Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hooray for Tim Lison

I met Tim Lison for the first time yesterday. If you don't know who he is, check out his award winning painting here. It's pretty phenomenal. Anyway, Tim was one of the judges in Chicago so I got a chance to get feedback from him on what went right/wrong with my giant. It's currently in the display case at the store, so Tim was able to talk very specifically about the model. Some parts of it the judges really liked but it was the little bits that were a little messy that cost me the bronze. The arm bands were one of the things he pointed out. (I struggled for ages with the gaps in the model right at the arm bands. It's no surprise that they were a limiting factor.) Tim was very encouraging and told me that if I could apply that microscopic attention to detail to fix the little things that weren't quite right then I would be bringing trophies home without question. I'm going back over to the store about 6:30 tonight and Tim said he would show me some techniques for metallic gold, a color with which I struggle. I've got a Harlequin with me to try his technique on, so hopefully I'll be able to raise the bar on these guys. I've been using a lot of gold on the shoulder pads, backpacks and weapons so I can't wait to see his techniques.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Not Surprised

Apparently Mythic Entertainment is shutting down the beta test of Warhammer Online. This post from developer Mark Jacobs explains a little of what is/isn't at the root cause.

I like computer games. No, really. I loved WoW. Like all Blizzard games, it hit the sweet spot with its intuitive interface and dramatic presentation. I played a lot of WoW. Not as much as my friends did, but a lot. I also like Warhammer, not only the tactical game or the miniatures but the overall setting and fluff. Therefore, a well done computer game set in the world of Warhammer would be a good thing for me.

That said, the demo of the massively multiplayer game "Warhammer: Age of Reckoning" (aka WAR) at Games Day was less than exciting for me. I saw people queuing up for it, and watched a bit of it on the big screen they had, but was for the most part uninspired. It looked like a WoW clone. Yippee. All intention I had of buying it evaporated that day. Now that the beta has been suspended, I am pleased to see that one of the things they are going to be doing is making WAR less like WoW. With more than 8 million subscribers WoW is a huge money maker, and I'm sure the temptation (or even pressure) to copy the interface and gameplay as exactly as possible would be intense. It makes me very happy to hear that they are giving WAR its own identity. Cautious optimism is back. Don't disappoint me, Mythic.

Oh, and there better be some pretty fantastic looking Skaven.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Grrr, I want to paint, not photograph!

I am sick of this. Are the photos good enough at this point? Will they ever be? I just want them to have the same general level as everyone else... if my models look mediocre because they are painted that way, then so be it. Trying to show people minis with poor photographs is like running the 100m dash wearing flip-flops. Hopefully I'm at "Wal-Mart brand tennis shoes" at this point.


Friday, October 05, 2007

Good + 2.1Mpixel = Mediocre

I finally decided to post the Skaven Giant on CMON. Is the photo great? Not so much. Is he doing well in the voting? Meh.

A Better Photo

I like this photo better, so I added it to the auction. Hopefully bidders will like it better too.

Horrifically busy at work and home lately. I've barely touched a brush since finishing Alastriel here. I'm eager to get back to Eldar, especially since I found my scan of the Saim Hann autrarch from the new codex, so now I can reproduce that freehand work.

CMON repost link

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Before You Say "Good Enough"

I'm frustrated with photography. I can't seem to take a picture that looks like my subject, which inevitably is something I've painted. The photos just don't look like the mini. Smooth transitions in daylight become stripes in photographs. I find seeming imperfections in the photograph, then can't find them on the model.

Anyway, last night I'm taking pictures of Alastriel and finally just give up and say "good enough." I submit the ebay auction and get ready to clean up for the night. That's when I realized that one of my lamps wasn't on. Take a look at the photos. They are all lit from the right. My powers of observation just weren't on last night. I'll probably retake photos tonight, and eat the $.95 auction fee to repost the auction with the new pictures if they look better.

Another option... get one of my mini painting associates to take a picture of one of my models to see if they look just as poor. My giant from Chicago games day looks really good in the pictures on the GW site, and to my eyes it isn't remarkably better than a lot of these minis that I'm getting low-6's on.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

WTS elf mage PST

Ah, good old Alastriel.

I'll paint her again in a year or two to see how much better she looks.

For now, this one's on the auction block.

eBay Link

Paint, paint, paint. This gave me my fantasy fix. Now, on to more 40k!

Double Goodness

My new computer arrived at work today! Two 19" LCD monitors! Once I got both monitors up and running (with my old system) I was quite pleased. A coworker asked me how they were working out. "Fine ham abounds," I answered. Wow. That's a "Kids in the Hall" drop from years ago. It surprised even me.

I am featured in "Focus EMU" this week, the online newsletter for faculty and staff, for my miniature painting. Other than a bit of exaggeration about my competition performance it is quite good. (For the record, I placed fourth in my category, not fourth overall. )
Link link!

Coming Right Along

I painted quite a bit this weekend. It feels good to be on a roll.

From the WIP photos last post, it should be fairly clear that I spent a little more time on Alastriel than on the Autrarch. He's pretty much done, and I've started his back banner, so I'm feeling pretty good about it. The turquoise and pink harlequin is almost done, but she was up on a shelf when I took pictures and didn't feel like going to get her.

I'm not really sure what to do with Alastriel's base. I wanted a simple platform with a step leading up to it, but I'm not really sure what to do beyond that. Some vines/moss on the platform? The platform is a little rough, so I'd like to obscure it a little. Hmmm.

Water effect tests have all been pretty resounding failures. The only thing I really got out of it was "Fabri-tac", which cures with such a huge number of bubbles (they form during curing!) that it would make a wonderful boiling cauldron effect.

Still thinking about Orks. I passed up an eBay lot that was going for about 1/3 retail cost for a pretty good sized Ork mob, so I'm not completely gone. I did order the Mad Dok figure from GW direct, since it's one of the models that is going away when their direct order changes significantly on November 1.

Edit: Wow, Alastriel looks chunky and lacking contrast in that photo. Maybe the Ott light isn't so hot for snapshots.