Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Painting the Trenchworx WWI Rolls-Royce Armored Car - Washes and Rust

I'm rapidly reaching that point where I'm not sure the pictures really are telling the story. There are two phases to this step, applying a wash to pick out details like the rivets and to emphasis things like panel lines. I used an AK Interactive enamel wash DAK Brown (I think, I'll have to check on that). That really helped things pop, After that had dried (longer than my normal five minute drying time for acrylics) I went in and applied the MIG Standard rust wash (again another enamel). I let that set as well.

While I was taking the pictures I realized what was looking a little off. While the middlestone shows the chips quite nicely, I forgot to apply any middlestone colored chips to the rather large chocolate brown camouflage. I need to remember to fix that before I apply the final coats of mud and dust.

The Rolls so far:

Here I have applied the dark brown wash around anything protruding from the surface like rivets, as well as in the shadows of panel lines. I did not just apply it as a general wash across the entire vehicle.

Now I have added in some rust effects. I'm trying to keep this light.

I will apply mud and dust to the body before I attach the tires. I will apply mud and dust to the tires separately.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Painting the Trenchworx WWI Rolls-Royce Armored Car - Chipping

I took a break from this model on Friday but it the workbench hard today. It only required two trips over to the hobby shop (Colpar East/Hobbytown) to pickup the stuff I was missing for the next step.

I spent some time doing the final tightening up the edges of the camouflage. It's finally pretty close to the way I wanted it to be. Close enough to continue on. I then applied a DAK brown filter to bring the camo colors together and while that was drying I did some more work on the wheels. I painted in a black/dark grey background on the four road wheels (I already applied a middlestone background to the spares). I then when in with some metal and did the rims and the spokes. I think they look pretty good. I'll add some highlights after I have the glued them to the body.

After the filter had dried I went in with a sponge and added some chipping. I think it looks pretty good although I had to redo a couple sections where I let the sponge slide a bit. Its starting to look a bit less factory fresh and more like something that's seen some time in the field. I just gave it a layer of semi-gloss which will serve as a better base for the washes and rust streaks that will come next.

Since its drying I though I would post the today's progress to this point.

Finally finished with the camo. I was finding it difficult to handle at this point so I mounted on a Gatorade lid with some poster tac.

The wheels with the "backgrounds" painted in

The wheels with the spokes and rims painted.

With the chipping applied. I tried to show restraint and I think I succeeded. I like the way it came out.

I was doing some more reading and after the war settled into trench warfare most of the ACs were withdrawn and ended up in the Middle East serving with the airfore. Some did remain on the western front though and that's what this one represents.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Painting the Trenchworx WWI Rolls-Royce Armored Car - Brushwork

Trying to stay the course and hit the Rolls with the brush tonight. Used one of my filbert brushes to solidify the colors and sharpen up the edges a bit. Its looking a lot better now, so I don't feel like its a candidate for stripping anymore. Although I keep a bottle of simple green nearby as a warning in case it decides to misbehave.

I started by going back over my lightest color and filling it in a bit more and sharpening up the edge where it meets the chocolate brown. I then followed up with the chocolate brown and repeated the process. After that I worked in the middlestone, but this time I went with the straight Vallejo Model Color middlestone which has a been more green to it than the Vallejo Model Air which has quite a bit more yellow in it.

It still needs some more work before I call the camo done but I'm much happier with it. I started on the wheels as well. I painted the interior of the two spare wheels with the middlestone to try and give it a bit of a see through effect. I which I could get some real spoked wheels for it. I might take a look around and see if I can find some after ReaperCon. I think they would look really sharp.

So tonight's work looks like this.

At the start, pretty ugly, really need to get back in practice with the airbrush

Filling in the light color and sharpening the inside edges, starting to work the chocolate brown.

Working the lines tighter, starting in with the middlestone

And the wheels, white walls! You can see the two I picked out for the spare tires.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Painting the Trenchworx WWI Rolls-Royce Armored Car - Initial Camo

Tonight the Rolls received a quick highlight layer, not sure how visible it is but sometimes its all about the subtle transitions. I followed that up with the darkest color, a rich dark brown, almost black. It gives quite a contrast against the Middlestone. Its been a while since I have worked small areas with the airbrush I'm not very satisfied with the result at this point. I then followed that up with the third and lightest camo color, a softer sandy brown. Really pops the contrast but most of this color sits inside the chocolate brown. I did okay at this point, but things are looking a bit sloppy at this point.

I can go in with the brush and start sharpening up all the lines to give a hard edged look. I did try to mask it but didn't have the right materials to do it with. I'm considering stripping it down at this point and starting over. I'll do a little brush work tomorrow and see how it starts to shape up.

In this shot you can see how the bottom is a bit darker thanks to the darker undercoat

Here I have applied and overall highlight to the top surfaces

The initial work with the dark brown

Adding in the light centers to some of the dark brown. This needs a much sharper edge, its not suppose to a soft edged feathered camo.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Painting the Trenchworx WWI Rolls-Royce Armored Car

I had assembled the Rolls-Royce Armored Car from the Trenchworx kickstarter within days of it landing on my doorstep. I primed it a while back as well, one of those times when I had the airbrush out and priming other miniatures. This is going to be my entry in the vehicle/ordnance category at ReaperCon so I figured I better at least get started. I have some examples of some hard edged camouflage patterns that I thought I would try to duplicate, we will see how that goes!

I started out by using Reapers Burnt Umber to lay in the dark undertones. I like this color a lot, its very thin out of the bottle unusual for the Reaper HD line of paints. I followed this up with the main color Vallejo Model Air Middlestone. I went ahead and applied this as my base color over the whole model. During my next session I'll start applying the frisket to apply the next camo color. This will be an another Vallejo Model Air color but I haven't quite decided on the brown, it will be dark though, maybe a chocolate brown. Will have to think about it.

This is where I'm at after cleaning up my airbrush.

Reaper HD Burnt Umber (from their latest Kickstarter)

Applying it to the shadow and lower areas of the vehicle

Here is the Middlestone applied over the whole vehicle. You can make out where its darker picking up the Burnt Umber that was applied first.

So far so good!

Monday, March 23, 2015

So You Want to Enter the ReaperCon Painting Competition

Sorry about that, I just realized that all the text came through in black or blue and was virtually unreadable.

I made a huge post in the Reaper Forums this morning about entering miniatures in the painting competition at ReaperCon. I thought it would be worth while to post it here in the blog as well. One of the reasons that this is my favorite competition is that it uses the Open System which rewards you on the work you have done, not whether you managed to finish in the top three. I have judged enough competitions and gone through the pain of working through a category (typically  single figure fantasy and/or single figure Sci/Fi) where the top 6 or so entries all were candidates for that top spot. Then you have categories that there are barely enough entries to award 1st-3rd (and sometimes you wish you didn't have to).If you are heading to ReaperCon and you should be reading the rules which can be found at ReaperCon

Gold at Tacticon, Silver at ReaperCon - Painter

Bronze - Vehicle/Ordnance

Silver - Single/Painter

Silver - Dioramas

So you are coming to ReaperCon and its coming fast, especially for those of us still working away on our entries. ReaperCon is a rather unique convention and there is nothing else quite like it out there. Since the focus is on miniatures and painting this is a good convention to enter into the painting competition especially if its your first time. Now that sounds scary I know, you have heard that some of the "big" names are going to be entering why should you bother? ReaperCon's painting competition is in a much friendlier format than most (not all, but most) game convention painting competitions. Its a good place to get your feet wet. You can check out the rules on the ReaperCon.com website.But really what does all that mean?First let's take a look at the categories, there are only four of them. Why four? All the other shows seem to have a dozen categories. We have modeled this competition from the one used by MMSI, which is also used by a good chunk of the military/historical painting shows. The idea is that you don't need a dozen or so categories when we aren't going to award a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place (sometimes referred to as podium or trophy judging). Instead we want to reward you for the hard work you have put into your entry. Instead of 1st-3rd we award gold, silver, and bronze medals along with certificates of merit, this is known as the Open (or medal) system. Since we are going to reward you for your work we don't need a dozen categories to give people as many chances as possible to win an award. Instead we want you to focus your painting on what you do best and four categories is all we need. The titles can be a bit confusing so let's take a look at them.

Painter - The focus here is on a single stock miniature. While presentation (i.e. basing) is a factor an elaborate base isn't what the judges are focusing on. I use the term stock here because essentially you are using the mini right out the package. Conversion work whether it is elaborate or simple is not considered, although a poorly done conversion can hurt your score.

Open - The focus of this category at ReaperCon is a bit different than it is at an historical show so be aware of that if you go to MMSI in Chicago or Lone Star here in Texas. What is acceptable for ReaperCon may not qualify as Open there. Our Open category is primarily on the conversion of existing miniatures, scratch sculpts and elaborate basing. Painting is still a factor but its not weighed quite as heavily as it is in Painter. So if you have spent as much time on the base as the miniature and want it considered as part of your score then this is the category for you.

Dioramas/Vignettes  - While this category is pretty standard at game convention competitions, at MMSI and similar shows these typically go into the Open category. This category is focused on story telling through the use of miniatures and basing. There are different ways to define dioramas and vignettes. The simplest I have seen is that a diorama has more than 3 figures on the base and a vignette has 3 or fewer figures. Painting is still a component of this category but the emphasis is on presentation in the sense that you are trying to convey a story or message to the viewer. Keep it as simple as you can, while I have seen some wonderful complicated dioramas out there sometimes there is so much action they muddy the story. Keep this mind, if you have to explain your story to some one looking at your scene then you have failed to convey your message. A diorama or vignette needs to stand on its own and convey the story without explanation from its creator. Here is a clue, if you can't figure out a title for your diorama, then you many not know what your story really is.Vehicles/Ordnance - This category is for those things of a mechanical nature, subject to a bit of interpretation. A horse drawn wagon is a vehicle. In this case the wagon and its team of horses would be judged as they are the "vehicle", while the riders are not considered for the painting portion but would be considered as part of the presentation. It can get a little complex.

So what about this medal stuff and how do I know I won?You can think of the medals as a grade awarded by a team of judges. What the judges don't do is compare your work to the entry right next to you (which may actually be judged by a different team anyway). The judges will score your work without comparing to other entries. If they decide you have earned gold, then you will receive a gold medal for your entry. You can only win one medal in each category. It works like this; each piece is scored by each of the three judges on the team independently of each other (so you get 3 scores). If you have multiple entries in Painter they will discuss which piece they are going to judge. They do not discuss what score they are going to award a piece. After determining the piece to be judged each judge assigns a score from 0 (yes Zero) - 4. When they have finished working all the pieces on their list those sheets are handed in and one of the staff members totals everything up to determine the score. So not even the judges know what what the final score for a piece actually was until the awards ceremony. Those three scores for your piece are added up to determine what medal you receive: 0-1 no award, 2-4 Certificate of Merit, 5-7 Bronze, 8-10 Silver, 11-12 Gold. The Award Ceremony is Saturday Night.

Hey! The rules say I can enter as many miniatures as I want, why can I only get one medal per category?Yes, you can have as many entries as you want in each category. As mentioned above though the judges will only score one of those entries in that category. An initial conversation is held to determine which piece will be scored, its often along the lines of "I can score this miniature higher than that one". Judges will score the piece that they think is your best work (which may not be what you consider your best work, it happens). So while you can certainly enter all "20" single miniatures you painted this year in the competition you are only going to get a medal for one of them. The judges will go through this process for each category, hence why the maximum number of medals you can receive is 4. There are other awards as well, the Sophie Trophy, the Theme Award, and various manufacturer awards. These are judged separately and use the more traditional 1st - 3rd method (in essence that can be boiled down to this miniature has fewer painting flaws than that miniature). Its possible that a single entry could win multiple awards. The judges do have the prerogative to score your entire display if they can't reach a decision on a single piece or they feel that the display of miniatures, as a whole, is worthy of being rewarded with a medal.

What was my score and why did I get it?After the awards ceremony and when the painting competition hall is open you can ask not only what scores your mini received but who judged it. Most of the judges are taken from the ranks of the instructors at ReaperCon with a couple of exceptions (myself for one, although I do teach on occasion) so your miniatures are being judged by people that are knowledgeable about painting and how to do it. We use teams because we feel (and its one of the reasons MMSI developed this system) that a combined score is more indicative of what a mini should get rather than depending on a single judge to know everything and be neutral on all the different painting techniques that are out there. To find out what the judges were thinking you will have to track them down. Most of us are more than happy to discuss the whys and wherefores just be aware of our time and that you may be taking up the only 15 minutes we have to eat. Be considerate.

Some Hints for Entering
1) Every piece has to have a name or title. To speed up registration please already know the name or title before you get to the front of the line! Write it down before hand if you need to! As I mentioned before if you don't already know the name of your diorama or vignette you may have an issue with your story.

2) Don't bring everything you painted in the last six months. Yes, I know it says unlimited but really if you painted "20" miniatures this year is the first one better than your last three? Odds are the last three or four are probably more indicative of your best work. Try to keep you numbers down to around 5 or fewer per category.

3) Make sure your bases are at least finished in the Painter category. While presentation is not a huge chunk of the percentage in this category a nicely finished base will show off your miniature better than the base you tried out different color combinations on or used to wipe excess paint off your brush on.

4) Make sure your entry is well fastened to its base, you don't want to be subjected to the "Heisler Affect". If you mount your mini on a pedestal style base, judges tend to see that as a handle. If the mini is not attached when its picked up by the "handle" its going to hit the table, probably to disastrous effect.

5) Make sure the paint is dry when you hand in your mini for the competition!

6) You must enter all your miniatures at the same time. You cannot bring them in as you finish them in the painting room. So if you have 5 entries for each category then you have to bring all 20 entries at once, not a couple at a time.

7) Remember that if you have ReaperCon Full Weekend badge your entries must be in by 5pm on FRIDAY nightNo exceptions.

8) If you have a Saturday only badge your entries must be in by 12 Noon on SATURDAY. No exceptions. If you have a ReaperCon full weekend pass you cannot enter on Saturday you missed your cutoff.

If I think of other things I'll add them to the list.