to either the 115th Striker Cluster (The Rolling Wave) or the 68th Striker (The Walking Panzers), so maybe neither of those.

But then again, walking panzers are pretty, pretty close to my heart, at least by the name...

17.11.11

Completed two dozen freebirth scum tin cans

This week's task was prettifying the bases. While I was digging up for my items I found out that I had a couple of different Woodland Scenics flocks instead of only one! Nice. I didn't waste time with them, though, but in the future...

I dropped a couple of pinchfuls to the sand jar I had for the basing and shook it a bit. Should something get stuck to the bases, good. If not, that's cool too. It'd stay there for the next time.

My method has always been simple: apply a layer of white glue on the base, dip the lower part of the mini in the jar, twist around a bit, shake the extra crap off. Repeat until done. This has worked decently in my opinion, of course some minis have gotten a lot more attention while others like these got done quickly and efficiently, without fuss. I just didn't see these worth any super-special work with all the remaining mould lines and all that.

In any case, I think they'll be just fine for a game or two ;)



Someday soon(ish) I'll turn my attention to the plastic OmniMechs! Yay!

10.11.11

The end is near! Again!

Over a couple of evenings I've been superefficient and that means these gaming pieces are getting done. At long last. I mean, I have complained about the offensively bad quality of the material...

But I should get to the point already. The Kell Hound 'Mechs got a bit of grey highlighting on their black surfaces and obviously a bit more of that red on the red ones. I tried to achieve some sort of "line highlighting" effect but as it was the first time, it didn't end up being anything awesome. To make something look better easily I applied a light coat of my ancient Citadel Yellow Glaze on all the cockpit viewports to give them a shiny surface - the yellow pigment doesn't really alter the orange/green parts noticeably. They look better and less like odd splotches of colour. So I did this to all the minis of the set while I was at it.

While I was happily detailing the ComGuards 'Mechs, I went through all the important panel lines with Badab Black to bring back the panel line where I had made a mess with the grey and white. This made them look quite a lot nicer, especially Cicada's cupola looks neat. I had to check Sarna.net's wiki where I should apply antennas (and how many) on the 'Mechs that hadn't got theirs yet. Then I applied those, playing time because I was somewhat concerned of the looming logo-painting.


No matter what I did, I knew that the logos were to be painted at some point. As the first step I just fixed the Draconis Combine BattleMechs: the Combine logos were to be converted to the Golden Dragon logos, and I did that to the best of my ability. Next ones up were the Kell Hounds with their simple triangle logo with the dog's head. Another triangle-based logo was to be painted on the Death Commandos, so they got theirs next. I just couldn't try to paint that skull the way it's presented in Camospecs, so I did something. Not that one could see many details in these tiny miniatures anyway.

The sunburst of the Federated Suns was done by first making a small red ring on each of the four 'Mechs and later making a weird, yellow, star-like splotch on that red dot. The sword's blade was made with two gray stripes and its handle with a bit of black. A couple of them may actually look half-decent or tolerable, even. Crusis Lancer's logo is just a yellow box with black and grey stripes going through it, so that being recognizeable on these things is maybe a bit of a stretch. That's not an exciting logo to begin with, though.

Lyran Guards' regimental logo was somewhat painful because of the shield. The purplish paint I mixed dried too dark, but that's how it sometimes goes. Maybe those crossed swords make it more recognizeable?
As the last ones on the list, the ComGuards tin cans needed their insignia. I got wiser from my previous attempt ("Pesterers") and I didn't even dream of painting the 3rd Army's hooded falcon on a black gauntlet. Instead I painted black rectangles, a blue dot in each and then the two-pronged star's tail. Not too happy with those things, either.


In this scale and especially with the lighter 'Mechs most the logos didn't get too much space, so recognizing them is challenging. The viewer needs to use some (=plenty) goodwill ;) The main thing is that I know that they're there, even if no one pays a picosecond of attention to them.


The ultimate step for this post were the bases. I painted them brown. Next I'll apply sand and maybe some flocking on them. Maybe I could even try to set up a gravel road somewhere, even? I'll find out when I get there. These pieces won't be for display or anything, they're for playing, so I can experiment with them pretty freely.


All in all I guess there's a load of tiny stuff that's still missing (in addition to the bases), mostly the ACs, lasers and PPCs need something to tell which's what and where. While painting the Jade Falcon OmniMechs I've painted the LRM and SRM tips slightly differently: LRM's are completely red and the SRMs are likewise red but they've got white caps (I should upload pics of them, too). As you can see below, the SRM-6 launcher of the Commando is the only one in the set that's not just a tiny half-clogged hole. Maybe it looks better with the missile heads painted and not just drilled open. I just pondered for a while if it made any sense to take the Jade Falcon - approach or if that just makes them a mess. I decided not to try.

3.11.11

Full speed ahead again

Now that I got the homestuff done, I had the time (and space) for the real deal. Those Death Commandos I painted earlier were bugging me. Something in them eluded the eye, in a bothersome way. So after a small amount of googlage I decided that the black parts need highlighting to take the dullness away. Semiconfidently I drybrushed the upper parts of whichever bodypart I deemed to be "in the light" with some gray. My plan was to highlight those parts that get some sunlight from a sun that's more or less in zenith.
What I didn't grasp (because I forgot) was that the sun doesn't shine with a tiny spotlight like my worklamp does, instead it provides more like a "circlestrafing" effect, a broader light. So the effect I got on the 'Mechs is maybe too "tight". I'll fix what needs fixing, if it looks a bit too dull.





The last two Lances were going to be the next ones I worked with, so that I'd finally have the pieces in a good recognizable form. Missing logos and the final details weren't that important to me. First of these last eight IS BattleMechs were going to be assigned to the infinite sea of BattleTech Mercenaries. Maybe my choice was a bit clichéd, but they ended up being Kell Hounds. The other option that considered really strongly was the Gray Death Legion but I thought that the KHs would be a bit more recognizable.
At this point I just divided the basic red-black pattern somehow. A couple of those tiny 'Mechs caused a bit of head scratching because I wasn't sure of how to share the colours. Here's the Red Gore + Black -combination:

Spider

Clint

Panther

Hunchback

Now the last Lance could've gone to just about any remaining IS faction, but as they had their important impact in the Big Story so far (I'm reading about the beginning of the FedCom Civil War now), I decided that ComStar should get a Lanceful of ComGuards at its disposal. At least I got some extra practice in "painting white".

On the base there's the Grey Primer, on top of that I liberally applied some Cold Grey and later applied a good amount of Stonewall Grey (with the same idea than with the aforementioned Death Commandos, but done better). As the final touch I, obviously, half-drybrushed the topsides with plain white so that the shadows still stay darker, but with a hint of white on them anyway.
I think it ended up looking decent, though the panel lines most likely need some fine tuning.

Cicada

Commando

Dervish

Grasshopper

Next step's going to be, if schedules and everything else allows: windows for the ComGuards (green?) and then metallic surfaces, washes, highlights and windows for the Kell Hounds. Depending on the mood I may return to the highlights of the Death Commandos, but we'll see about that when the time comes. I'm not going to run out of stuff to do in any case.

Oh, and there are those two OmniMechs lurking in the shadows...