Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wreck Age: Stitchwoman Hunter

[++RETROACTIVE DISCLAIMER: although I didn’t at the time of this post, I now work with Hyacinth Games –the people that bring you Wreck Age. For the sake of full frontal honesty, I thought it best to announce this retrospectively so that there was no appearance of unseemliness or whatnot. You get the picture. ++]

 More More More.

As mentioned last time, I have been splashing about in the deep end like a child on summer break –but with pure Wreck Age glory instead of shockingly chlorinated water. Fact. I have been having an absolute blast with these models. Specifically, I have been enjoying the calm, meditative quality of painting just a single miniature at a time –slowly and with extra servings of love.

My collection seems to be coming together nicely, if I may say so, and I have already lined up a few more models for the moment I find time for brush and paint once again.

My goal with this Hunter was to invoke some of that grit and horror of the post-apocalyptic medical profession (insurance companies indeed!). I wanted this particular practitioner to look her part: reasonably wealthy but not at all clean, stoic and professional but sinister in that accomplishment (as an aside, this is sci-fi at its best, relevant, pertinent, and insightful while also fantastic and unfamiliar). She is a predator, to be sure.   

And because one good turn deserves another, I have been amplifying this joy by experimenting with GW’s new range. Though hardly what I could call “sticking it to the man,” there is something curious and slightly furtive about all of this. Indeed, I have yet to paint a single GW miniature with their new range.

…a sign of the times perhaps.

This model was another experiment with those groovy new metal colors, as well as my first ever bash at the new dry-brush range.

My thoughts…? –dunno really. I tend to overbrush rather than genuinely drybrush most days anyway, so the effect unlikely to impress me in ways that I couldn’t possibly have been otherwise. Still, I just thought the stuff was ok. Neither here nor there. My loins were unmoved. Later, I even experimented a bit with reconstituting (or thinning) the color a bit just to see what might happen.

In sum, I think it is neither greater nor a molecule worse than “ok.”

Thinking on it now, I only every really genuinely drybrush for a few final stages of my metal recipes …though rather unhelpfully I did not do that here. Instead, I worked the highlights of the dark/black robe up to a bluish-gray. My technique was not stellar, and I intend to give it another bash sometime in the reasonably near future.

For me, the real revelation here has been the washes. I like them.

a lot.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Wreck Age: Stitchman Hunter

[++RETROACTIVE DISCLAIMER: although I didn’t at the time of this post, I now work with Hyacinth Games –the people that bring you Wreck Age. For the sake of full frontal honesty, I thought it best to announce this retrospectively so that there was no appearance of unseemliness or whatnot. You get the picture. ++]

Deep breath. Back to the meat and potatoes of this blog.

This is my first entry from the new Stitchmen models. The fluff for this faction is creepy, really creepy. I love it.

This fellow is the first that I painted, and I confess that I was not certain what direction to take him initially. The concept art for him is dark and extremely foreboding. I wanted to suggest a bit of that menace and threat but with a bit more proper color in the mix, so that he didn’t just wash out.

I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the color exactly (and I am traveling this week, so I’ll not be able to find it until I return), but the new “screaming bell” metal color (or whatever it is called) is going to be one of my new favorites. I feel that I have only just begun to touch what that color can do in this metal armament, but I am already extremely fond of the odd coloring it allows. I enjoy painting metals quite a bit, and these new colors are just the ticket.

As with all of my Wreck Age minis, I am also hoping for a very weathered, exposed, exhausted kind of coloring. And so in contrast to the bright but haggard metal armor, I hoped to create much more dark, muted blackish cloth, which helps make the armor more distinct and the model more sinister.

In sum, it is a very simple but suggestive scheme. It should always be this easy.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Killzone: All Good Things…

 I am not sure of the correct sentiment or words exactly, but I have officially tendered my resignation from Special Operations: Killzone (how does one “resign” from something so wondrously unofficial?). Still. There it is.

Please be assured, the KZ dynamic will continue to thrive over at The Codex Project, and Big Jim has already made several announcements with regard to his forthcoming supplemental works in progress: Killzone Evolution, Evo, Killzone Forlorn Hope, and some more. All of this is tremendously exciting. On top of all this, I suspect there will be some modest revisions to accompany the looming release of 6th edition.

It is, admittedly, with an unfamiliar sense of ambivalence that I now depart from a project into which I have placed so very, very, very much time and such extraordinary sums of energy …but it seems the best path. I am tremendously proud of the refined and professional standard of this fan-based gaming supplement, and I am particularly proud of the game’s showing at AdeptiCon these last two years. The tables were a grand labor of love, but the game itself has really blossomed in ways that I would not have imagined possible just over two years ago when this began.

And for this last year in particular (15 months at least), Joe and Vlad deserve tremendous applause for taking a rough but compelling game and making it function in ways that very few fan supplements ever can/do (thinking on it now, actually, I cannot think of another to rival killzone). I believe those fine fellows will still be making contributions to Killzone in their own particular idiom, and that is, in my opinion, a very good thing for the game.

As mentioned, Big Jim will carry on with these projects, and he has been quite sporting about all of this. Alas. I must be the Ringo to Big Jim’s John. The game has grown and is growing in some wild new directions, and my contributions have taken the entire affair away from the concept that Big Jim initially envisioned with his project. So, as the game’s originator and spiritual core, Jim needs to be able to reassert his presence and to shape the game according to his specific vision. I am genuinely looking forward to see what he and his team produce down the road. There is a lot going on, to be sure.

Perhaps more importantly from my specific point of view, the entire experience has given me generous servings of confidence with which I intend to spread my wings a bit. If I may mix my metaphors further, I might offer that I already have two immense irons in very different fires indeed.

More on those in future posts, coming soon.

Until then, so long Killzone!!! …and thanks for all the fish!

To celebrate,  I leave you with a modest collection of my favorite images from these last two years. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Wreck Age: Staker

[++RETROACTIVE DISCLAIMER: although I didn’t at the time of this post, I now work with Hyacinth Games –the people that bring you Wreck Age. For the sake of full frontal honesty, I thought it best to announce this retrospectively so that there was no appearance of unseemliness or whatnot. You get the picture. ++]

 Although feeling the summer crunch (an astonishing phenomenon in which heaps of free time seem to loom just on the horizon for months and weeks and days, and yet very little actually materializes… more’s the pity), I have been having quite a lot of fun with extraordinarily compelling Wreck Age miniatures, and with GW’s new paints range.

You are going to be seeing more about Wreck Age from me on this site. The game is still coming together a bit, but the miniatures are promising and, in my humble opinion, a much-needed change of pace. They are a completely blank slate, a tremendously rare opportunity to explore an uncharted aesthetic space, and I have been loving that dynamic. Interestingly, the game promises an experience oddly similar to what I have just described, a relatively new space… color me interested.

As for the paints… well, more positivity from me. Although I have been feeling my way around a bit (I would not dare pretend that it has been all success and glory), the experience of basically starting over has been really quite enjoyable. I have struggled a bit at times, but the range itself promises some very vibrant and nuanced colors: observe the hair, for example. Usually yellow is a real struggle. The washes are coming together nicely on this model, and Jokaero Orange is one step closer to becoming the indispensible ingredient in my new flesh recipe. We shall see.

Finally, I should mention that this photo session (of which you will see more in the following two or three posts) was a bit of an odd one. I was trying to photograph these minis against a pure white background but ran into all sorts of bother for reasons that I really still cannot comprehend. So I printed out an unconventional greenish background for these unconventional figures. On a normal day, I would never select green. ever. But suddenly, the images came together quite nicely, if I do say so.

I quoted Emerson a while back, “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” I have never been more convinced. New figures. New paints. New backgrounds. It is time for me to move forward, and there is a lot of this in the hobby atmosphere at the moment... good timing.  

Friday, June 8, 2012

WIP week: Wreck Age Drifter

[++RETROACTIVE DISCLAIMER: although I didn’t at the time of this post, I now work with Hyacinth Games –the people that bring you Wreck Age. For the sake of full frontal honesty, I thought it best to announce this retrospectively so that there was no appearance of unseemliness or whatnot. You get the picture. ++]

 I am a bit vexed right now because I had typed a longer post that was aggressively devoured by some kind of “problem” and Microsoft was kind enough to report to itself before erasing everything that I spent the last 30 minutes typing.

It is late (for me), so this will be a cheap and cheerful recapitulation of what (I promise) was much more insightful, compelling, and blindingly witty post.

Hyacinth Games: If you have not yet heard of this local upstart, I think it is time that you do. They are for real. The aesthetic is crisp and sophisticated. The art is compelling. The caliber is top shelf. I really admire what they are doing.

Wreck Age: This is the first Hyacinth Games game. It looks very cool. I signed up for the kickstarter a while back based mostly on some very, very promising concept art and a sculpt or two. Well, they have delivered in spades. They were just across the aisle from us at AdeptiCon and it was mayhem -they were swamped the entire weekend, which tells me quite a lot about where they are going. You will be seeing more and more of these models on the site here, as I work my way through the range. This fellow is just the thin end of the wedge. I promise.

In fact, this here Drifter has been a breath of fresh air -tremendous fun to paint thus far, though he is only about 80% finished. The goal with this fellow was to paint for the love. Purely. And indeed, these kinds of “for the love” projects have brought me a long stretch back toward my hobby mojo that (in the post-AdeptiCon, mid-move, summer lull) had been rather tragically depleted of late.

The subtext in this experiment was to play with the tensions that I could find between the new GW blues and oranges.

Here is what I have learned so far:
- it is tremendously liberating to paint a model that looks this cool and that does not come along with proscribed aesthetics. How pleasant to paint a model with only my whim to tell me what color goes where.

- there are four (plus) blues at work here, and I am enjoying the variations in tone that the new range offers. Without realizing it at the time, I have found the old blues tended to bracket my blue thinking in curiously limiting ways. There are a lot of new possibilities in here. And why not.

- Jokaero Orange (or whatever it is called) will play a significant role in some skin formula that I have yet to figure out. As you will have gathered, there is a fair amount of it here on display. I know the name says that it’s orange, but I remain unconvinced. I think it’s some kind of fleshy flesh. More on this when I understand it better myself.

- the new washes are not the old washes are not the old inks. I seem repeatedly find my legs with one product or the other precisely at the moment said product is summarily discontinued. Such a burden. I know. Wipe that tear from your eye. Still, I really felt that I had discovered my place with those washes before the new stuff came along. I will say this: I preferred (prefer really) the old inks for washes on metal and I think these new ones take me a step back that direction.

Wreck Age. Check it out.  

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

WIP week: Zombie Pirate Ogres

Ahoy! It’s an extraordinarily busy time of the year for me in the real world. I have, quite simply, too much on my plate at the moment. But one mustn’t grumble! Never, ever grumble. If the Queen (bless her diminutive personage) has taught us anything, it’s exactly this: suck it in, tighten up. Life lesson learned.

And with that, I will clumsily segue into a few WIP shots of this tremendous Zombie Ogre Pirate (or is it Pirate Ogre) from the extremely talented hands of Warploque miniatures. Great stuff on this site. Go have a gander.

I would estimate that this particular Pirate Ogre (Ogre Pirate?) is about 60% finished, which leaves a lot of room for experimentation and ensuing catastrophe. As suggested over on Skarvald’s site, I have started bumbling my way through the new GW range, and this fellow marks my first real attempt to paint entirely with that range.

Here’s what I’ve learned so far:
- “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” I need to get out of my comfort zone and these new paints are getting me there.

- I have no idea what I am doing with those glazes, but I think that I will learn to love them dearly. Over a basic green, I have slathered some red and blue glaze mixtures which has left me wanted to experiment more and more with those mixtures. The glazes themselves come in the primaries, and seem to beg to be blended in all manner of ways… I am intrigued.

- the variety of color choices are really quite fun and peculiar. Sure, some old choices have changed or disappeared entirely, but the new subtleties seem wondrously suggestive. I am growing particular fond of the tinted “off whites” and think that these might someday be one of the real revelations in this range (think, if you will, back to the Saruman of Many Colors experiment –tinted whites make this easy).

- I still love roughly half of the old Foundation range, and it might take me a little time to push past point number one. That being said, I have no use at all for at least half of the old Foundation Range, which might help me get there sooner than I imagine.

In sum. Good stuff. More on this quirky monster soon.