Wednesday, February 15, 2012

WIP: Space Wolves (2)

I would estimate that these models are now about 80% completed and, oddly, must confess that this is post is also a demonstration of terrible transgression –indeed, one of my personal cardinal sins. I have very nearly finished the bases before the actual models.

Treacherous. Shameful.

I know. I know. I never do this. The bases always come last. It’s a rule. It’s my rule at least, and I broke it. Unceremoniously. I had the time this weekend and just couldn’t keep myself from experimenting with something new. I was fully cognizant while breaking out the materials that I would be contradicting my own fundamental painting principles, but there I was overwhelmed with excitement and eager to try a new trick. I would like to blame the bases themselves (Secret Weapon has really created something particularly brutal, horrific, and compelling all in one go with these), but the fault is really my own self-control -lack of, in this instance. 

Here, I am talking about clear resin, actually resin and snow. I have only modest experience with each, and I just felt utterly compelled to see how the effect was going to look before lifting one more brush. In part, the problem stemmed from the way the models seemed to appear perched upon brittle bones that should not support them. Something looked odd without the resin. And indeed, all the anticipation for me sat roundly in the base because I had no idea if the experiment would actually work… and with that hanging in the balance, I simply could not bring myself to obsess about smaller, refined details until I knew that the greater disaster could and would be avoided. 

In sum, I ran the gauntlet and believe that the models have come through reasonably well. There was a peculiar bit of balancing involved in all this malarkey, as I was aiming for a seasonally soggy but currently frozen tundra appearance, and yet I did not want to cover all those disturbing skeletal details with either the resin or the snow. Moreover, I wanted the snow to look light and wispy (not unlike that which was falling in across the greater Chicagoland area this weekend) as if blown across the ice itself.

Thankfully, this also allowed me to keep the application of snow splotchy and loose, rather than wet and heavy like the snow I developed way back when for my as yet unfinished Valhallans (poor Valhallans).

The remaining 20 % of unfinished work all seems rather small, but fiddly, which is perhaps the reason I am avoiding some of it. There are touchups like the skin where it approaches the sergeant’s hair (agh. there are always touchups), and then there are the power blades that I have left because I have not yet realized what I want to do with them.

But mostly I need to rough these guys up a bit with some battle damage. They need to look appropriately weathered for a team that has been out on the hunt for generations at a time...

...which is also my code word for making yet another virtue out of necessity. With the battle damage I am really just covering up a whole host of mistakes and moments in which the look has not quite come together (blending and general sloppiness in particular) with scaring and other deliberately messy devices. How I love the forgiving nature of battle damage and its ability to make errors seem calculated or at least worthwhile.

The wolves are a wargear upgrade for the soon-to-be-built Lone Wolf. The black and white one was inspired by my dog Blue. You’re my boy Blue! 


Big Jim said...

They are looking awesome, the paint scheme is very visually interesting, which is something some SW armies are lacking.

I am loving the snow bases, the a the business!


Brian said...

Thanks Jim. At the end of the day, I think the bases might really be what these guys are all about.

Big Jim said...

I was just looking at the minis again and I think the eye lenses would really pop if they were a glowy red or green.

While the blue is nice it gets lost in the blueish grey of the models main color.

Just thought I'd share.


John Stiening said...

Brian, those bases steal the show! I can see why you would ignore some really good looking models with those to work on. Any chance you're up for making a tutorial? Kudos!

Brian said...

@ Jim. You make a good point, sir. Along with battle damage, eyes will get another look.

@ Drathmere. Tutorial ho! I will be sure to document the process when I make that Lone Wolf. Thanks for asking.

HOTpanda said...

Would love to see a top down shot of one of those bases. Right now at the angles you have given us its one big tease. Other than that loving the feel that these wolves are projecting into the warp.

Brian said...

@ Panda. Absolutely. I will get some more revealing shots with the next round of progress, and perhaps a step-by when I make the Lone Wolf. Thanks for asking!