Wednesday, 29 October 2014

LXXIV. The Jacks

The work on the second custom Fate Deck continues. I've already written about it in LXVII. Another Fate Deck (WIP), where I showed the twelves of the deck and explained the idea behind the designs. You can see and read about the first deck in XLIV. Fate Deck. Now I have proceeded to make another batch of face cards: the elevens. And this time I'll say a bit on how I go about painting the cards.

Rough sketches- the first transfers of the designs from my head onto paper. Useful for many different reasons.
It begins with sketches. I carry a notebook and a pen with me wherever I go, which I use to store any ideas I come up with for later use. At this point I also search my books and the Internet for reference pictures. Once I'm happy with my design I start drawing on an actual blank card.

Blank cards. I cut them to size myself and lightly stained them with coffee. I usually make enough of these for a whole deck at once, to avoid too much difference in tint.

I learnt long ago that use of reference when drawing/sculpting/etc. is pretty much mandatory. The results are better beyond comparison. I have a fine number of various illustrated books at home, and I keep a folder on my computer packed with pictures of interesting things I find in the vastness of the Internet. For these particular illustrations I dug up as many pictures as I could find of ancient Greek black-figure pottery (for everything, but the satyr especially), plate armour and bascinet type helmets (for the man-at-arms), medieval depictions of wildmen (for the woodwose),  Danse Macabre (for the revenant)...

The sketches of the four Jacks/elevens on the cards themselves. Left to right: Bone, Flesh, Blood, Spirit.

When the drawings were done I scanned them. Not just to show them here, but also because some of the small details get lost under the base layers of paint as I work. The scans help me know where everything needs to be.

Colouring the sketch. These are the same paints and brushes I use for my miniatures.

The card value, in this case 'XI', is written in black ballpoint pen.

For the suit symbols I use improvized tools- plastic tubes of different diameters that leave neat rings when dipped in paint and pressed on paper. You can see them left of the card. One is a part of a broken pen and the other two came from brush packaging. This way I know all suit symbols are the same size and regular shape. The larger suit symbols in the corners require some extra work with a brush.

And that's it. The following picture shows all face cards I've finished so far. Comments and critique are very welcome. :)

Saturday, 11 October 2014

LXXIII. Orderly

A big commission is taking up most of my hobby-time, which resulted in this long period of no updates. Over the course of last five weeks I've managed to slowly convert and paint the first Orderly.

As the aforementioned commission consists of painting rank upon rank of brightly coloured, nearly identical High Elves, working on this fellow helped me preserve my sanity. :P

The red cross on the poison thrower marks him as a member of the Plague Doctor's retinue.

Skull and crossbones on the tank's side warn of its toxic contents.

The rules. Orderlies are pretty slow, with a low Walk and no Charge value. Their purpose is dealing out poison with the Poison Thrower attack. To keep them from being completely useless in close combat, they carry a knife as well. I'd have represented it on the miniature, but I simply had nowhere to put it.

Below you can see the finished conversion next to the base model: a WH40K Chaos Cultist.

The bits used: Chaos Cultist, Skaven Warpfire Thrower, Empire Millitia left arm, Victoria Miniatures round goggles.
Fitting all those bits together without gaps and awkward angles required filing, sanding and subtle green stuff work. Skaven runes on the Warpfire thrower bits had to go. The cultist was (surprisingly) free of chaos insignia to begin with.
The hideous proportions of Citadel humans usually keep me from using them, as they look terrible next to my more elegant Wyrd and Rackham people. This one, however, is wearing many layers of protective clothing, so he could work. I just needed to hide his stunty legs and enormus feet by extending his coat into a robe.