Saturday, December 26, 2009

Rules and Holiday

I've started updating the "Rules of Paint Machine." Finally. Just a few thoughts that came to mind as I sat painting and relaxing on the day after my Christamas festivities. I will hopefully continue to expand them in the near future.

I hope all those who are celebrating holidays of whatever sort are enjoying them.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

(PM02) Swiss / Landsknechts

I'm working on some commission figures. In talking with the owner, he brought up the idea of a "basic" paintjob for less money. I don't normally do this. But I thought I would give it a try and see how it worked out, since I'm trying to cut the time on some of my own figures. So in this process I skipped or simplified a few steps, and wasn't quite as precise as I might normally be with figures like this.

They were painted in a single color scheme, at the owner's request. But I varied the way in which the colors were used. I've not included step by step instructions on this, nor have I included the time, which I tracked privately.

The next project will be another one of my own and include all the details. I just thought I would include the photos for this one, since I had taken the time to track it all for my own reference.

Base Flesh.

Flesh Wash.

Flesh Highlight.

Eyes (Flesh Wash Socket, White, then Black).

Tidy up flesh mess.

Yellow base.

Yellow wash.

Yellow highlight 1.

Yellow highlight 2.

Blue base.

Blue wash.

Blue highlight.

Steel base.

Buff leather base.

Dark grey (black leather) base.

Red-brown leather & wood base.

Wash on every base since steel.

Base hair. Wash hair with GW Delvan Mud (not shown).

Base grey feather. Drybrush white feather.

Dark gold on sword bits.

Base white shirt.

Wash shirt.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Next Project?

Time to consider the next Paint Machine project. Right now most of what I want to get done is more Romans, and some assorted single Skaven (WFB) figures.

But possibilities for the next project here include:

24 Spanish Scutarii (Crusader & Old Glory)
28 Carthaginian infantry/veterans (Crusader)
28 Thureophoroi (Crusader)
8 Balearic Slingers (Foundry)
12 Cretan Archers (Black Tree Designs)
30 +/- Numidian infantry (Wargames Factory)
30 Ancient Germans (Wargames Factory)
30 +/- Numidian infantry (Old Glory) (When/where did I get these!?)

25 Low Countries Pikemen (Old Glory)
12 +/- Low Countries Plan├žoniers
12-16 (or more) Assorted Artillerists
30 Landsknecht Pikemen (Old Glory)
10 Landsknecht Handgunners (Foundry)

I have some other medievals but don't know what I want to do with them yet.

All of the fantasy stuff I've got on deck at the moment falls into one of three categories, either a single figure, something I need to purchase more of (and I'm on a mini buying "freeze" at the moment,) or something I don't see myself using in the near future (like more Empire infantry.)

There are a couple in the list above that I'm considering, more than some of the others. If anyone cares to have any input, feel free to reply.

(PM01) Romans - Part 7

Step Twenty-Two. Painted all the helmets, shield bosses, greaves, and a few other bits with VMC Old Gold.

Step Twenty-Two: 22 min.
Total: 287 min.

Step Twenty-Three. A slightly diluted GW Flesh Wash on all the gold. I would prefer something a little darker but less red/orange. As much as I like the new GW washes, they're not strong enough on gold for the look I want. Last time I tried it, I had to use two coats. So for now I am sticking with the old Flesh Wash.

Step Twenty-Three: 6 min.
Total: 293 min.

Step Twenty-Four. I highlighted some areas around the tops of the helms, the spine of the boss, and other areas. On the cornu (horn) I made a second pass at highlighting with some old GW Shining Gold mixed into the VMC Old Gold.

Step Twenty-Four: 3 min.
Total: 296 min.

Step Twenty-Five. The crests on the helms were already painted black, so I hit them with a little mix of Black and Mississippi Mud as a sort of highlight. While I had both of these paints out, I also quickly drybrushed the wolf pelt with the Miss. Mud, and painted the opening on the cornu black.

Step Twenty-Five: 5 min.
Total: 301 min.

Step Twenty-Six. Quickie step, but not much to see. Another light drybrush on the wolf pelt with Coat d'Arms Horse Tone Roan. Then a drybrush of GW Dark Flesh on the bear pelt, followed by a light drybrush with Snakebite Leather.

Step Twenty-Six: 2 min.
Total: 303 min.

All done! Way ahead of my initial estimate -- almost half the time, exactly. I really did push myself, and in all honesty these are relatively simple and they are not my best work. But I have a lot of Romans to paint, so I'm looking to make some compromises.

303 minutes /18 figures = 17 minutes per figure (rounded up.)

Not bad. I have 9 more sets of 18 to finish, so that's good news. I will be doing some of them in slightly different colors. The process should be the same, however, and should take a similar amount of time. The time above doesn't include the prep time & basing, of course.

(PM01) Romans - Part 6

I'm just going to lump steps Seventeen through Twenty-One together. Each one involved a thin layer of the dark red I used for the base, mixed with an increasing amount of Vallejo Model Color's Rojo Mate (Matte Red). The first mix was maybe like 1/6, then 1/3, then 1/1, then 2/1 then straight Rojo Mate. Honestly, I have no idea if those numbers are anything near accurate. Sorry. I mix paints by "eye" not by measurement.

As with my previous update, I'll stand by the decision to paint a few extra layers. The total time for all of these steps is only slightly over a minute per figure. Cutting back on a couple of steps may have saved me 10 minutes, but like the final effect.

One note, though... and this may sound a bit like excuse-making, but because of the differences in the finish (sheen) of the two paints, the reds always look more extreme in the photos than in real life.

Step Seventeen: 7 Min.
Step Eighteen: 5 Min.
Step Nineteen: 3 Min.
Step Twenty: 3 Min.
Step Twenty-One: 5 min.
Total: 265 min.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

(PM01) Romans - Part 5

Step Twelve. I painted a base coat of light tan (Vallejo Model Color 912 Tan Yellow) on all of the cloth.

Step Twelve: 14 min.
Total: 221 min.

Step Thirteen. I painted over the tan in all areas except the parts that would have the deepest shadow.

This bottle of Americana Antique White is almost empty. I have bought three other "Antique White" paints and none of them are the same (see next step). Unfortunately both craft stores near me seem to have quit carrying this particular color. It's still listed at their web page, though, so it still seems to be manufactured. Very frustrating. Seems silly to pay the shipping for just one bottle of paint.

Step Thirteen: 7 min.
Total: 228 min.

Step Fourteen. Another highlight using one of the alternate "Antique White" paints mentioned above. It's about midway between the other paint and pure white. At least it makes a good mid-point layer.

Step Fourteen: 6 min.
Total: 234 min.

Step Fifteen. Small highlights at some of the most extreme areas of highlight.

The "three color" style of painting gives decent results. But going with further layers will increase the effect of layering, making it blend (visually) with each extra layer. Looking at the time spent on the last couple steps, particularly this one, you can see how little time it is involved in going that extra step. I was actually wondering if I should have stopped with the previous step. After looking at the time myself, I'm fine with going with 4 or 5 layers on major areas of figures.

Step Fifteen: 3 min.
Total: 237 min.

Step Sixteen. Base coat of red on the shields. Many reds have weak coverage on a black base. Or even over white -- they will look streaky. So I usually figure on at least one "prep coat." If I wanted to paint a very dark red, I'd repeat a second thin layer of this paint next. But I will be painting a bit of a lighter/medium red. So the next step will be... be continued...

Step Sixteen: 5 min.
Total: 242 min.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

(PM01) Romans - Part 4

Step Nine. I painted all the leathery bits, backs of the shields, etc. with GW's Dark Flesh. This took longer than I thought.

Step Nine: 52 min.
Total: 184 min.

Step Ten. Just one figure for this step, but it was one last thing I wanted to get done before doing a black wash. Mississippi Mud on the wolf pelt. This is the same color I use as the basis for most of my bases, plus a hundred other uses. I buy this stuff in bulk and always keep a few bottles stashed in case tragedy strikes and its no longer available. The paint didn't even have time to dry before the photo.

Step Ten: 1 min.
Total: 185 min.

Step Eleven. I did a wash over everything from the last three steps -- the silver, and both browns. This will help cover any slop from drybrushing of the mail (and make it look more like steel than silver), plus tone down & shade the leather, as well as bring out some of the detail in the boots.

Step Eleven: 22 min.
Total: 207 min.

I'm making good time. I'm at least half way done, if not further, and I'm only about 1/3 of the way into my time estimate of 600 minutes (10 hours).

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

(PM01) Romans - Part 3

I've been busy with other things the past few weeks, so obviously there have been no updates. Further reason to try to make the best use of my painting time. ;)

Step Seven. I touched up all the non-flesh areas that had gotten some of my sloppy flesh paint on them, especially the metallic areas. This always seems a tedious step, but it's the price I pay for getting the flesh done quickly.

Step Seven: 26 min.
Total: 109 min.

Step Eight. First I did a quick drybrushing of the mail, then I went back and painted the steel parts of the pila, as well as a couple helmets and other bits silver. I'm using a bright (GW Mithril Silver) color because these areas (along with others) will get a black wash later. About half the time on this step was spent on each portion (drybrushing mail, painting other parts.)

Step Eight: 23 min.
Total: 132 min.