Monday 18 July 2011

HMSW Gargantua - Progress so far...

Hi, All!

Forgive me, Wargamers, for I have sinned: It's been two weeks since my last post!
Things have been a bit busy for me the last few days - mainly with a very tiring work schedule and a couple of pretty heavy nights out - so model-making has been a bit slow. Nevertheless, I am pleased to announce that my work on the HMSW Gargantua is back on track.

Here's the latest:
Left: the sculpted front-end and the flywheel, in place at last beneath the rear deck. Right: Rear view of the engine and hull.

By far the slowest part of the project so far has been the front-end of the body. Because of the need to anchor the neck pistons way back inside the body before adding the outer armour, I had to sculpt much of the front from green stuff, rather than just modelling it from board. This was tedious work and really made it hard to feel enthusiastic!

Left top and bottom: close-ups of the deck and fo'c'sle. Coal will eventually be heaped in the open compartment. Right: The rear deck takes shape above the wheel.

My aim this week has been to get the flywheel permanently in place - which required that a great many interior details be finished, painted and glued in first. It seemed that everything I did created a new issue to be resolved before the wheel could be put in. I ran out of materials, too - which didn't help!

Close-ups of the head. A swing-bridge will join the body to the head eventually. Looking through the mouth, you can see through the head to the steps which lead up to the main deck.

The head is still not glued on (it slots onto two of the pistons) and neither is the engine. There's a lot still to do before that happens. And as for the legs... Still being designed! I need to see the final bulk of the body before I can be sure the legs I am planning will look right. But I am confident that things will progess quickly now - most of the really fiddly stuff is out of the way.

Of course, I still have to make ladders, etched window glass, a storage hatch, navigational controls, tannoy system, a lot of armour plating, hand rails, swing bridge, cables, gatling gun, cannons and gun-ports, flags...

Smaller than I originally thought it would be... Only 30cm long.

Oh, yes: nearly forgot...


In other news:
I have confirmed that I will be taking Leadwood to A Call to Arms this year, August 20th-21st, in Wellington. Notorious Greg, Myself and others will be running demo-games of The Rules With No Name through the duration of the convention. It would be great to meet any and all who are interested!

All The Best!

Monday 4 July 2011

Working With Inks

Hi, All.
There's a new Croc in town!

I thought as a bit of a change, I'd do a quick post on my inking techniques. I tend to work mainly with ink washes, rather than paints - and although they are a little harder to get the hang of (mistakes are not so easy to correct sometimes) the results can be very nice...

Anyway, while work continues on the HMSW Gargantua, (rivet count: 1103!) I have also been making a few changes to my Croc army for Hordes of the Things. One change in particular is the replacement of my Lizard Wizard with a new Croc Shaman from Privateer Press. I thought I might as well document the process... Hope it's of interest!

1: bare metal. 2: white undercoat. 3: brown wash. 4: highlight.
The key to the whole inking process is the undercoating technique. I start with a couple of washes of thinned-down white acrylic. Next, the whole model is washed with brown ink. I use a colour called 'Earth Brown' from Magic Color. This is a fast-drying, semi-tansparent, colour-fast ink. (You need to be careful when selecting inks - fading over time can be a problem, so be sure they are colour-fast. Yellows are particularly susceptible.) Following the brown wash, the whole model is dry-brushed with a pale colour. I favour 'Just Right' from Resene.

Note that I am using shades of brown, rather than black, white, grey, etc - the end result is warmer, with nicer blending and less starkly-contrasting shades.

Undercoat and a single wash of colour so far - and most of the shading is done already!
The next step is the flesh colour. A single thin wash of golden-brown and green ink is applied to all areas of flesh. By watering this down a little, the shading achieved with the 3-stage undercoat shows through. At this stage, the flesh could almost be considered finished.

Top left: the whole model is highlighted with off-white. Top right: soft flesh parts, underbelly and tail are highlighted with white. Bottom: all green areas are washed with yellow. 
Next, the flesh is highlighted. All areas are drybrushed again with 'Just Right', then the underbelly and other soft-flesh areas are gradually highlighted up to white. Finally, all areas of flesh intended to be green are washed with watered-down yellow ink. This really brings out the colour and warms up the whole model.

Details are added. Large areas of colour are ink-washed, then highlights picked out with paint.
Once the flesh is done, the mouth is washed with red ink. Teeth can then be picked out in white. For all of my crocs, I have added a yellow stain to the teeth as well.
Other details follow much the same procedure as the flesh. All the shading is already in place, so the head-dress just requires alternate washes of red and blue ink. The leaves of the shaman's skirt are just a darker green than his skin.
The staff and wooden mask are washed with walnut woodstain, then dry-brushed with a sandy brown. The bones and croc-skull on the staff and the various other bony adornments are highlighted up to white. Details are picked out in gold and a few runes painted onto the skull with neat red ink. Ropes, straps, etc. are picked out with neat brown ink.

Wonder if the little helper likes his new boss any better than the old one?

Finally, a few scales are picked out with watered-down black ink and the model is given a coat of Testors 'Dullcote' varnish.

That's about all there is to say! It's a very simple way of achieving nice results. My whole Croc army and most of the occupants of Leadwood were coloured using this process. If anyone has any questions, please feel free - ask away!

Well, I suppose I should get back to my other projects now -
  • HMSW Gargantua
  • Modular multi-scale wargames table
  • VSF British Army
  • Sci-Fi Tank
  • Japanese Goblins
  • 10mm Fantasy
Perhaps I should quit my day job...?

All the Best!