Monday, 18 April 2016

[X-WING] Rebel custom, the X-WING T-70

Here we are again with the customized SW space ship.
This time I'm painting the X-WING T-70 which is the new version of the classical Luke's ship, so the model you can see in the last episode.
Honestly, I don't want to paint it in black and orange pattern, I know it's pretty cool but I like making things original if possible.

So, this time I've done my homework and search some real references. So I've looked for some air force pattern and I've found a lot of cool stuff. Military knows how to paint their planes.
I've decided to paint the X-wing in US Marine airforce style with black and yellow pattern.

I've started with a first layer of blue grey which actually more a blue sky than grey. But it's not a big deal, It will be corrected with the shading process.

For the shades, I've worked with different layers of washes (black and grey) still more dark since I've reached each details. As you can see below, At this point, my ship is not more blue, just very dark and dirty.

 So first I've cleaned the base with my blue grey + cool grey and then added the highlight with some White in the mix.

For the pattern, I've applied first the black parts highlighted with grey, then I've proceed with the yellow stripe: base of pure yellow, shades done with a mix of yellow and orange and lights with a mix of Yellow and pale flesh.  At this step, I've also Painted the cockpit (blue, glazes of marine and light with White).
the guns have been Painted with black metal and silver meanwhile the afterburners has been Painted with black copper strongly washed in black and then cleaned and highlighted with black metal.
And here the result:

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

[ENIGMA] Severus and Oqtarimus - part 1 Master and Servant

Before starting with some paint jobs for my friends (zombicide and X-wing), my Work In Progress was this two miniatures from Enigma.
I'm used to paint with a clear idea in mind. An inspiration, a reference, a project I want to build around a miniature. I decide the general colors, the environment before start the process and I have also taken the habit to build and paint the base first.
It's a good way to do a good job because you're working with the motivation and the excitement of a new project instead of rush your base at the end of the process just to put your painted mini on it.

I haven't proceed at all like this with Severus. To be honest, I have just finished Saphon and I've feel the need to paint something new. So I take out the first miniature I 've found and gone with"free painting". At the end of the evening, my old mage had his first colors.

At this point, I had no more idea about how to proceed. So, I spent some time on PinInterst searching some inspiration. I have several boards I feed regulary with illustrations (mainly fantasy). It's very useful, there is a lot of talented designers on the web who make fantastic stuff.  I've often found very good idea for color scheme thanks to this guys.

This old mage on the left was perfect for my Severus. Exactly the kind of wizard I wanted to paint. (I don't know the artist).
So main color in black, secondary in red (the cape) and the third color beige/cream.

Then I finish with the last details: the staff and the spelling book.
For this last one, I had some trouble. I'm not very skilled with free hand, so I paint very simple magic pattern with one color. Nothing fancy.


 At this point I was already thinking about the base. My idea was to use an Earth Elemental miniature from Rackham to create a little scene of Severus summoning a Golem.
But a good painter I know told me that an acolyte would be nice with him. In fact, it's a pretty good idea also because from Enigma I had an other mini perfect for this role. Same scale, same sculptor (Latorre) and the look of an ugly little bastard you perfectly imagine serving an old and bad mage.
Here Oqtarimus, the Faries Mutilator !

 His name comes from the lantern he holds which is in reality a cage with some faries inside. this element is a little challenge to paint for my concern. I'm still working on it.
Oqtarimus is fun to paint but he's also very tiny. As you can see, I've kept the same colors scheme than Severus to enhance the idea of a servant following his master.
I cannot wait to come back to this wip as soon I will finish with the X-wing commission, I have something in mind for the base and also the will to play with my basing material.  

Monday, 11 April 2016

[X-WING] Rebel custom, the E-WING

One of my friends is a true SW fan, and of course he's going crazy with X-WING a board game where the Rebels and the Empire fights with their fleets.
Honestly I don't know nothing more excepting than the game is sold with very nice miniatures of the SW spaceships, like the Millinium Falcon I saw painted by Ben Kornet on Painting Buddha.
I have myself three ships at home in this period delivered by my friend in order to paint some customization. The quality of the minis are very good considering we're talking about prepainted plastic models. Actually, the painting job is also very nice for gaming stuff.

The original starships are nicely prepainted.

But my friend has seen the customization job of Nano Nefasto (an Italian pro painter) and wants the same for his fleet.

Now, I haven't the talent of Nano Nefasto and it's also the first time I paint vehicle, so I've just promised him to make a try with this three ships: x-wing, b-wing and e-wing.
I've decided to start with the E-wing because the model is simplier than the others and the requests of my friend less complicated (black with red stripes).

The good news is that the details of the mini are not filled by the prepainting so I have not to clean it.
Of course, I need to be aware than the details are very tiny, so I might paint with very, very thin layer to avoid to lose them. It's normal process for showcase mini, it could be a problem for gaming model.
So I've decided to apply a first layer of Vallejo surface primer to make the base stronger and have nice surface to work on.

 Then I've applied 3 thin layers of black on all the mini as it will be the main colour of the model. Actually, I haven't used pure black but a mix of dark grey and black. It will make easier the shading and highlight. (and also because my old eyes cannot afford anymore painting on full black). 

Once black painted, I start to paint the stripe parts of the ship. As I want a white base, I've started by a layer of grey to make easier the coverage. As you can see below, I've applied the layers on the wings and the nose for the future stripes meanwhile the layers on the flanks are for the mechanical parts of the ship I want to paint in different colour.  

I continue the process of layering adding some white to the grey and then finally the pure white.

The base layers are now ready, at this point I've added some washes in order to place the first shading, make pop up the details and create a first weathering.
I've used Dark Sepia on the white layers and Armor Wash on the black layers (even it's not visible on the picture).
I admit I've exagerated with the wash of sepia but it's not a big deal, I will clean the nose and the wing during the highlight process. The mechanical parts instead will receive an other wash to increase the dirty effect and contrast with the rest of the ship.

I've started by cleaning the wings and the noise with some highlights of white. In the same time, I've increased the contrast of the mechanical parts with some black washes (Secret Weapon Armor Wash),located around the details.

I've Painted the light and the shades on the black parts, using the cool grey with some white for the higlights and the black washes for the extreme shading. It is not very visible on the pic because I've remained on a very dark hue, I don't want my ship seems grey instead of black. But considering the mini is very small, maybe I will increase the extreme lights at the end of the process.
I've also created some weathering effects on the wings with the base colors (applied with a piece of sponge).

For the cockpit, I've choosen a base of marine blue constrasted with a touch of White and black washes. Nothing too flashy for now, I prefer to place first the red stripes on the wings and the noise and see in a second time if some additional blue would balance the colors or not.
Let's started with the red stripes. I've applied first a base player of red brown from Vallejo because it has a very good coverage and is perfect for a first layer when I paint with red.

Then I've applied a second layer of Red 4 (Warcolours) which is dark red and then a last layer with red 2 (Warcolours) for the highlight and make pop the red.

Once finished with the stripes, I've painted the guns and the afterburners.
I've choosen metals in order to contrast with the rest of the ship. As this parts were already painted with a layer of grey/black , I've directly applied the first metallic color: Metallic black (warcolours).
Then, I've painted a first highlight with a mix of metallic black and silver and finally the extreme highlights with pure Silver.
The last job is the effects on afterbuners. Now, it's quite complicated to obtain a good and easy OSL without airbrush, so I've decided to do it simple without too much effects also because the burners of the E-Wing are very small. I've just painted the inside with pure White to create strong lights then I've applied a glaze of fluo orange and a second glaze of red-orange on the sides of the burners. The OSL is not even visible on the pics but fro my concern works as well considering the scale of the spaceship.
So, here the final result: It looks old and dirty as I wanted, so I'm quite pleased with the result. It's the kind of spaceship I've imagined for the Rebels.
The feature I need to improve for the next ship is the patterns. I should design them first on a White paper and work a little bit more on their placements and aspects. I admit that I didn't work on it for the E-wing, I just try to copy a pattern I saw on an other ship without thinking too much.

Monday, 4 April 2016

[Zombicide] Walk of the dead #2

I've just finished my second set of zombies for Zombicide using the Sam Lenz's technique.
15 hours for 24 zombies: so around half hour per mini. It's probably not the best productivity ever but for my standard is very fast.
There are some new sculptures in this set quite nice. I like the female version of the fatties. The runners instead are a little bit disapointed in front of the original version.
Ok, enough of zombies for now, I have a other project incoming completly different. Anyway, It has been fun to paint some tabletop minis with speed painting techniques without worring too much about details and blending.

Friday, 1 April 2016

[Review] Warcolours acrylic paints

Last year I've decided to replenish me in acryilc paints.
I was used to paint with Vallejo colors (Prince August) but I bough my bottles 10 years ago and even if I must recognize that this range has an impressive durability (they were lying in my cellar during my long break from the hobby and most of them are still in good condition), the time was come to change them for brand new ones.
As I like trying new products, I was hesitating between Scale 75, Andrea and Reaper. Searching advices on some forum, I've found a topic on CMON from a guy from Cyprus who was talking about producing an home made acrylic range. He was looking for painters to test it.
I haven't partecipated myself to the beta but the feedbacks were goods considering they were coming from confirmed artists painters.
So when the producer annonced that his shop was online, I gave a look.

What we find about Warcolours paints on their site?

They are unique high quality paints. Great colors, coverage and durability. No-nonsense product. A real person behind customer service. And last but not least: affordable prices thanks to the "no middle man" policy.

Concerning the quality of the paints, I'm going to review it below on the article.
Concerning the last 2 points I can say right now that it's absolutly true:

Prices and customer service: vote 5/5

_ The customer service is excellent, there is "real guy" behind Warcolours and he's very reactive to answer you. Good point.
_ Affordable prices? Are you kinding? they're not affordable, they are absurdly cheap!!

Prices for 15ml of acryilic by brand (Prices from official webshop) :
_ Gamesworshop Citadel = 4,12€ (3,3€ for 12ml)
_ Vallejo Model color = 2,11€ (2,4€ for 17ml)
_ Scale75 Scale colors= 2,33€ (2,65€ for 17 ml)
_ Andrea Color = 2,20€ ( 2,5€ for 17ml)
_ Privateer press P3 = 2,66€ (3,2€ for 18ml)
_ Reaper = 2,33€ (2,8€ for 18ml)

Warcolours = 1,70€
Yep, 20% cheaper than the cheaper brand on market (Vallejo) and 60% lower than Citadel colors!
And the price is even lower if you buy paint set, 21,9€ for 14 bottles (1,56€ each) or even better with bottle of 250ml for 14,9€.... 0,90€ for 15ml. Believe it or not.
And no, there is not absurb delivery fees to compensate the prices, with 3,95€ you have a standard delivery in 5 days (at least in europe), I 've tested myself on 2 differents orders, from Cypra to Italy in four days.

Color range: 4/5

Ok, concerning the basic range of colors we are still far from the Vallejo's range but we're talking a new brand and home made products. When I've ordered for the first time, the range was limited but meanwhile Warcolours has added new products original for the market  like transparent colors, glazes, fluorescent, large range of metalic, powder.

My opinion is that the range still miss of original colors specifically out of the primary and secondary colors. No khaki or variety of white for example. It's even more true than the opacity varies from reference to an other. It means that some colors are available only in translucide or semi opaque version. My vote should be 3/5 for the basic color range, I put 4/5 for the original products available in the shop (like metalics and transparent paints).

Format: 5/5

The bottle of paint contains 15ml. It less than most of the other brands but as the price is not a problem, no big deal.
Dropper format, for my concern is a must. It's most confortable to use with a palette and it's the garanty that your bottle is perfectly hermetic. I don't know for you guys, but my Citadel colors have never reached more than 6 months before drying.
The producer has done the good choice to name its range with very clear description (White, black, red, brown, olive, green, blue, marine..) with numbers, 1 for the clearer to 5 for the darker. Very user friendly.
There is also a symbol to indicate the grade of opacity of the color. Useful considering the different range of opacities of the brand.

Some nice features to note:
_ Child proof cap. Even if this paint shouldn't be toxic, as father I'm quite happy that my 2 years old daughter cannot repaint my home with my colors.
_ Ball agitator included. I don't know if Warcolours still integrate it in their bottle but all my paint ordered last year have it.
Only critic: the PET plastic used for the bottle is a little bit too hard making sometimes difficult to drop the paint on the palette.

Paints quality: 4/5
Let's review the Warcolours features indicated on the webshop:

- colours do not separateI confirm, no separation of the colours excepting for the metalic range but it's a normal feature of the metalic pigment you find with any brand. 10 seconds of shaking with the agitator ball integrated and it's done.

- perfect consistencyFor my concern, it's THE feature of the brand. The paint is perfectly thin even without shaking the bottle. In fact, for a base layer, I use the paint directly from the bottle without dilution. Same feature for the metallic range which is great because usually the metallic paints are thicker and often the dilution process creates separation of the pigments and lost of reflection.

- smooth paint, no lumpingSame point than above, it's like painting with cream.

- brush and airbrush compatibleOf course it's compatible with brush. I cannot review the airbrush feature because I don't use it but the consistency of the paint seems perfect for this use.

- child-proof capCheck.

- dropper bottles minimise contamination and drying out riskCheck. I've notice also than the thin consistency avoid to plug the dropper as often as with other brand.

- intermixable with other brandsI confirmed also this feature. I've tested with Vallejo, Citadel and some artistic acrylic in tube without trouble.

Ok, everything seems perfect but I need to be honest and highlight some features of the brand. I prefer to say "feature" instead of "defect" because actually it's quite a matter of personal preference.
I could resume the point like this:

You can make a thick paint thinner.
You cannot make a thin paint thicker.

The consistency of Warcolours paint is a great feature but it's a also a limit. Let says than it doesn't give you much freedom. Don't misunderstand me, if you're a hobby painter used to paint with thin layer this paint will make you easier 90% of your job. Unfortunatly, if you like to think about of the box and experiment new techniques playing with thick consistency, you cannot do it with this brand.
It's clearly a paint though for a specific type of painter.
I give you a simple example: Drybrush. It's possible with warcolours but it's most complicated than an other brand because your brush tends to be wet due to the creamy consistency of the paint.

An other limit of the brand is the opacity. Not that the coverage isn't good but the paint is clearly made to paint with several thin layer. So if you're a wargamer who want to quickly paint your army and used to paint with one good single layer, Warcolours is probably not the most proper brand for you.
Edit (19/05/16): Note that Warcolours will launch in July 2016 a new line "one coat" with high opacity specially made for this purpose.

So that why I vote 4/5, because today the feature of the range is a quality but also a limit. I don't think you can cover all the techniques and need just with this brand.

For my concern, Warcolours has the best ratio quality/price on the market. The price is so good that it should be a pity not to try it.
Ok it's  a paint of niche clearly produced for the joy of the miniature painter most than for the gamers. Maybe for now the brand is still too young to propose a complete range able to cover all your need but in complement of some other brands, it's a great deal particularly considering their original products.
I'm quite confident than our Cyprus producers will continue to enlarge their range and improve their offers.  Personnaly I'm very happy to see some news on the market and I'll continue to keep a look on their offers.

Warcolours webshop