Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ain't No Steampunk Like An Old School Steampunk

Work and real life have just been relentless and left me with no chance for updating, but here's great piece on Victorian tinker creations. Here's to the original Steampunks!

Great article on the original Victorian gadgets

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Shading a Warhammer 40K Razorback

I'm doing a quick build of a Warhammer 40K Razorback that I got last week. I've built a few Warhammer figures but this is my first Razorback so I'm kind of excited.

Today, I did some shading using red as a contrast to the base blue.

Base blue with some lighter shades airbrushed

Above is the base Space Marine blue with some lighter shade on the highlights. This far was done by airbrush. I added some Tamiya buff to the blue to lighten while keeping the color integrity. White sometimes gives the blue a pastel look that loses intensity. Finally I used a light coat of buff at low pressure to add a layer if dust to the lower part of the Razorback. This will be augmented with weathering pigments.

Buff dusting
And now comes the fun part: adding pinpoint red dots to create a filter.

Red dots

Here I added some pinpoint dots of Vallejo Basic Red. There's two ways to apply these. You can do "wet on wet" where you wet the surface before applying the paint or "wet on dry" where you apply the paint to dry surface. I like the latter for better control. Unfortunately, fumbling with the camera allowed the paint to dry a bit so I had to wet the brush a bit.

I wet the brush a bit because the paint was a bit dry. Try to stimple the paint toward the corners. 

Repeat the pinpoint dots and mixing on all the corners and recesses. 

 Above you can see the Razorback with all the corners done. It may look a bit over done now, but after more weathering and detailing the purple shades will melt right into the vehicle. If this was a larger scale vehicle (1/35 scale) and/or if I was feeling a little braver I'd add some more filters of yellow and orange to spruce up some of this flat planes, but I don't know if I'm feeling it. Oh, who am I kidding? I'll probably do some yellow filters anyway on the highlight areas. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Millennium Falcon AMT Kit

After joining a few Sci-Fi Model Communities on Google+, I was inspired to dig up some old pics of the Millennium Falcon I did a few years back. The kit is by AMT, and it seems to be a bit rare now. You can still get it through Amazon, and though it's pricey, it's really nice if done up right.

It has a cut away that let's you look right into the all the great rooms we loved from the movies. Even the chess table made famous by Chewbaca and R2 is there. There's also a forward engineering area with all manner of Falcon innards. I added a few extra wires to mine just to give a bit of detail.


The chess table was quite a bit of work to paint but it makes the interior I think.

I added some spare wires to a wall insulating tube for a greater cut-away effect and there it is.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Which Nerf to paint next?

Work and life has been relentless lately. It's as if the forces that be have no understanding that I just want to be left alone to paint, create, and blog about creating and painting.

Anyway, so for my next Nerf mod I'm a bit lost. I kinda want to do something really gritty and apocalyptic, something like the Nerf Hammershot. Then again, the Nerf Demolisher and it's banana clip have been calling me since it came out. I'm thinking something in desert camo for this one. Something SAS circa Gulf War inspired. Lastly, I can imagine a alternate Victorian Shotgun our of the Nerf Strike.

Any suggestions?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Completed my 120mm scale SS Figure

The base in progress
Testing the fit
The last few days I decided to really focus on this piece. I puttied up a bunker, added a few sandbags, some balsa wood planks and created a vignette base. I got some old barbed wire PE from my very healthy scraps bin and wrapped it around a post.

Finally, I printed a nice title card and finished.

I'm so glad this guy is finished. After more than a year of him hanging out in the fringes of my work space, I have to wonder what took me so long. Sometimes a project just loses momentum, and you have recommit to finishing it. 

So my advice to any of you who have that old kit or figure laying around the workshop, go pick it up again and get over your artist's block. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Space Marine Halloween Costume and Cosplay

Space Marine Helmet with functioning LED Flashlight

 Just in time for Halloween, I'm showcasing a costume I made for my son last year. He wanted something "Space Marine-y". Given that we were watching "Falling Skies" (that's another story) and my memory of the great "Aliens" space marines, I did started digging around for what might make for good materials for a costume. 
We found some old football gear online and an old hockey helmet, and went to work. 
Scratch Two ETs

The modifications consisted mostly of removing some extra padding priming. Once I got out the old airbrush I used all my model paint skills to turn the gray boring football pads into the kind of armor Space Marine might wear off world.

The biggest adjustment was the scale. I started by doing paint chips and stains at a really small scale as a habit of working on 1/35 and 1/16 scale. At some point, I realized and start to lay it on a bit more.

I added some stenciling to make it look more military and some good soldier graffiti to make it look something that has seen some combat. I took alot of inspiration from both the movies and old photos of US helmets in Vietnam. The "Space Invaders' were not easy to stencil and at some point, I just started hand painting.

Overall, I really like the look and my son was a hit at his Halloween party.

Given how much I enjoyed this project and how happy I am with results, I wonder if there would be a market for this stuff as Cos-play accessories? I mean, in adult size with a nice painted Nerf, these pads could look awfully cool.

If anyone is interested in buying, visit my Etsy Shop!

Always, comments, questions, and encouragement welcomed.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Artist's Block?

I've been suffering from "Artist's Block", just like "Writer's Block" but with paints. Trying to find inspiration to finish a few pieces that I've kept lying around the workshop for months now. I don't know if this happens to anyone else out there, but some projects begin with so much enthusiasm and passion and then you put them down and never pick them up again. One day goes by, then two, then two weeks, then you just resent them sitting there mocking your procrastination.
28mm Mechanic Figure

A 1/35 scale M.AK bike with scratch-built rider

1/16 scale SS Figure

So yea, there they stand. The M.AK motor bike was/is going to be part of a "post-apocalyptic" vignette I had in mind with an old Highway sign and stuff. Never really worked it all out. The 28mm figure had/has a really nice base in the background of the pic. And this sad looking German was going to sit in a patch of snow waiting for the next assault.

Yea, procrastination and lack of inspiration will kick you *ss.

Hey, look, here's a great New York Times Article on the psychology of procrastination. Maybe I'll read this instead of working.

Any comments, questions, or verbal abuse that would inspire/shame me to finish these guys would be encouraged.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Steampunk Emma Goldman: A Healthy Alternative to Fascism (or: Putting Your...

Not sure I agree with everything here but this is a thought provoking post.

Steampunk Emma Goldman: A Healthy Alternative to Fascism (or: Putting Your...: Unlike most of what I've written, and will write in this blog, this post pertains directly to the steampunk subculture, and its cousin,...