Tyranids, New School Style!

 I made reference to this way back in my entry called "Tyranids, Both Old and New" - I was going to paint up one of the Genestealers from Games Workshop's old Battle for Macragge set for a painting competition. Well, I managed to squeeze in some time while prepping a few figures and waiting for primer to dry, and cranked this guy out in about four hours spread out between last Monday night and Tuesday:

 I was aiming to paint him up something along the lines of the color scheme on the cover of the recently-released GW Codex: Tyranids, but the red turned out extremely pink and the bluish-purple turned out pale blue when highlighted initially (I should've known, given the colors I was using). I just ran with it...

 After I put the primary color down for the skin areas I realized that desaturating the chitin colors by adding grey might help - so I ended up giving the whole figure a wash of the skin shade color. After building up and shading the blue-purple I went back and added in Khaki for highlights on the red and blue instead of anything yellowish or white, which worked moderately well. It's still a funky color scheme and I wasn't wanting to waste time by drybrushing thinned Khaki by itself after the fact to get it a bit closer to the Codex: Tyranids cover art, so again I just ran with it... It'll probably be a while before I get around to vague plans to convert up a Tervigon and a modified Brood Lord, and then crank out a whole bunch of 'Nids, but I think I'll stick with this scheme. It's not amazingly difficult and could be painted assembly-line style, which is what I was aiming for with this guy to begin with - more of a "high end tabletop standard."

 I'd also like to add that Liquitex Flow Aid is the whip - I tried it out with this guy after buying some of the stuff a few weeks back. The top of the base was painted with nothing more than a highlight color and two shade colors thinned down with my "new and improved" wash thinning mixture. I think it's a keeper!

 Any comments or suggestions? I wasn't aiming for anything overly fancy here, but I liked the color scheme on the cover of the newest Codex: Tyranids. With the exception of the color transition across the chitin areas, everything else was painted more or less using thick washes and then highlighted (the chitin was done the same way, only I started with red across the board and then went back across with progressively darker blues before highlighting).


Commission Giveaway Contest WIP

 I received the figure last week from the Commission Giveaway Contest winner, doom_of_the_people, after a little bit of discussion on what I was actually going to be painting for him. What arrived in the mail was a Speculo Killer from the Infinity figure line by Corvus Belli ("War Crow" in Latin, I do believe - cool!). In doing prep work on the figure over this weekend, although very delicate-looking and more slight in size than the Games Workshop figures I've generally focused on, she has a solid amount of detail and looks like she should be fun to paint up. The Infinity range is a "true" 28mm scale versus GW's "heroic" 28mm scale - more or less comparable to the Ral Partha and Grenadier 25mm figures I used to paint back in my high school days. She is, in other words, small but not "too small" and with a lot more detail to play around with!

The figure in question:

 We've pretty much settled on the color scheme with a little wiggle room here and there, and the basing should hopefully complement things nicely - I'll leave things up to the imagination at this point, since I will be posting work-in-progress updates on the figure as I go along and I don't want to spoil anything. The interesting part (well, one of them) will likely be the Monofilament blade she holds, as the plan is to paint it up with an Object Source Lighting effect on the rest of the figure.


Forge World Renegade Psyker [Finished 3/15/2010]

 I had some problems when the flat coat that I had brushed on to tone things down after a few touch-ups went slightly hazy, but I managed to fix the problem areas and everything seems to have dried without further complaint. I've played around with the colors on the base and added quite a few alternating layers of highlights and washes - I don't know what else I can do with this particular figure or the basing, so for all intents and purposes I'd say this Renegade Psyker is done. I've got other stuff I'm working on now, so I'm moving on.

 I painted this Renegade Psyker figure up as a "color test" of sorts to work out a scheme for my renegade Imperial Guard force based on The Shriven (of "Gaunt's Ghosts" novel fame). I was pretty sure on going with the "surgical green" rubberized gear for the majority of the troops, but it wasn't until right before I started painting this guy that I settled on a secondary color of olive drab (P3's Traitor Green, conveniently enough). The spot color on this guy of the bright blue was inspired by a writeup in White Dwarf of the 'Eavy Metal team hazing a competition of sorts in painting up Wizards from all the different colleges of magic - the darker blue of the Celestial Wizard's robes was a variation of the blue I used on my Chaos Sorceror of Tzeentch. It was a color I was already somewhat familiar with painting, and thought it would balance out the primary green and the heavy reliance on reds used in the rest of the painting.

So what do you think?

The Disciples of the Four, Revised

I've kinda settled on a 1,000pt. tentative Chaos Space Marine army list making some revisions to my last army layout - I've gotten 2 games under my belt now under the new Edition and played polar opposite 500 pt. armies: an all-Warrior Tyranid list and a Space Wolves force fielding Bjorn, an Iron Priest, and squads of Long Fangs. My battle with the 'Nids was one-sided in their favor, but I ended up playing a draw against the Wolves and there were some stupid things I did (or didn't do, just as likely) in both games that I shouldn't repeat.

Undivided Chaos Lord
- Daemon Weapon
- Combi-melta
140 pts.


6 Khorne Berzerkers
- Skull Champion
-- Power Fist
Rhino w/ twin-linked bolter
201 pts.

10 Chaos Marines
- Icon of Chaos Glory
- Meltagun
- Meltagun
180 pts.

=Heavy Support=

5 Havocs
- 4 Missile Launchers
Rhino w/ twin-linked bolter
- Havoc Launcher
205 pts.

- 2 Extra close combat arms
150 pts.

=Fast Attack=

3 Chaos Spawn
120 pts.

Total: 996 pts.

I'd really appreciate feedback on the list, especially if you could give some of the reasoning behind your suggestions. (I'm trying to pick up as much knowledge here about army list composition as I can, since I don't have a lot of actual playing experience - 5 games total so far.)


Hobby Tip - Painting Blood

Painting blood and blood effects on a figure is one of those things that I've seen asked about on a lot of different painting forums. While I don't profess myself to be an expert in it, I've had reasonable success in getting the "blood" look across on a couple of figures now (and they've gone over well, so I must be doing something right) - I figgered I would share my technique as it's fairly simple.

These are the three colors I use:
They each represent different stages in the application of blood on my figures, and each one is rather unique appearance-wise:
  • First off, we have Tamiya Color Gloss Clear Red Acrylic - this stuff is great for representing fresh blood. It's thinned with something akin to rubbing alcohol and has a much thicker consistency than most acrylics, almost like pancake syrup. You ideally want to save this for after you've sealed your figure, as it tends to dry (well, settle) more slowly than regular acrylic paints (I'm thinking it's because the Tamiya Color range is primarily geared towards being thinned for use in airbrushing and smooth finishes on R/C vehicles and the like. It also gets angry when you mix it with other additives, like dry time extender, so the application is simple: slather it on, spatter it on, spread it around in puddles - try to keep it to a minimum because when overdone, blood effects tend to look a bit "over the top." I feel that once the first application is set, you can always go back and add more if need be, but Tamiya Color is such a pain to remove (because like the old GW Inks, it stains) that it's best to build it up as you go along.
  • Secondly, we have a 1:1 mixture of GW Red Gore and GW Scorched Brown - this particular color is perfect for painting blood on a figure where you want it to look like it's starting to dry but not yet "old, crusty blood." It has that particular shade that's very reminiscent of real partially-dried blood, and whenever I have to open the bottle and add to the mixture, my wife (the nurse) always has to do a double-take.
  • Last, we have a 1:1 mixture of Red Gore and GW Chaos Black - a perfect color for painting older dried blood. Essentially, this would be the color that you thin down and apply directly to crevices or wounds, spattered on walls, caked on weapons - all the fun stuff that makes blood effects worthwhile!
As you may have rightly guessed, using these three colors in sequence from "oldest" to "freshest" gives the best finished effect when painting a mixture of old and new. Even with "fresh blood," I find it is good to go and establish blocked out main areas where I will want the eventual brighter blood to sit - I thin down the Red Gore/Scorched Brown mixture, generally to a 1:1 paint/thinner consistency but that depends, and paint it where I want to have the fresher stuff as the underlying darker layer gives the clear Tamiya red added depth. After sealing the figure and all weathering and everything else is done, that's when I'd ideally apply the Tamiya Clear Red for fresh blood. One nice thing about it and it's thicker consistency is that when applied over deeper reds (giving it depth), the thickness of the Tamiya paint itself gives the blood "body." It's also able to be applied in multiple layers and maintain that "body," so you can get blood drips and other nifty effects with sufficient drying time in between applications.

Some examples? Sure!
Blame the camera, as in real life it's much more glossy, but here's an example where I used all three colors to get across a history of repeated applications of Choppa blade into (through?) past human victims. Red/Brown thinned to block out the whole area (and "spattered" in a few places at 1:4 paint/thinner consistency), Red/Black thinned down and washed into crevices and other areas where old blood would remain caked, and Tamiya Red painted over both for the fresh stuff (also complete with a few "spatters.")

Primarily applied to the face, but also around the base of the neck and just above the ritual scarring where I felt it would pool from beneath his "gas mask," I decided since his "face" is essentially non-existent and simply patchy areas of raw flesh remaining over the bone of his skull, I'd have dried blood caked in the areas where his flesh meets his bone: for example, the figure's left cheek, the jawbone beneath, and around the remains of his mouth where his "respirator" is fused into what's left of his face. I had partially-dried blood around his augmetic eyes and in "trails" down his face from the corners of his eye sockets and under the remains of his nose on the figure's fleshy right side of his face.

Fairly self-explanatory, I think, but this has a combination of all three steps. The mental imagery I had was of this Genestealer Patriarch striding across the remains of a shell casing-strewn and blood-spattered battlefield and briefly pausing in his hunt for prey to taste some of the "leftovers" from a nearby puddle - whether that's the look I achieved or not is debatable, but such is life (or art).


And We Have a Winner!

 If there's any problem with the random drawing of a name, the dice above can be blamed, but I think it's safe to say that there seems to be a trend in the picking of a giveaway winner.

Some comments on the feedback, first:
Jonathan - I haven't actually used eBay to sell any of my painted figures yet, but I figger I should probably just bite the bullet. There's space for a link to an "Auctions" section on the Painting by Tinweasel site proper, and that should be seeing some use fairly soonish. The suggestion to self-promote via signature on Forums I visit is a good one, too, and while I've had my painting website in all my Forum signatures for some time, I guess it never occurred to me to specifically mention my availability for commission painting.

Warhammer39999 - Thanks for the appreciation and ongoing readership! As to my commission prices, I've tried to be pretty fair and did some "price shopping" of other sites to establish ballpark commissioned figure painting rates. Thanks for the compliment on the quality of my work, but I'm really just a small fish in a very big pond. I also think I'm in somewhat of a niche market because while my painting has gotten recognition for competition-quality figures I've done, I don't think I am by any stretch a "big name" in the business and I much prefer doing "higher end" painting as it's mostly the painting aspect of the hobby I enjoy. I also kept that in mind when figuring out rates, so as to try and take time and materials into account, outside of anything special needed for individual contracts.

Faith and Fury - Funny you should mention posting more painting tutorials - I've got a few I've been putting together and they'll be getting added to the site. Keep checking back! (Thanks for the compliments, as well, and I'd definitely like to see someone else's take on Word Bearers. Color scheme-wise, their rich color is one of my favorites out of the old Chaos Legions.)

Mike - Excellent article link, thanks! At this point I really don't have to worry about a backlog and I'd ideally like to make enough to cover the cost of the stuff I buy ("reinvesting," as it were). If I were to actually turn an actual "profit" at this painting thing cost/hour-wise, I'd be amazingly surprised and my wife would be exceedingly pleased. Here's hoping...

woroxon - An odd thing about my competition pieces, is that whenever I've posted pictures of them places, the net response seems to be "meh." I don't know if it's a case of them being much more visually impressive (to judges, anyways) in person, or if it's something I need to fine-tune in my photography. That being said, I've done a bit of random sampling recently and there are some tweaks I can make to my miniature photography and there's quite a few for which I don't have images posted. Now that I've theoretically got a bit more time on my hands, though, expect to see more and better!

Faolain - Excellent suggestions on focusing on new releases. It just so happens I've always been a fan of Tyranids, moreso since I've recently gotten the newest Codex, and the first mini I painted up coming back to the hobby was a Blood Angel. Coincidentally enough, I have two untouched Space Hulk boxed sets (one still in the shrink-wrapping) and an airbrush I'm trying to come to grips with - hrm...

 As to the painting to an "army" standard, I'm open to that and the way I worded the Commission advertisement page of my painting site hopefully is clear enough that I'd do that sort of thing if someone wanted me to (and obviously at a lesser rate than a "Golden Demon"-standard figure) - I just enjoy challenging myself in painting moreso than what I think a "basecoat, shade, and highlight" standard would offer. Open to anything, though, and trying to get my own 40K army together, so I'm definitely going to have to cut a few corners if I want to have it finished before the decade's out.

doom_of_the_people - Excellent suggestion to use my site as a self-motivating tool. I tried that with my "Army Challenge" posts last month, and while I didn't get anything in the way of feedback and it wasn't my ideal output, I did end up with a playable force at the end of a day's assembly, albeit a smallish one and with a few proxies. People apparently were following the topic and I found myself a lot more focused with a deadline, so I'll probably be repeating things in future. You'll note I tend to enjoy work-in-progress updates - I'll just have to up the ante a bit in future! I do enjoy painting for competitions, too, especially over at the RelicNews Tabletop Painting & Modeling Forum - (maybe one day I'll finish in the top 3!) Maybe I work better under pressure? I guess we'll find out soon enough, eh?

 Now that that's out of the way, I think I can cut to the chase with a clear conscience. The winner of the first-ever Painting by Tinweasel Giveaway Contest is doom_of_the_people! Congratulations! Now we just have to sort out the particulars, and then I can get down to business painting up the single figure of doom_of_the_people's choice. Stay tuned!


Only one more day for the Giveaway Contest!

The giveaway contest I'm offering here ends tomorrow at midnight US EST, and so far it's a fairly small number of people entered. I've dug out my old roleplaying dice collection (multi-faceted portable random chance generators?) from 20-odd years ago and am just itching to try out a d8, d10, or better yet - a d20! Just putting out a friendly reminder, for anyone who might be interested in winning!

You can reference the original post here with all the particulars in order to qualify for the giveaway: A Giveaway! But there's a catch...


Top Sekkrit Projekt for Secret Weapon

Now that I've got the bugs worked out in the process (it's been a while to get to this point, but I think I've got everything necessary hammered out for assembly-line production), I'm in the midst of designing stuff for a collaborative release between misterjustin of Secret Weapons Miniatures fame. I don't want to say too much, as he doesn't know I'm posting this (*muahahaha*), but sufficent to say my current side project ought to go perfectly with his recently-released line of Tech Factory bases.

As an aside, I've mentioned a few times now that my recent Renegade Psyker figure is mounted on one of his pre-release molds of the Urban Streets II series (except for the "psychic explosion" and the "random debris" on top, the base decoration is essentially "all his" - it hopefully goes without saying that I recommend his Secret Weapon Miniatures stuff since I was willing to use one of his "test blanks" on a "color test" display-quality figure and I'm kinda picky in how I accent (accessorize?) my painted stuff. I haven't done an "official" review of the bases, though, because the ones I've got from Secret Weapon (and am planning to use in future additions to my 40K Chaos forces) aren't technically the "official" released versions.


A Giveaway! But there's a catch...

 I'm not exactly sure how this will pan out, but it's an effort I'm willing to try for the sake of staving off inactivity and boredom, and hopefully breaking the run of bad luck myself and my family have had that's been going on for some time now. (I could go into details, as this past week has been especially trying and emotional, but that's only if anyone is really interested.)

 The long and the short of it is that I'm unemployed again following the end of a contract position of several months and for the sake of staying busy, have been trying to paint figures and drum up business for commission work. The down side is that nobody's been inquiring and there's been a lot of stuff going on life-wise that's making me lose focus of things I ought to be taking care of - I thrive best with a routine, and right now I don't have one. Driving home in the car this morning, I figgered I could kill several birds with one stone: I'll try to hold a little random drawing giveaway thingy for Followers of my site with a prize of a figure painted by me, get some feedback from readers and casual passers-by, draw attention to the fact that I do actually offer my painting services for hire, and keep me busy during the long days while my wife is at work and the kids are at school and daycare.

The Rules:
  1. The time period for entering starts when you read this update and ends at midnight, US Eastern Standard Time, on Friday, March 5th, 2010.
  2. You must be a Follower of my blog, either existing or new - hey, the more the merrier!
  3. You must leave some sort of useful comment. By "useful," I mean either a suggestion as to improving my painting as viewable through older posts here or by way of figures that have made their way into my painting site's Gallery; some advice or tip I could use to improve my painting blog/website overall; some idea to try and help me speed up the seemingly laborious process of trying to assemble and convert figures for my Chaos Space Marine army; suggestions as to topics for future Hobby Tips; or even a cheerful comment to help brighten my day.
  4. After the entry period ends at midnight on March 5th, I will randomly pick a Follower who has made a "useful" comment and that lucky soul will get essentially what amounts to a free painting commission out of me on a Single Figure of their choice per the Commission guidelines on my painting website. I don't care what brand, I don't care what style, I don't care if it's a new technique, I don't even really care what color - my "painting toolbox" is very deep, as it were.
  5. (Out of consideration for me being unemployed, just trying to liven up things, and trying to turn my luck around, the winner will need to pay shipping and/or purchase costs of the figure in question for me to both A) get my hands on something to paint, and B) get that painted something in the hands of the winner of this thing. Again, the Commission guidelines on my painting website should clarify most details - except the painting of the winner's figure is FREE!!1!)
  6. Um, the specifications for the figure, intended paint scheme, and "periodic progress updates" will be posted publicly, so all the non-winners get to share in the fun. (I'm also inclined to take suggestions on the theoretical work-in-progress, too, as I'm always trying to improve my skills BUT the final say as to the figure's appearance is between me and the random winner - Sorry!)
  7. I'm thinking I'll have to leave conversions out of this giveaway as well, as that that would open a whole other can of worms and increase the working time on the figure. That being said: gap-filling, pinning, posing of original parts, and everything else is still on the table.
 I'm really intending this as a good faith offer to occupy my mind and cheer myself up and I hope that Followers, regular Feed readers, and the hypothetical winner will view it as such and not try to "pull one over on me." I don't even care if someone wants something painted to a basic standard, it's more the spirit of the thing - I've won several trophies at GW Golden Demon competitions and can "probably paint to a higher than basic standard," but other than holding a paintbrush and doing the work for free, the figure and particulars of the painting won't be up to me! I'm also not averse to trying new techniques or effects, and with this (again) being a good faith offer, I will try and render the finished figure to the winner's specifications as much as I can.

Have at it, folks! Thanks!

Forge World Renegade Psyker WIP [Update 2/28/2010]



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