Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Collodi 4: Tightening the Strings

While I finally hit the color scheme I liked, I needed some separation on the stripes. I tried a darker purple but the colors were too dark and it just faded in. So black it had to be.

I also liked the near silver tone in the pattern that ran down the middle of the gild stripe, but didn't want to go through the aggravation of drawing out the actual pattern itself.

I used a very thinned-out white wash for the highlights on the folds and thinned out black wash for the shadows on the folds.

On the underside of his tri-corner hat, I found a little bump that may have been from when I cut him off the sprue. Rather than try to cut it off and re-do the painting, I figured I'd highlight it, like it was a gem or a decoration.  I actually think it looks like it belongs there.

Over all, very pleased with the faux wood grain I painted in.

I used a little FolkArt Midnight Blue to get a darker, near-velvet deeper tone.  

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Collodi 3: Colors on the Puppeteer

Wyrd makes miniatures that are insanely detailed for plastic, and insanely complicated to put together. My FLGS pointed out that I should grateful I don't play Von Schill and had to assemble his Steam Trunk. I am.

But for all the details, I'm a little surprised they didn't make the wood look like wood. So I added the detail myself.  I applied little wood lines with Van Dyke Brown like I had on the straight razor and the rolling pin on Collodi's party crashers.

I searched for a color scheme I thought would be comparable to an Italian puppeteer. I eventually found one I fell in love with as it had that beautiful shade of purple that was very stylish.

For reference, that's a Venetian marionette of Mangiafuoco - the evil puppeteer who kidnaps Pinocchio in the story written by Collodi himself. If that's not a nest of intertwined references - I don't know what is.

Liking the color scheme meant more stripes to paint. My first pass was FolkArt Raspberry Wine and Olive Green.

The back had a lot more folds. It was kind of fun trying to draw a straight line and see where the brush took me. The overall effect to me looked like he was stepping his right foot forward, and the cloak on the floor was dragging in that motion.

The topmost green stripe should have gone all the way to the edge of the overcoat. so I had a little repainting to do.  But what really bugged me was what I painted looked less a  stylish wardrobe and more a Rita's Water Ice sign. It all had to do with that FolkArt Raspberry Wine color. 

My painting buddy happened to have a Ceramcoat Grape handy which blended into this beautiful royal color. Once I re-painted the stripes with this color I knew that's what the hat and robe should be. One catch I ran into when I went home to do some touch-ups: According to a discontinued Delta color chart I found online, Delta no longer makes "Grape". Did a little testing and eventually found Anita's Violet was a decent match. But the search made real something I already suspected: most paint lines have slew's of options for tans, browns, yellows, greens, oranges and blues - but purple is much more limited.  You really have to borrow from different paint lines to get a good palette. 

FolkArt Teddy Bear Tan was the middle stripe.  For the wood, I followed the same pattern as the wood handle on his doll friend's straight razor: VanDyke Brown lines, heavy glaze of Teddy Bear Tan, but this time I used a wash of FolkArt Coffee Bean. Brushed off that last wash on places to give it more of the uneven tone that wood grain has.

Back of the robes delivered what I wanted on a first coat, though it obviously needed some shading to bring out the "swanky" velvet sheen I wanted.

Had to put him on the base just for sizing him up and make sure I'm still headed in the right direction.

With that confirmed, it's onto the finer details.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Collodi 2: More Puppet Friends Crash Home Base

So with Reaper's hankercheif ghost done, I knocked out two more to crash the party on Collodi's base: the Reaper "doll with knife" from the Familiar IX pack and Reaper Gingerbread Man from the Familiar IV pack.

First one up was a personal fave mini of mine. I really wanted to paint this guy a while. Could have gone for a wood tone, but I was more partial to an old discarded doll look. 

Primed white, black wash. First coat was a glaze of FolkArt Cappuccino, which has a very fake orange-y tone to it. I wanted a "not real" look to it so that was fine. Then I did some heavier coats with Reaper Tanned Skin and Tanned Highlight. Cracks in the head were painted on, inspired by some creepy dolls I googled.

Couldn't let the straight razor have a plain black color, since I thought most older ones had a wood handle. So I painted in the wood lines in Van Dyke Brown and did a heavy glaze of FolkArt Teddy Bear Tan. 

Next up was psycho gingerbread man. This guy was a simple paint, color scheme based more on the Shrek character "Gingy". Just as funny, but more insane looking.

Not ironically, his main color was Reaper Ginger Cookie. The wood lines on the rolling pin were painted on with Van Dyke Brown and a heavy Delta Ceramcoat Cinnamon glaze (don't leave home without it).

I liked this method of "painting in" the wood grain pattern. Good timing since I needed to do something to help Collodi's look along.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Collodi 1: Prepping the Base

Finally got the Master of Puppets box set in. Got him assembled, got him primed, got some black wash on him. But before I began painting the Neverborn leader who's inherited the namesake of Pinocchio's author, I wanted to do something with his pose. I love it, but as my painting buddy pointed out, it kind of looks like he's casting a spell.

Maybe that's appropriate for him, but I liked making it more plain that he's a puppeteer. That would obviously involve getting a puppet on his base. So I could just have a Marionette share the base with him, but gluing one on there means you can't separate it out to use in a game.

So I got the idea of just having a little magnetized piece you could pull out and swap in similar sized piece with a doll mounted on. Suddenly using some of the Reaper dolls I'd acquired started to fall in place.  

Game-wise, Collodi has to sit on a 30mm base. So I filled one to the edges with a layer of green stuff and dropped a rare earth magnet against the lip.

Knowing Collodi would have to share a small base with another figure, I made his area of the green stuff thick so he could sit high and back a little. Then I used an Instant Mold made from an Enigma "tavern" wood base.  Carved a little space out where the magnet was using some Reaper minis to juse the width. I did this because I knew I'd never be able to cut off the standard Reaper bases without completely messing up the mini - namely the "kewpie" doll golem and the gingerbread man. Let it harden and then minor filing so the small bits could slide in without scraping. Also drilled two holes where Collodi would sit on the base.

The more I thought about interchanging one puppet the more I relished the thought I could switch out more than one puppet. That means more little bits are needed, to mount the puppet.

The easiest way to create the smaller bits was to get put green stuff on a little plasticard, and slide it into the notch. Vaseline is needed around all sides of the notch so it doesn't stick there. (When the shaping is done, rubbing alcohol will remove the Vaseline). 

From here, you just reapply the mold. Some of the green stuff sticks to the side. A sculpting tool / toothpick helped to separate the small bit out and shape it back.

Let it harden. Filed as needed. Then I Dremeled out a groove on the bottom, cut a little paperclip piece, and superglued it to the bottom. The magnet now has something to grab. (Stupidly forgot I had to do the same with Reaper dolls I didn't cut off the base because the pewter alloy isn't magnetic. I am a very poor scientist.)

Very pleased with how close I got the color matching on the wood. Still only three freakin' colors after priming white: FolkArt Mushroom, a midtone grey (think I used Anita's Grey), and my FolkArt Van Dyke Brown wash. But I discovered the best technique by accident. I applied a heavy Mushroom glaze over the boards, but felt I over-applied it.  So I soaked it the excess with a clean brush but then took off too much.  I was disappointed at first, but once it dried I realized it matched the lighter near white boards perfectly. Going to use this "glaze and remove" process here on out for wood bases.

So I started with the Reaper "hankercheif" ghost from Familiar pack VI (listed as "sock doll" on the onine store). I wanted to make a base that he could sit on. Mirroring my process with Collodi, I applied green stuff up to the lip of the base with a magnet (this time in the middle though). Let that harden, put the small bit, applied more green stuff around it, used Enigma mold, and painted. 

Hadn't discovered the "glaze and remove" technique yet. So the color scheme doesn't match perfectly like on the Collodi base.

Here's the unpainted Collodi with the Reaper hankercheif ghost swapped in.