Return of the Son of Odds 'n' Ends, Mk. VIII

 You may have noticed the lack of regular updates in the past several months - this is due to a number of things that I really don't need to get into in detail (my health, family life, unemployment, starting a new contract job, etc.) - sufficent to say, though, I've not had nearly as much time and motivation to post regular updates on painting and such... because there hasn't been much going on in the way of painting and such!

1) I'm wondering if slightly tweaking things in terms of site layout or blog formatting or what-have-you might be the way to go? It was suggested (thanks, IntereoVivo!) that maybe I could/should take suggestions as to the topics and content I put up. Dunno why I hadn't thought of this before, but I think that might be an excellent way of keeping things alive and fresh. I've got a ton of projects (or potential projects) that I could use for "demonstration" purposes here - on-sprue minis, drawers full of 20+-year-old lead fantasy and sci-fi figures, stuck-together-but-not-glued gaming figures, many figures that would easily make for good display-quality pieces, and even scenery or "display base" odds 'n' ends that I could be posting about. Assuming the trend of limited time continues, short posting on my part of stuff like "This is how I'm pinning the 54mm resin soldier" or "Here's a few approaches in painting black I'm taking that could give you different 'finishes' as an end result" would probably be much easier (and less demoralizing) than having a whole blog to fill and very few finished things of late to post.

 To that end, I think a "Contact Me" box or a "Make Suggestions Here" blurb highly visible on the site would be good. Any ideas on how best to approach the layout of the site? Maybe email me! This ties in with...

2) I've been using a newly-bought-and-self-assembled computer for several months now after some technical difficulties in operation and finally have things reinstalled again to the point where I can make worthwhile updates - for a good month there, the computer was in the shop and/or empty for all my web editing software, and with all my site images and templates and such backed up on a spare HD. That being said, I also moved to a format here not so long ago with the main Painting by Tinweasel site serving as sort of a stripped-down framework with all kinds of added content, and the Painting by Tinweasel Blog serving as sort of a central hub and news/update feed. The blog is self-sufficient, but the full website needs a lot of layout changes and behind-the-scenes tweaking now. Since I have to do that anyways to get everything looking neat and tidy and non-redundant (double header bars, etc. Yuck!), is there anything that people would like up on there?

What, if anything, might people like to see? Or, better yet, how could I get the most use out of a supporting website that statistically gets only about 1/3rd of the views of my Blog despite having a Gallery of painted figures, a section on painting Tips and Techniques, and even some (slightly older) Tutorials?

3) I've joined the local Michigan Historical Miniatures & Model Club at a store not too far from me here - The Michigan Toy Soldier Co. Essentially, the store encourages all sorts of figure painting (like my Games Workshop Chaos Space Marine army and my Golden Demon Competition pieces, some of my stuff being in their display case currently!) and even stocks a fair amount of tabletop gaming stuff at a great discount - their main focus, though, is historical miniatures and models, painting and modeling supplies, and toy soldiers and collectible figures. I'd highly recommend the store to any miniature painters, and the staff are all great! The Club I signed up for is kinda an informal thing meeting one night a month, and we've all decided to go in on a "club figure" that we can all paint, pose, convert, or whatever, with the end result being a group display at a show (or two).

 The club figure is a 54mm Private of the 1st New Hampshire Regiment, 1870, put out by Michael Roberts, Ltd. - an excellent resin piece with very few mold problems (some bubbles on the base, a little bit of flash, and minor mold lines here and there) and a high level of accurate and realistic detailing. (Not that I know squat about post-Revolutionary War regimental troops, but still!) I haven't started prepping it and have virtually no experience painting historically accurate miniatures at all - but I'm really looking forwards to this, especially the opportunity to learn from some veteran painters in a "new" field. I'll be posting my progress... I'm also open to any and all suggestions at this point, as this is "a brave new world" I'm venturing into, so to speak.


Hobby Tip - Night Lords' Lightning Effect

 I haven't had time to do much in the way of hobby stuff lately, but I've been wanting to try painting this for weeks now and I'm curious what you all think:

Here's how I painted the Night Lords lightning effect:
  • First I painted a thinned color for an overall appearance of "electrical haze" or "glow." I used GW Enchanted Blue thinned down to a 1:4 paint/thinner consistency and applied this with a 2/0 brush so as it have a "backdrop" color to paint everything else on. I didn't want this to look solid (hence the translucent paint) but I did want it to serve as an overall "outline" for the two subsequent colors.
  • Secondly I went back with thinned Electric Blue (in a 1:4 paint/thinner ratio again) - it's an old, old color so a good substitute would be 1:1 Enchanted Blue/Ice Blue, I dare say. With this step I used a fine (#0000) point brush and more or less stippled a random, crackling line within the previous haze color. I intentionally kept it patchy and wavy while still trying to follow a more or less continuous arcing path - the next and last color I would say is the most important, as it's the "heart" of the electrical effect.
  • Lastly, I applied fine stippling with thinned GW Ice Blue (1:4 paint/thinner ratio again) and just tried to make it look like crackling electricity - I didn't necessarily keep to the exact center of the previous two colors laid down, but I didn't stray outside of them. I made a few passes with just tiny dots of the brush, until I got to the point where it looked like a fine (if fuzzy) line with a few patchy gaps here and there. Done!


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